Brian Banmiller's blog

A Business of Boats


Want to have a business that lasts, love what you do, and the people that keep you up and running.

Frankie Magro, is the general manager of Barbosa Excursions in Malta. A business he started in the 1970's when there were about two companies offering boat trips around the islands. Now there are about a dozen.

“Business was very good this year in spite of our competition but our motto is we compete in service but not in price so people appreciate it when you give them good service.”

Magro says it's important to be nice to your customers and honor your word. He says in the end it's not the money that makes his job worthwhile.  read more »

A National Disaster


Disaster has a way of bringing out the best in people; but in some cases the worst is not far behind.

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston followed a week later by Hurricane Irma’s attack on the Caribbean and Florida we saw many images of heroism and bravery. Unfortunately there were also stories of people being taken advantage of when they needed help the most.

Delta airlines came under fire for raising ticket prices more than $2,000 on flights out of Florida. Walmart and Amazon were both accused of price gouging on prices of bottled water with reports that Amazon was charging more than $100 for shipping. And it wasn't just supplies people were in need of, it was also rescue.  read more »

iPhone X


It's been ten years since the first iPhone, and Apple is celebrating by securing its legacy for the next ten.

This week the public was finally let behind the doors of Apple's new Silicon Valley spaceship shaped campus that was the brainchild of co-founder Steve Jobs. And it was in the Steve Jobs Theater that CEO Tim Cook introduced the iPhone X. A device he calls the company's biggest leap since the original release and a product that will hold the public's attention for another decade.  read more »

Weird Ways to Make Money


In need of a change of pace from your nine to five? Why not get a little creative when it comes to bringing home the bacon.

If your daily alarm fills you with dread maybe it's time to switch things up. To help avoid the daily grind while keeping a paycheck MSN Money has put together a list of the weirdest ways to make money.

For example a mystery shopper. As many companies look for ways to keep customers in stores and offline they are hiring people to evaluate customer service. Along with being paid to shop a number of companies also offer mileage reimbursement and a budget for snacks.  read more »



The credit monitoring company Equifax is hoping to win back the public's trust; but it's off to a rocky start.

Last week Equifax announced that it had been hacked by criminals that obtained the personal information of 143 million Americans. Information that included names, addresses and social security numbers. To make up for this failure in protecting your assets the company said it would give anyone affected a free one year subscription to its credit monitoring service. However there was a catch.  read more »

Nordstrom Local


Retail giant Nordstrom is trying on a new look; stores without clothes.

On October 3rd the high end clothing store will open a new version of its shop called Nordstrom Local in West Hollywood. It will be a fraction of the size of standard department stores and will offer things such as manicures and on site tailoring. It will contain eight dressing rooms where shoppers can try on clothes and accessories but the store won't have them in stock. Instead if something peaks your interest personal stylists on site can order it from one of the other local stores or the website.  read more »

Trump's Souvenir Numbers


Despite winning the white house; it looks like President Trump is still struggling with the popular vote.

Recently the New York Times visited a number of Washington DC gift shops to see how well items with the president's likeness were selling. And according to store owners besides the red “make America great” hats the numbers aren't much to brag about. Overall sales in the first six months of Trump's presidency are 13% below those of the first six months after Obama’s inauguration. But owners acknowledge that it would have been tough for anyone to surpass the numbers of the first African American president.  read more »

Travel Tips


Ever wonder what really goes on behind the scenes when you travel? Recently a handful of flight attendants opened up to passengers about all the things us frequent fliers don't know.

Recently flight attendants did an “ask me anything” forum with travelers on Reddit answering the question “what don't passengers know.” The top rated answer advised passengers to count the number of rows between you and the emergency exit. She says in an emergency it will be hard to see and counting the seat backs will help get you to where you need to be.

Another important answer was to place one hand on top of the other when asked to brace for impact. Interlacing your fingers could cause an injury.  read more »

Stolen Treasure


Looking to get rich quick? Hope you have fast fingers.

Recently a Canadian coin worth almost $5 million was stolen from a Berlin museum. But that's nothing compared to some of the other treasures that have been stolen throughout history. So to refresh your memory MSN Money has put together a list of the most valuable treasures people have swiped.

From 1885 until about 1917 the house of Faberge crafted about 50 bejeweled eggs for the Russian royal family. Amid the chaos of the revolution eight of the eggs were confiscated and lost. One of them surfaced at a scrap metal dealership in the American Midwest and went on to sell for about $33 million. In  read more »



Feel like you're in a rut? Might be time for a new business plan.

Mark Thompson is a bestselling author and senior executive coach who Forbes has named one of America’s top venture investors with the Midas change. He says every now and then even the best ideas need to be freshened up. He says no one likes change, especially when you've already worked so hard to build something. But sometimes what you really need to do is shake things up; and remember that as your business changes, your customers are being affected as well.  read more »