Apr 21 2011


Businesses, like people, get


their faces locked in to 


negative expressions  



You think those who are considering a purchase of your goods or services are not paying attention to how the “package” of your business facade is wrapped? You think it doesn’t matter?

You think” the face of your business” has no power of suggestion? If you’re engaged in professional selling (who isn’t?), do you think no one notices your facial expressions? (You do of course know they’re contagious?)

Try this one.

I’m going to give you a single word that sums up my total customer experience at a business I visited recently. It was something that the receptionist did.

And you will likely do the exact same thing the minute you read this word, which should –all by itself– be a  clear enough demonstration that every business “face” communicates.

My guess is that odds are within one minute, you’ll be hooked.

You will prove to yourself that the power of suggestion is far from imaginary. Are you ready? Okay:

Read the following word and think about it for five seconds


Here it is: YAWN 

Think about the word now for five seconds.

Well? If you didn’t yawn yourself, did you at least feel that queasy little tremor in the corners of your jaw where upper and lower teeth come together?

No? Well, maybe you just woke up, or just took some amphetamines or someone just put some ice down your back.

How about this word?: SMILE


Who is “the face” of YOUR business? 

Does that person pass along smiles or stretch and yawn most of the day? (And, no, this is not intended as a corrective action seminar for air traffic controllers . . . who, by the way, it’s worth noting, get paid $160,000 a year to NOT sleep on the job; it’s stressful and requires special skills? So what! What about truck-driving and mothering!)

Similarly, a health food store clerk or medical clinic is hardly well represented by even the most smiling individual if she or he looks like a walking billboard for some local tattoo and body-piercing parlor. The face of the business is locked in a negative expression.

Credibility registers in the eyes of the beholder in less than ten seconds. There are no second first impressions.

So you get the WHO part of this, what about the WHAT part? What is “the face” of your business? I know of a physician’s office with an absolutely filthy-beyond-belief office front door. You need antiseptic wipes just to touch the handle. One pint of paint and a teaspoon of metal polish would do the job. It’s been that way for many years.

It probably goes without saying that this doctor is not considered the town’s gift to healthcare, and has been struggling financially for probably as long as the door has been hinged. The face of the business is locked in a negative expression.

If you’re in construction or landscaping and pull up to a prospective customer in a disgusting truck full of muck, don’t think your slightly lower estimate will land you work. The truck tells people that you’re a slob. People don’t hire slobs. The face of the business is locked in a negative expression.

Computer techies who can only communicate with their thumbs and say little more on the phone (if they answer it at all) than  “Uh” and “Huh?” OR who rattle out stuff about SEO and Mashables and Tweets to another business owner who doesn’t want to know how to make a clock when she asks what time it is, will not get hired. 

In this case —on the phone or on the screen– the face of the business is locked in a negative expression.


You have the key. It’s in your head. It’s called consciousness. Open minds open doors! 


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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]
Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Apr 12 2010

Keeping “Family” Out Of The Family Business!

When you add


a splash of red


to a sea of blue,


people stop


noticing the blue…


     My wife Kathy (God Bless Her!) has been my business partner for 23 years. It takes an extraordinarily special relationship to survive and thrive in the same workspace AND the same homespace. 

     Oh, but don’t thinkI have a limited perspective on this. I’ve worked with every kind of FAMILY business imaginable … from restaurants, HVAC, farms, clothing, sewage, chiropractic services, heart surgery, landscaping, mattresses, trucking, dentistry, lumber, accounting, candy and travel, to manufacturing of computer and rocket-ship parts that fit under your fingernail. And that’s just my tip- of-the-iceberg list.

     Yeah, you might say, but just doing their brochures and websites doesn’t put you in the thick of things. How do you know what it’s really like? As a management consultant, trainer, coach, and counselor, believe me I’ve seen it all. I’ve managed succession planning, rookie coaching, crisis intervention, family foundations, partnership formations, partnership separations, and one fist fight.  

     The biggest problem with family business is family. Family relation-ships are a hotbed of emotions. Consider the statistics that claim every one comes from a dysfunctional family, which means there are an awful lot of weirdos out there. When the dysfunctional types become part of the family business, people see the business as dysfunctional. When you add a splash of red to a sea of blue, people stop noticing the blue.

Only a handful of really smart family business leaders have the good sense to realize a proven professional can help grow the business AND save the family.”

     When high emotions reign in a family business, you can be sure the business will not be a recommended long-term investment. Business ventures can be immensely emotional and supercharged, but keeping control of all that energy requires great leadership finesse, objectivity, and balance.

     Imagine a ship in a stormy sea, with an angry, blood-vessel-on-the-cusp-of-bursting, near-incoherent, screaming captain at the controls. You’d want to be figuring out the quickest route to the lifeboats. Some family businesses keep these stormy sea antics below deck, but they still take their toll.

You’d want to be figuring out the

quickest route to the lifeboats.”

     Here’s the good news: None of it is necessary. Here’s the bad news: Only a handful of family business leaders have the good sense to realize a proven professional can help grow the business AND save the family. The basic principles of anger management, stress management, time management, communication skills (especially effective listening), goal-setting, and leadership transparency are the ingredients of family business transformation and success. Someone who knows how and when to use these tools can help you get the red splash out of your sea of blue, and steady the controls.  

     The more generations involved, the greater the need. The more family members involved, the greater the need. The solution direction is simple. It takes a commitment to want to succeed, a willingness to share “dirty laundry” with an “outsider” (and a sense of partnership and perseverance with that outsider) to combine forces to make a difference.

     Family business growth and development is directly tied to the 4 R’s: Receptivity, Responsiveness, Responsibility and Respect. If those are present, an experienced coach can help them all work for the good of the business, and the good of the family.  


Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! 

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