Apr 22 2009

CONGRATULATIONS i.g.Burton & Company!

HOORAY for the good guys!


     It’s not every day that a consultant like me can nominate a client (like i.g. Burton & Company) for an annual Better Business Bureau award as most outstanding family business in the state…and see them win!

     Even after my project engagement with the company ended, I had the good fortune to see this business be honored (tonight at the DuPont Hotel in downtown Wilmington, Delaware) at a formal reception dinner hosted by the Delaware BBB and Governor Jack Markell.

     Now if you’ve read this far, you may be wondering who is i.g. Burton & Company anyway? And there’s little doubt that if you don’t know, you will most definitely be surprised to learn that we’re talking about –of all things– a car dealership!

     i.g.Burton & Company is 101 years old. The company maintains five locations in Milford and Seaford, Delaware. They are one of the nation’s leading dealerships for Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep,  Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and are the world’s oldest Blue-Bird Bus dealership as well.

     They didn’t stand in line behind the automakers they represent, looking for bailout money. They didn’t pull in their rugs and move out of town when Chevrolet and Chrysler hit the rocks.

     In fact, they actually INCREASED their charitable contributions to needy organizations. They INCREASED their customer service training programs. And they went ahead and completed a 6 year-old monster construction project that helped keep hundreds of employees on payroll.

     Of course they have strong financial backing. But why? How did their backing become so commited? BECAUSE i.g. Burton demonstrated commitment to their customers, their employees and their community.

     They didn’t get to be 101 and win an Outstanding Family Business award in a faltering economy by being the stereotypical car dealers. They are fifth generation owned and operated. A great many of their employees have worked there for 15, 20, 25, 30, and more years! (This, in a day when most car dealers seem to keep employees just for those numbers of DAYS!)

     What’s the secret? i.g. Burton & Company has built a long-standing reputation for overkill customer service and for contributing to and supporting wholeheartedly the Delmarva Peninsula communities they serve. The have earned the BBB award, and statewide respect as business leaders.

     They will earn your respect too anytime you’re driving through Delmarva Peninsula (The 2nd biggest peninsula in the U.S., thank you, if you’re not counting Florida). Stop in. Say Hi. Congratulate them on their award. They’ll make you feel proud of it just for having visited. Well done, Burton Family. And well done, Burton Family of Employees!  

Good Night and God Bless You!  halalpiar     

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    ADD TO THE DAILY GROWING 7-Word Story started 223 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.


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Mar 19 2009

The business of planning for business

READY . . . SET . . .


Security? Check. Employee I.D. badges? Check. Food and beverage service areas? Check. Trash pails? Check. Entertainment and sound system set-ups? Check. Parking? Check. Clean up? Check. Handouts? Check. Prizes for drawings? Check. News conference agenda? Check…

     Tonight’s grand opening of a new (years-in-the-making) BMW and Mercedes-Benz dealerships state-of-the-art-one-of-a-kind building sets the stage for an entire regional business community journey into economic recovery.

     But nothing about coordinating two diverse and highly competitive luxury car-makers interests under one single roof has been easy or accidental. Tonight’s event promises to host over 700 people. Many of the RSVP’s came from BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners who want to see the new sales and service center firsthand because it is such an exceptional facility.

     The owner/customers will get a better understanding of the fiber optics communication systems that allow this unique building to be in instantaneous purchase, service, and repair communication with car-maker headquarters in Germany.

     They’ll see the green process that recycles used car oil into heating the huge service-bay area. Building tours will also highlight owner observation windows and closed circuit TV system that allow owners to monitor technician work on their vehicles, among many other features.   

So what are you getting from this special event announcement

1) Businesses that plan ahead for better customer service capabilities AS they continue to manage day-to-day activities, eventually come to the day of reckoning, and economic conditions need not have and negative or delaying impact on that day, or days that follow

2) Regarding the invitations, keep focused on the truism that the best source of business is existing and past business, and continue to knock yourself out to please your past and present customers above all other marketing targets

3) If you think this kind of razzmatazz is only worthy of pursuit by abandoning other functions like customer service, think again. Cherishing and nurturing long-term customer and community relationships all the while is what makes it all work. 

4) When you have something new and exciting to bring to market, turn your tendancy to brag into a commitment to share and show appreciation to the community that supports your business. What goes around comes around.  

BOTTOM LINE? Don’t let exaggerated media reports get you so focused on business survival tactics that you start to overlook the need for planning. Planning needs to stay in the mix. It will give birth down the road to those big “15 minutes of fame” type moments when your business can step into the spotlight and get the boost it deserves. If you’ve dropped this ball because of economic woes, pick it back up and run with it . . . before your competitor recovers the fumble!  

God Bless You and Good Night!  halalpiar     

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    ADD TO THE DAILY GROWING 7-Word Story started 189 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.

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Nov 23 2008



Well, let’s see, in just this one single week, for the recap benefit of those who have been kind enough and masochistic enough to visit my bloggerings regularly, we have:

  • slept with the boss

  • gotten physical, occupational, speech, and psycho therapy

  • ordered $100,000 worth of astronaut tools for Christmas

  • Read firsthand witness reports of NASCAR-finalist dump truck drivers on the NJ Turnpike, and been outmaneuvered on the road entering downtown Wilmington by two multi-tasking champion bimbettes, and . . . 

  • Re-visited the whole outrageous idea of authenticity! 


What more could you ask for? 

And in the middle of it all, we still managed to continue the increasingly infamous 7-word story [See note below the # # # if you’re not familiar with this ongoing challenge to the clever-witted young-at-heart literary community out there, seeking a publishing venue for their talents] 

Now if ever there was an exciting week down in the blogmines (blogmires?), this has to have been it!  I mean where else can you get all that in one fell swoop, so to speak? 

And where does that leave us off for NEXT week?  Well, I could always suggest, for the more automotive-minded among you, to check out the blog site I do for my friends at I.G. Burton car,  truck, and bus Dealerships in Milford and Seaford Delaware. 

It’s http://blog.igburton.com for all the best and latest new and pre-owned Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Blue Bird Busses to be exact.  In fact, the post before tonight’s for them was offering a FREE MERCEDES!  Now sit there and tell me you could pass this up.  Anyway, see y’all tomorrow with new and exciting stuff!  Off to watch “24”!   halalpiar

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Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 75 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to the “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.

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