Jul 20 2011

Mind Your Social Media Manners!

TY, Thank You, THX,


Thanks, Appreciation,


Appreciate, Appreciated,


Appreciative, Grateful,


Gratefulness, Gratified,


Gratification,  tks, Please,


Pls, YW, You’re Welcome!



Have you paid off  your TY IOUs lately? Do you have a list of them? Are they in some order? Which ones are the oldest? To whom do you owe more than one TY? What are they for? What were the circumstances? How long ago exactly was the favor or courtesy or thoughtfulness extended? Might it now be time to clean some of these up?

If you don’t have one, let’s start with a business list, then move on to personal, or vice versa if you prefer. I like to keep a thank you list next to my desk phone, divided into two columns: “Calls” and Emails.” I add to them during the day between meetings, other emails, and other calls, and cross out the ones I’ve handled as each day passes.

Why? Who Cares? EVERYone cares. Which also answers the question “Why?” Simply put, there can be no better investment of your time and energy for boosting your business and personal reputations. And sales pros will tell you that personal and business reputations built on these courtesies translate directly to sales.

Oh, and let’s not forget that long-lost art of a personal handwritten thank you note stuck in the mail or office inbox. There is NOTHING compares with receiving one of those. And the busier you are, the more impact a note from you has. In other words: The more personal you can make your expression of thanks, the greater the impact!

It’s hard to beat a message that has a little hug hanging on its coattails!


Probably needless to add, but it’s well worth remembering: It’s also FREE, which makes it a no-brainer practice for business owners and operators, and especially for professional practice principals, who are seldom regarded as grateful for their patients and clients! 

Social media subscribers probably use the expressions in this post’s headline more than any other segment of society except Salvation Army Santas. It’s become standard fare Internet ettiquette. It’s the sub-culture of long-distance communications dipped in politeness and exchanged for the world to see, but seldom felt from the heart.

Twitterers send Tweets. If you like the Tweet, you respond mostly with a RE-Tweet (or RT) as a polite form of endorsement. Someone whose Tweet gets an RT, inevitably returns a TY (Thank You) note Tweet to that endorser. That endorser may send (Tweet) yet another note, like YW (You’re Welcome).

It’s said that these kinds of exchanges are all cover-ups for the acknowledged impersonalness of social media communications, that they somehow compensate for handshakes and eye contact and voice tone and inflections. Well, they don’t really. Not much could. But they do set social media cordiality apart from other media forms. 

Anyway, Thank you for visiting. I am truly grateful for the minutes you spent here, and if any of what I said is helpful to you in any way, well . . . YW.


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Hal@Businessworks.US  302.933.0116 

  Open minds open doors. 

 Thanks for visiting and God bless you. 

   Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Feb 24 2011

The $200 Fill-up!

$200 Fill-ups?


No joke, business owners!


Obama pushes for $8 a gallon.


Do the math. 


Unable to succeed at squashing America’s entrepreneurial spirit and controlling small businesses and professional practices –though certainly not for lack of trying– the Obama Administration is now making the biggest mistake of its (hopefully half-over with) life.

Mr. Obama is quietly seeking to drive the price of gas to

$8 per gallon.

Average gas tank capacity means that

a fill-up will cost $200!


Crushing not only the travel freedom of the general public, $8 per gallon gas rates will put many of America’s 30 million small businesses out of business. Imagine the financial paralysis that will set in when shipping and delivery costs are doubled.

Who could think the skyrocketing fares of air travel, air cargo, taxicabs, buses, and every conceivable type of personal and commercial truck shipment will not drastically impact small business and professional practices.

Do we even want to consider the impact

on emergency services expenses?


Why, you might ask, would anyone (let alone Mr. Obama) be looking to undermine even further the only real opportunity that exists to restore health to America’s economy: small business job creation?

See if you can follow this path of crooked reasoning exposed in last night’s Washington Times Editorial. Here are some excerpts:

A perfect storm of foreign and domestic policy choices by the Obama Administration has paved the way for European-style energy prices to arrive on these shores. Far from being alarmed, President Obama sees the prospect of $8 a gallon gas as an opportunity.

When it comes to energy, the White House has sought to augment government controls to prevent the “long-term threat of climate change, which if left unchecked could result in violent conflict, terrible storms, shrinking coastlines and irreversible catastrophe,” in Mr. Obama’s words. Making energy more expensive is exactly what the administration’s “cap and trade” scheme is meant to do.

The theory is that pricier power will be used more frugally, which in turn will appease Mother Earth into blessing us with cooler weather. Mr. Obama expressed the same outlook in May when – with oil at $61 a barrel – he signed a memorandum dictating to automakers the kinds of cars they will be allowed to sell. At the time, Mr. Obama noted with trepidation, “The impetus for action would fade when gas prices started to go back down.”

It’s not possible for domestic production to relieve the pressure from international uncertainty. Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats have blocked drilling in places like Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in millions of acres of federal lands and in offshore locations. Mr. Obama even took advantage of the BP oil disaster to shut down operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Obama points to the small amount of oil currently produced at home to conclude, “We can’t drill our way out of the problem.” That’s only a true statement as long as the current policies place 67 percent of America’s reserves off-limits.

The events unfolding in Egypt, Libya and throughout the Middle East are beyond American control but not outside our influence. Fear and uncertainty drive oil prices higher, and Mr. Obama has done nothing to restore confidence that the United States will act firmly to promote stability in the region.

Instead of addressing these concerns openly, pledging support for the remaining U.S. allies or deploying military assets to show that this country will not allow an interruption in the flow of goods through the Suez Canal, Mr. Obama has calibrated his tepid response to ensure no Muslim mob is offended.

We’re now paying the price for weak leadership, but it’s about more than just paying a few bucks more at the local Chevron station. Every product and service depends on the price of oil and the price of electricity. The vast majority of goods hit the shelves after being transported by aircraft, ships and trucks powered by fossil fuels.

That’s why, as economists note, there is a direct correlation between the number of miles vehicles travel in a year and the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Unless there’s an immediate U-turn in the domestic and international agenda, we’re headed for rough economic times.


BOTTOM LINE: Should stampeding gas price increases be a concern of small businesses and professional practices?

If you’re not sure, I respectfully suggest you consider re-reading the nine excerpted paragraphs above.

If you disagree, you are surely a few quarts low on entrepreneurial spirit, or you are so rich that a couple of thousand extra dollars a month to keep your gas tank filled makes no difference.

If you agree, remember there’s strength in numbers, and there are 30 million of us.



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www.TheWriterWorks.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

“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!

4 responses so far

Dec 22 2008

Reconnect With Customers At Grass-Roots

One of the 27 million


auto industry experts


quoted this week


. . . strongly recommends that as “The Big 3” hustle to try reinventing  themselves (assuming they’ve not become too gargantuan and convoluted), that dealerships should stop sounding so desperate, and start reconnecting with customers at a grass-roots level. 

     Good advice.  In fact, this is good advice right now for any and all businesses. 

     A December 2008 Corporate Communicator white paper published by www.bonmotcomms.com addresses what Bon Mot Communications refers to as “the low trust problem” in business today. 

     “Low trust” says this eloquently crafted document is rooted in the rise of irresponsibility that’s inherent in the delirious growth of social media networks, fueled by public “scandals and betrayals” in the midst of a global financial crisis, then layered onto “unprecedented demand for transparency.”

     What this thinking suggests to me, for business owners and managers, entrepreneurs, and professional practice principals, is that the time to choose to rise to the top is now!

     Customer faith and loyalty flies directly out of the kinds of industry and business leadership that fosters ongoing positive performances, that engages and accommodates customer bases, and that caters to and supports customer communities in clear and meaningful ways. 

     An old business graduate school professor of mine called it “the proof of the pudding.” 

     Like the famous commercial and cinema requests “Where’s the beef?” and “Show me the money!” (except with much greater consequence), uncovering the proof of the pudding means digging a whole lot deeper than mission and vision statements, deeper than promises and PR sound-bites. 

     It means demonstrating –again and again– a total commitment to cultivating your grass roots by delighting every single customer (including those you dislike and those who act wronged when they’re not) with every single encounter, every single day. 

     Hey, nobody said business success was easy to achieve and maintain.  Nine of eleven businesses fail in the first five years, mostly for lack of management skills, which include the ability to exceed customer expectations.   

     If you’re thinking this means lessons can be learned from customer-dedicated “Mom and Pop” approaches to business, you’re right! 

     If the small local grocery store doesn’t consistently provide customers with a little something extra –as the classic Bob Farell customer service training film, “Give ‘Em The Pickle” suggests– the small local grocery store will be gobbled up by giant supermarkets with bigger selections and lower prices. 

     And big companies that don’t give a little something extra earn low trust! 

     This coming week is the perfect time to take inventory of the attitude your business projects to others, and decide what you can do to start building or re-building or shoring up your own consumer confidence index.  It is, after all, all about sales, and customers who trust you because of your deeds will deliver your sales!  halalpiar 

# # #

See Nov 29th post (below) for New Year’s contest prize and rules – Then GO FOR IT!  Emails to Hal@TheWriterWorks.com with “SOUNDS OF THE SEASON” in the subject line.          # # #

Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 104 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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Dec 20 2008

Entering The Great American Work Slowdown







     Like using up a yellow traffic light to get under and past it before it changes to red, this is the time of year to make the most of The Great American Work Slowdown that starts this weekend and lasts until New Year’s weekend’s hangovers have been adequately resolved (probably January 6th or 7th this year depending on whether you use Alka-Seltzer or not!). 

     What is that supposed to mean?  You saying to work while everybody else is partying?  No.  I’m saying take time to relax, take time to be with family (and bury the family-feud hatchets at least for a few tolerable hours), and take some time to reassess where your business is headed and how you’re going to get there.

     Now, I’m not talking corporate types here.  They get downtime all year.but have managed to convince themselves that they work hard and deserve it.  I’m talking about the all-American entrepreneur business owners and managers, and professional practice principals — those who thrive on stress, work 6-7 days a week, and have the ingenuity to make a go of anything that comes along.  If you’re it, you know it.

Take time to assess where you’re headed . . . “Where you’re headed” as in goal adjustments.  Are your goals/objectives specific, realistic, flexible, and due-dated? 

If all four of these criteria are not present by the way, your goals/objectives are simply Disneyland fantasy wishes that are wasting your time, money and energy! 

Take time to reassess how you’re going to get there . . . “How you’re going to get there” as in strategies.  What are the thinking avenues you’re going to take to reach the goals? 

If you lock in both of these, the only place you can fail is with the tactics you use to execute the strategies to achieve the goals — and tactics can be changed in two shakes of a lamb’s tail (which is pretty damn quick if you’ve ever seen a lamb’s tail shake!)

     S L O W   Y O U R S E L F   D O W N. 

     Wear your jeans and take your slippers with a giant cup of coffee or bottle of wine or some sipping brandy.  Park your car somewhere out of sight.  Lose your cell phone.  Play some background music you like.  Light a candle.  Bring your dog.  Take advantage of empty email and voicemail in-boxes. 

     Quiet time in the office can work wonders.  You’ll astound yourself with how much you learn and create and plan when nobody else is around.  You’ll get more done in half a day than you normally would in an entire week. 

     Remember all behavior is a conscious or unconscious choice.  Make a conscious choice to treat yourself to some private quiet business think time.  Oh, and do make written or tape-recorded notes of your rendezvous with your SELF!  They’ll make a great launchpad for your 2009 opening bell!    halalpiar    

# # #

See Nov 29th post (below) for New Year’s contest prize and rules – Then GO FOR IT!  Emails to Hal@TheWriterWorks.com with “SOUNDS OF THE SEASON” in the subject line.          # # #

Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 102 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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