Hang in There

In this economic downturn, many in the concierge and errand industry are nervous. Rightly so, of course, but there are a few ways to help ride out the low tide: manage your savings as well as your spending, boost your marketing in less-expensive, more bang-for-your buck methods, and remain hopeful that things will improve. Because they will.

People will need errand runners again, because it does “cost” less than trying to manage it all.

Businesses will need concierge services again, because it’s one of the best ways for a company to stay competitive when recruiting the best talent.

And we’ll be there, because we did what was necessary to remain viable. We take care of our customers, and we take care of ourselves.

Concierge in a Box Registered by USPTO

We are pleased to announce the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted registration of trademark for our service product, Concierge In A Box. Hard work (and lots of waiting!) has its rewards.

Reach Out!

People volunteer for a wide variety of reasons, especially wanting to help others. But it’s also OK to want some benefit for yourself. You may wish to learn something new, build your resume, make new friends, or be part of a team. Instead of considering volunteering as something you just do for people who are not as fortunate as yourself, begin to think of it as an exchange.

Consider that most people find themselves in need at some point in their lives. So today, you may be the person with the ability to help, but tomorrow you may be the recipient of someone else’s volunteer effort.

In these tough times, pay it forward.

Whether it be time, friendship, experience, elbow grease or good old cash, you have something to offer to improve the world around you.

No Junk Mail, Please!

Simplify Your Life! Take steps to have your name removed from mailing lists.

Tell companies with whom you do business to NOT give out your name and address.

When you order from a catalog or subscribe to a magazine, include a note stating, “Do not rent, trade, sell or give away my name, address or phone number.”

To reduce junk mail you are already receiving, send a postcard stating “Please remove my name from Direct Mail Marketing Lists” to:

Direct Mail Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

Be sure to list any variations in the spelling of your name, address, and the names of other household members.

I Loathe the Word Consistency

Makes me think of pudding! But, in the land of restaurants and hospitality and any business that has a customer (wait, that’s all of us!), consistency is key.

We can be consistently good or consistently bad — either way, we’ll have our share of customers. It’s the businesses that seem to get it right half of the time that flail and fail quickly. The customer never knows what to expect when you’re about to shell out your hard-earned cash.

Every business can have its moments — a chef leaves and the transition is rocky, a (usually outstanding) employee brings their bad day into work with their uniform. It can be the kiss of death these days.

How to survive such trouble? Own it. Apologize to a customer. Buy a dinner. Take the employee off the floor to allow them to take a breath (but, for goodness sake, do it privately!). Accept that mistakes happen, make it right, and move on. Customers that know you are putting forth the effort to get them to come back, are going to come back! It seems like a no-brainer, but too many places just don’t get it.

Work / Life Balance in the United States (or lack thereof):

One of my favorite quotes is “Stop the world, I want to get off!” Don’t remember who said it, or when, or in what context — but it says it all these days. People seem to go faster to get further behind. I don’t think it’s even to keep up with the Joneses anymore — it’s just survival in a world that’s trying to run you over.

Here are a few statistics:

  • Forty-two percent of college students and recent graduates said what they value most when making a career decision was work/life balance — more than money (26%), advancement (23%), or location (9%). JOBTRAK.COM
  • Since 1969, family time for a working couple has shrunk an average of 22 hours per week. U.S. GOVERNMENT
  • Every dollar invested by the employer toward an employee’s well-being delivers a $10 ROI. INTEGRA, INC.

That’s why I decided to do what I do. Yes, it’s a job — but it’s pretty cool to help people not be the cheese at the end of the rat race.

Great (old) customer service read: It’s Not My Department! How America Can Return to Excellence — Giving and Receiving Quality Service by Peter Glen

Though it was first published in 2002, and some of the examples feel a decade older than that, anyone can translate the ideas and spirit of this book into their own circumstances. It’s practical, and in the fast world of ‘eat or get eaten’, who has time for anything else?

It’s good and you can find it at the library or pick up an inexpensive used copy.