The Social Revolution

With a major recession squeezing small businesses and big business as big as ever, how is a local company supposed to thrive and continue getting its name out to customers? Our answer came in the form of a service most of us use all the time: our Facebook. |

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| In the age of social media, it has never been easier or less expensive to let people know you exist, and that logic also applies to small businesses. Today you can broadcast any message (or offer) to as many people who will listen, for free. People aren’t buying directories anymore, they’re looking up what they need online, and at no cost your business can be a part of it. If you provide a service that’s worth raving about, people will find a way to rave publicly on sites like Yelp. Of course this increased connectedness can work against you, making your company slip ups more visible than ever (see the Amy’s Baking Company debacle for a master class in what not to do). The best way to deal with these public mistakes is to try to take the criticism constructively, remember we’re all human, and try to never make that same mistake twice. In the end, this increased transparency adds up to a more level playing field than ever; where the best have a better chance of rising to the top, regardless of size.

For those companies willing to put themselves out there and “work it”, the rewards can be phenomenal. Every time we hear someone say social media’s just a fad or waste of time, we remember so was rock and roll, so was the internet, the mobile phone. There are 15 million companies on Facebook now. 15 million. Millions more on Linkedin, Twitter, the list goes on. So every time we hear those words, “fad”, we can’t help but think the person’s just in denial, or afraid of change. There are some bandwagons you just have to jump on, or you’ll be left alone in a ghost town, and social media is one of them.

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Social media is the new neighbor on the block. Except instead of talking across a fence, you’re talking across the world. Just wait until figures start coming in about how much commerce has been produced from social media. For our company, it has changed everything. It’s sharpened our skills, made it easier to refer others and find products, to stay updated on our community, and has made conducting business generally more enjoyable. So jump on board the social media bandwagon: we guarantee you’ll be a better, more aware company for it.

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What do you think about this social media revolution? Leave a reply!

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KC Battle of the Brands

We need your help, friends. Morgan Miller Plumbing is in the Epic Eight of KCSourcelink’s Battle of the Brands, and this weeks battle is neck and neck. Voting ends tomorrow at 4pm and every vote counts. We would love the help! The link is below.

http://www.kcsourcelink.com/kc-battle

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Business Outfit or Is Business Your Outfit?

We all get up and get dressed for the day at some point, right? And well if you don’t ever get dressed then chances are you live on a nude beach. But running a business is very similar to getting dressed. Let me explain my reasoning…

Part of the administration team: Jeff and Stella

Part of the administration team: Jeff and Stella

Undergarments: Your administration team. They are very important articles of clothing when dressing; they support, cover, protect and, one can only hope, enhance. Your administration team does all of those things and their importance is crucial when running your day-to-day. You need them.

Shirt: Your employees. Picking the wrong one can ruin your credibility, mess up your whole day, make you feel insecure or show your weakness (pit stains). A shirt is what the people see and judge, like the employees.

James and Tosha with matching mustaches

James and Tosha with matching mustaches

Pants: Your customers. [Are you thinking, “this chick is crazy” yet? Yes? Good, you’re thinking] Your pants cover your legs and your legs are what support your entire system. Without your legs (customers) it makes things extremely difficult to maintain your goals. Customer service is key; pants are key.

Shoes/Accessories: The family/friends of the employees. These things are far more important to some than others. Here is my point, it is VERY rare you go anywhere without shoes, yeah? Chew on that for a minute.

Lastly, it is that final look in the mirror, the spray of perfume/cologne, the reason you reach for the deodorant, it is ultimately the way you want yourself portrayed. Just like your company vehicles, uniforms, pens, website, or facebook. It is what the world sees of you as a whole; how they are going to react to you when you enter a room, the tone you are setting.

Okay okay so I am sure you wanted a point to this blog, right? The point is: think about your outfit, thoroughly. Think about your company and everything that it entails. Do you like your outfit? How does it fit on you?

A few individuals of the Morgan Miller support team

A few individuals of the Morgan Miller support team

Is the Customer Always Right?

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Could you imagine going to work each day dreading the customer you are going to HAVE to work with? How awful would that be? By noon, you’d want to walk out. There is no way a company would stay positive. You could put on your best “fake” voice, but you can only put up with so much disrespect.

Though “the customer’s always right” is commonly accepted, we have learned to say goodbye to many customers over the years. Now, don’t get me wrong…we do NOT take saying goodbye to customers lightly. It is the last thing we want to do, but sometimes in the service industry, it must be done. Confidence in your product or service helps. If you know that your service/product, customer service, work force, and follow up is superb, it’s much easier to say goodbye, though you often wonder why.

Depending on what the customer does to disrespect one of our members, we will generally go through the pros and cons of letting them go, then come to a consensus. Watching fellow employees react to process of “firing a customer” can sometimes be a treat. I say that because in that moment, the employee realizes that the company has their back, no matter what. That in turns creates a workforce that wants the same goals as you, and knows that treating a customer with the upmost respect is extremely important. No one wants to let anyone go after having a bad day, but you also shouldn’t have to bend so far over backwards that you nearly break yourself.

Our workforce knows to do anything and everything possible to ensure our customers plumbing problems are solved quickly, quietly, and neatly. Yet, sometimes this isn’t good enough for some individuals. Constant complaining about pricing, swearing at our technicians, or yelling at the office staff… All of these things and many more are huge red flags to us. It is just like an unhealthy relationship, you know the signs that point to “kick em to the curb” route. Because we do know when to stop bending backwards, we know have many happy, nice, and respectful customers. They then send all their nice family and friends our way. Just remember, you are human too and don’t deserve to be disrespected, at all. Stand up for yourself, employees, and business.

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A “Real” Good Time

Just the other day we had some lumber delivered to our home and being the kind of guy that I am, I quickly struck up a conversation with the delivery man. I asked my new friend, John, how the lumber delivery business was going and his answer made my day. John claimed that he couldn’t keep up, that they had him working day and night. Both John and myself agreed this was a very excellent news indeed.

Filming our latest commercial

Our television rep was in to visit and we got to talking about different things as we usually do. Side note: You see we got lucky with our rep. He has become our friend and advisor, he really gives us his time. Whether he really cares of not, I don’t know, I do know that he shows it and that’s all that matters. Taking care of business. Okay back to the story.. So our rep says that his station is fully booked with ads. That they are breaking records and activity  is at a 5 year high! This is fantastic news, fantastic for everyone!

Just last week I spoke with a painter we network with. Kevin is a great business person and the leads we have given him, he has taken care of right away. In our brief talks Kevin says he has never been busier this time of year, and he has never seen anything like it. This is absolutely wonderful news.. So now you start to wonder where this is taking you…

After all this great news my mind wanders to the men and women we have working here that are under 30ish, in fact, all men and women working anywhere under 30ish. Are they ready for the recovery? They’ve never seen truly prosperous times. They have lived through the horror of 9/11, two wars, and the worst economy since the Great Depression, nearly 100 years ago. What do they know about good times? Then a smile came across my face, of course they are ready.

Our social media team is under 30

They’ve been ready for several years now. Actually they were born ready because they are OUR children and grandchildren. They are going to rock this thing. All we have to do is stand back, guide when necessary, and watch. The recovery is going to be so much fun and rewarding to be a part of.  After eating on a bread and butter diet for most of this century, the steak and potatoes that we are about to gorge on will be that much better.

Especially for those under 30 who have never enjoyed “good times.” Better watch out this thing that we call an economy is about to take off and we have all new leaders at the front of the ship to guide the way. What a blast it shall be! Weeeeeeee….

Oh, I wouldn’t change a thing. Or would I?

When we say I wouldn’t change a thing, do we really mean it? Isn’t there just a bit of curiosity, a bit of wonder about how things might have been?

Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to see what might have been? Without, of course, any ramifications to actually being able to see that uncharted road. Thinking about that possibility leads me to believe that knowing what could have been leads me straight to an eight by ten padded cell. This all directs me to the decisions and choices I am making today.. AH! Even writing this blog has changed everything about my future and though I know that, there is nothing I can do about it nor do I know the outcome. Hell, I could be discovered and be cast in the movie of my life all from this blog. That’s it! I am not moving from this chair ever again, but that changes everything too. If I could see an altered past or future, it doesn’t matter, I am still going nuts over this subject!

Usually my standard answer is always I wouldn’t change a thing, and honestly, I wouldn’t. BUT knowing that one look left instead of right could have changed it all. What if I had applied myself in school a bit more? Maybe getting one percent higher on a test could have meant that I would have gone on to be a sports broadcaster… Nah, I am good.

What if I had said no to some of those mind altering drugs as a teenager. They were fun, I think? This isn’t something we bring up at Christmas dinner but the first time I ever even spoke to my wife, the very first time she ever told me to get lost, I was so out of it that it’s a wonder life continued after that night. Before she drove off that night I informed her of the date we would be married. Believe it or not, that actual date years later ended up being the day we got married so what if I had never said those words. Now, if I hadn’t of been so blotto (for those who do not know blotto is slang for inebriated/tipsy/intoxicated/hammered) we would have never had that conversation. It really wasn’t much of a conversation just her telling me to get lost, I took it as she was diggin’ me.

What if I had not started a plumbing company in 1997? That one bends my mind like no other. In some future blog we will analyze that one. Yikes.

Fact is we all have these moments in time that with one move, one change of heart, our lives would be different. Is it meant to be? Is it all free will? Has it all been predestined? This blog isn’t here to debate all that and as you may have guessed by now, I am no where near smart enough to pick apart or answer those questions. So who knows, for now I get to sweep up dog hair due to a choice made some years back about getting a dog. Or was it the choice of purchasing the computer that we used to find the dog in the first place. Or maybe the choice was made for me when the dog kennel decided to breed the dogs that we had chosen to be part of our family?

Come visit me at the funny farm,only if you want, and we’ll talk all about it. You choose the time and day though, I am not about to.

Once Upon A Time.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, I was cast in the role of a plumber. As the years fly by, trying to find that guy becomes rather tricky. He never seems to have the time to come out and play. And when the time comes that he does have the time to do something, something else seems to get in the way. I miss that guy. The filthy-clothes-after-a-hard-days-work guy. The “wife not letting him in the house until he strips his filthy clothes off” guy. The guy who seemed to jump right into a new project as soon as he got home. Where is that guy? Who is that guy? Sometimes I forget he even existed. The sands of time really do mellow one’s life.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, I was cast in the role of a little boy. A little lad who frolicked through his neighborhood without a worry in the world, where did that guy go? Now, there is someone I haven’t seen for many, many years. One of the magical things about living in the same area your entire life is you get to visit your old haunts quite regularly. These visits can bring back all of the memories in one fell swoop. Sure at times it can be overwhelming, yet, usually it gives great joy to a persons day. When strolling up and down ol’ memory lane of someone’s life things can get extremely intense. You know, the questions, the insecurities that you had during that particular moment, the victories, the losses. Oh, we all have lots of losses. Long ago I read that all we have to do is win 51% of the time and we will be successful. WOW, that leaves lots of room to make your comebacks. We all are familiar with comebacks. Who doesn’t love a good comeback. Sometimes it just slips our mind.

It’s amazing really. The video of our lifetimes. We all have our own bestseller. Our own award winning productions. All of us are famous in our own stories, we all act a little bit don’t we? I acted like a little boy once, although that story is now old and seems to be in black and white, it’s still a classic in the mind of he who wrote the story. We forget about those lands far, far away.

SO much denim

Then I got to play the role of a lifetime, a husband and a father. Now that show has been running for 30 years now. That show has not won any awards but it still holds a great audience level and has given me much joy and lots of great adventures. Who needs awards anyway?

Now I have been asked to play this new character. You know the one.. One who plumbs no more. One who attends meetings, luncheons, and shakes lots of hands. One who encourages those he gets to spend his day with to be the best that they can be. One who watches his children carve out a living in this big, bad, beautiful world. It’s my most challenging role to date and I can’t wait to read the script. Oh what adventures we shall have. It’s no wonder we forget about all of those old characters. Who has the time? Yet it is the old characters who prepared us for the next role and the next scene. I finally understand why that little boy was smiling as he sat on the front porch with a broken left leg waiting to say hi to the mailman. That little boy knew that the adventures he would soon take would make up the story of his life. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that all of us have our very own grand once upon a time..