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. |

|
facebookmap

|

| 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.

|
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.

\| bandwagon

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

morganmillerplumbing.com

Advertisements

Top Twelve Unique Urinals

What is it about the urinal that inspires so much creativity? The public fascination may have started in 1917, when Marcel Duchamp revolutionized the art world with a signed urinal on its side he named, “Fountain”.

urinalblogduchamp

Since then, the humble urinal has taken about every form imaginable; from ornate, to innovative, to downright scary.  Here’s a list of the twelve most unique urinals we’ve seen over the years, and as plumbers, we’ve seen our share:

|

|

#12: Guitar Urinal

This electric guitar urinal, commissioned by Billboard Music Brasil,  is hard to top. The pressure-sensitive strings play music while you go, and you can even download an “M-Pee-3” of your urinal masterpiece online afterwards.

urinalblog5

|

|

#11: Horn Urinal

Encore! Here’s another music-inspired urinal out of a pub in Freiburg, Germany. These urinals were crafted from old tenor horns, but good luck getting a concerto out of them. The design has drawn a few complaints from music lovers, but we appreciate the humor and creativity.

Urinalblog10

|

|

#10: Ceramic Art Urinal

The Kohler Art Center out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin has some of the most beautiful urinals on Earth, but this one from artist Ann Agee takes the cake. Painted to look like ceramic dishware, this urinal is an ode to all things water.

urinalblog3

|

|

#9: Guillotine Urinal

Here’s a urinal that will make you think twice before stepping up to it, let alone flushing. This foreboding guillotine urinal is located in Rheinfels Castle, Germany. As if you weren’t vulnerable enough in public restrooms…

UrinalBlog6

|

|

#8: Shark Urinal

On the subject of scary but unique urinals, we give you the Shark urinal from the tourist pirate ship in sunny Puerto Vallarta!

UrinalBlog9

|

|

#7: Venus Fly Trap Urinal

One more for the scary urinal files,  behold the Venus Fly Trap urinal! This fully-functional beauty was crafted by San Francisco artist Clark Sorensen. With its sharps spikes and an asking price of $11,500, we sincerely hope this urinal is only used for decoration.

UrinalBlog7

|

|

#6: Flower Urinals

You know, Clark Sorensen’s work is just too amazing for one entry. His company, Clarkmade, makes some of the most whimsical urinals in existence, and they’re all one-of-a-kind. On his work Clark says, “The contradiction of taking an unsightly urinal and transforming it into a graceful object like a flower or shell is a potent combination.”

UrinalBlog11

|

|

#5: Planter Urinal

Another combination of nature and urinal, this photograph, titled “pisspots”, was taken by Alana Mandel at a university in Austin, Texas. Apparently this bathroom was converted from boy’s to girl’s, so instead of costly renovations, they turned the urinals into planters. Brilliant!

UrinalBlog1

|

|

#4: Tree Urinals

We can’t find much information on this unique set of tree urinals except the location: a Hello Kitty theme park in (where else?) Tokyo, Japan. Personally, I find these guys creepier than the guillotine.

UrinalBlog12

|

|

#3: Super Nintendo Urinal

This fully-functional, fantastically nerdy urinal is made entirely of old SNES game cartridges. If you wanted to make one yourself, the guys who thought it up have in-depth instructions on their blog.

UrinalBlog2

|

|

#2: Glow-in-the-dark Urinal

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, a urinal that glows in the dark. This polyethylene beauty, called “illuminating gloo” was designed by Philip Watts and lit with LEDs. Check out their website for other styles and pricing.

urinalblog4

|

|

#1: Color-changing Urinal

Our last entry is a bit of a mystery; what’s been dubbed the “Thermochromatic” urinal. Based on the image, it seems these urinals are covered with heat-sensitive panels that change colors as you go. But it seems impossible to find any other pictures or information regarding this urinal online, so it may not even exist. Even if it’s only legend, this urinal really gets the imagination…flowing.

UrinalBlog8

|

|

Honorable Mentions:

urinalblog13

UrinalBlogextra

urinalblogfinal

Any urinals we missed? Leave a reply!

www.morganmillerplumbing.com

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

battlephoto

Top 10 Toilets on Planet Earth

Behold, ladies and gentlemen! Without further ado, here are the ten greatest toilets on the planet as of March 15, 2013:

#10: Aquarium Toilet

Fishn'Flush
Looking to add some life to your bathroom? The Fish N’ Flush Toilet is perfect for you! With a 2.2 gallon detchable aquarium piece, this toilet can hold all your fishy friends: and don’t worry about accidentally flushing Nemo, the toilet is separate from the aquarium.

#9: Pipe Toilet


This lime green futuristic toilet was designed by 2-B-2 Architecture with a water droplet in mind, but it’s hard not to notice the resemblance to a smoking pipe. Speaking of smoking…

#8: Incinerating Toilet


This incinerating toilet is produced by Incinolet who say it  “uses electric heat to reduce human waste to a clean, non-polluting ash…uses no water and drains nothing out.” Looks incredible, and sounds great if there’s little water nearby. But how much gas does thing need? And I can’t help imagining it malfunctioning when I sit down…

#7: Golden Toilet


Valued at 5 million dollars, this is the most expensive toilet in existence outside of a spaceship. Why? It’s made entirely out of 24 karat solid gold. Talk about a throne!

#6: Disappearing Toilet


From the flashiest toilet on earth to the most concealed; designed for late night party-goers in London, this public toilet goes underground during the day and lifted hydraulically at night. Manufactured by Urilift.

#5: Green Toilet


This Loowatt toilet recently earned a $100,000 grant from the The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation meant to find affordable plumbing solutions for developing nations. This revolutionary toilet is waterless, chemical free, and most impressively, collects your waste for fertilizer and fuel.

#4: Tech Toilet

pimped out john The Geekiest Toilet Ever : Souped Up John
For those with way too much expendable income,  here’s the ‘Souped Up John’ toilet. It features a TV, TiVo, DVD, XBox, laptop, refrigerator, megaphone and Ipod dock. And a toilet paper holder, if you need that sort of thing for a toilet.

#3: Instrumental Toilet

toilet2
Here’s a toilet that earns its spot based on sheer creativity. A tuba for a bowl, a cymbal & music book for a tank cover? Even if this toilet isn’t functional or even real, it’s just that cool.

#2: Egg Toilet

toilet1
Here’s another toilet that seems to jump straight off the set of a Sci-Fi movie. Located at Sketch in London, these toilets are contained in a series of futuristic, LED-lit pods which hold their own separate bathroom areas. Eggstraordinary!

#1: Transformer Toilet


And our winner? The greatest toilet on Earth is The Ultimate Clean Toilet by Young Sang Eun. As if the innovative Jetsons-like design wasn’t enough, what puts this toilet at #1 is its ability to transform from a standard toilet to a functional urinal with the press of a button.

 

Disagree with any of our choices? Have your own? Leave a reply and let us know!

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

Diary of a Dogsitter

Imagefrom left to right: Dexter, Penny, Moxie

Dear Diary,

I can’t promise you I’m totally sober as I write this…but I have embarked on a new journey this past week, and I think I found God while doing it. It started so pleasant. Me and the dogs: we laughed, cried, shared secrets, pillow fights, really everything you do when dog sitting and then Monday reared its fat ugly face.

ImageWhile driving to the lovely Morgan Miller Plumbing office with the dogs on Monday, some idiot driving a Penske truck in front of me decides he doesn’t like his lane anymore, so reverses right into the front of my car!  Calm down, I know what you’re probably thinking, “my babies! We should have never let this crazy white female watch our beloved animals.” Don’t worry, we all survived without a scratch. My car on the other hand was rushed to the hospital, but Mr. Bonehead will have to pay for that little mistake.

The other bad news… I think Moxie is going to need some intense therapy. (X days) without you guys were pretty hard on her skinny self. In my new whip, a Toyota Yaris (get your laughs out now, I swear it looks like something Yoshi from Mario Bros would drive), the dogs take up the entire car. The defrost couldn’t even keep up as I would drive to work, I am sure it looked hilarious.

Sleeping with Dexter was so nice, it was the closest thing to sleeping next to a man I have had in a while. His snoring was comforting. Moxie’s whole “I wanna be under the covers and now I don’t” was hard to keep up with, but I made it. I found myself sleeping around all three dogs, god forbid I interrupt their sleep. The California King bed felt like a twin at times.
Image

Despite Moxie’s yummy breath and Penny’s needyness, I wanted to say thank you for allowing me to invade your home for the week. I only had 2 parties and only a couple of people (15) swing by. Wink, just playing. I tried to replenish some things, I got a little out of hand and ate your whole box of ChexMix in one sitting… embarrassing. Hey, when in Rome.

Hope your trip was the best family building trip yet! I can’t wait to hear about the debauchery, you better have taken tons of pictures! Thanks again, and please know I would do it all over again if you needed me to.

XOXO,

Your Rent-A-Daughter, Tosha

PS: Moxie and I were involved in some serious staring contests. Listen, I am good but she is really good.

Image

Is the Customer Always Right?

Image

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.

Image