Business First Impressions

Week Fifteen

Lubbock catering Liz and Lubbock lawn care Josh were both a bit late to our prayer meeting and so I shamed them and told them I even considered shunning them. They didn’t seem to worry about my silliness. When we did get down to prayer topics, Liz thanked us for praying for last week’s employee firing. She said that the now ex-employee took it well – no rambunctious temper tantrums or death threats. This person just said that they appreciated the opportunity to learn from the job and admitted that they probably needed to be fired. A bonus was that this person still vowed friendship with Liz. God is good. This week, Josh was the one with a specific prayer request – He said that he was really starting to feel burned out from his job (the topic last week hit him in the gut). He asked that we pray for him as he was thinking about hiring someone to take some of his work off of him – someone to work on the bigger maintenance issues. He has the budget for someone but it would make him have to tighten the belt some. So, we lifted this up in prayer as well as some other general prayers for our families and our businesses. It was good and I think productive.

The main speaker for the week was a local coffee shop owner who was battling the forces of national chains. He told us a little about how to build a loyal fan base by offering cheaper options and setting up the shop in such a way to make people experience a more intimate and comfortable shop to hang out in – lighting, psychologically pleasing colors, super clean bathrooms, a lot of plugs for those who work away from a traditional office, etc. This part of the talk reminded me some of the Feng Shui speaker, but it differed enough to make it an interesting subject. He said that he didn’t really buy into this stuff at the beginning, but after taking polls and asking customers to offer advice, he realized that these were vital pieces to add-on. He also talked about the power of an entrepreneurial spirit and how being an owner in a competitive environment can drive you to be more creative than otherwise. He told us to see competitors as catalysts for being more creative. As far as results, he said that they now have a very solid fan base that wouldn’t go anywhere else but his coffee shop. I had never been to his place, but I decided right then and there to become a frequent visitor. I wondered what it would be like if our group met there at his coffee house rather than where me meet now. I guess I’ll have to see the space for myself before making that suggestion.

How about you? What do you think about using local businesses instead of going to chain businesses? I’m interested and want to know what you think local stores can do to grab your attention and your loyalty. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

When trouble comes…

There is an issue that I have never had to write about before because I never really had property damage, fire damage, etc. Basically I have never had to use insurance claim adjusters because my life has been free from the damage. But, not too long ago I wasn’t paying attention and I did some fair amount of fire damage to my kitchen and the hallway leading into. Don’t do what I did – Stupid. At the time, I didn’t know what to do at all. I figured I was just going to have to pay for it – but I had renter’s insurance. I thought maybe they would come out and check my place out and then pay me to fix it. I asked my friend what they thought and they told me that they had had similar things happen to them, but instead with water damage. They told me that there were a lot of insurance claims adjusters online and that I needed to call one of them and they would make sure I got the right amount – the best deal. I live just outside Dallas and so I typed in “Dallas public adjuster.” That’s what my friend suggested – so I went with it. I looked at several pages (because I’m not one of those who just roll with the first few results. Anyway, I called two of them but was not satisfied with how they explained their services. Then finally I found one called Abba Claims and when I called I felt very good about how they not only cared about my problem but also promised that they would get me that best deal. All I can say is that everything turned out better than okay. They led me through the whole process and they walked alongside me as my personal claims people. Now, I’m not looking to have any more fire damage just so I can work with them again, but if I ever did I would use these guys again – no doubt.

This is their mission statement: Guided by our relentless focus on excellence and the highest standards of professional conduct in the field of public adjusting. We are committed to conducting our business with honesty and integrity, and in accordance with the licensing laws of the State.  We constantly strive to implement the critical initiatives required to achieve our vision. In doing this, we will deliver excellence in every aspect of our business and meet or exceed our commitments to the valued customers we serve.

So, it’s excellence aimed for and it is excellence delivered at Abba Claims. (I should market for them, huh?)

What have you done about your water damage or fire damage claims? Have you ever had one before? How did they treat you? I’m interested in what you have to say about your whole process. So, please send me your comments and advice. I want to know if you feel like you got the best deal on your insurance claim. Thanks in advance…

Marketplace Prayer

Week Thirteen

As prayer time pre-meeting was about to get started, Liz brought in some of her Lubbock catering food to us so that we could start our days off right. Josh said that it was a perfect gift since he hadn’t had a chance to have breakfast and he really needed to fill his belly to get ready for the lawn care jobs he had lined up for the day. I had already grabbed a bagel before our prayer, but I had no problem gobbling up a couple of extra breakfast chicken sandwiches. Liz said that she had brought more than enough for the entire group to feast on – she wanted to bless the whole business group. Liz is a cool lady. Anyway, prayer was good and I was the focus since I was going to speak about marketplace ministry in a few minutes. I don’t mind public speaking as long as it is covering something that I feel passionate about – I am definitely passionate about bringing God into the mix of everything in life. I did wonder how the whole group would take it, but I had to surrender this worry in our early prayer. I figure people can take it or leave it…

So, I was the speaker for the day and I told everyone about what Josh, Liz and me have been doing as far as prayer before the main meetings. I talked about what we all noticed as far as the positives of this time and suggested that others in the group might think about forming small groups to bring prayer into their businesses. I also recommended to these bosses and leaders that they offer some sort of prayer and/or Bible study time to their workers. After all, most people spend most of their lives in the workplace and could probably use a supernatural boost. In the dialogue time, there were some concerns raised about how this might go over at the workplace – would the workers who didn’t want to participate feel like they were going to be looked at in a negative light in comparison to those who did decide to participate. I just answered that it would have to be made very clear that this was a completely voluntary choice and not one that would affect workers’ jobs. I also said that one small group could be formed by someone who was not in leadership so that people would find it more organic. Most of the people there admitted that even though they were people of faith, they didn’t even bring their businesses to God in their own private prayer times. They said that they had so compartmentalized their faith and their work that they didn’t ever cross paths. Many of them said that they would begin the process by first letting their prayers catapult over their own compartmentalized barriers. Only then did they think it would be a good idea to bring prayer into their workplaces.

 

I got the feeling that my speaking topic really made people think about their spiritual lives and how they could affect their work lives. I also got the added benefit of seeing people who wanted to break down their life compartments and bring God into their personal prayers about their businesses while at home. Liz and Josh said that I did a really good job with the whole thing. They said that they overheard one group of three commit to starting a prayer meeting like the one we have. That will be cool to look around and see three more people praying when we are praying. I’m thankful for the day – Please comment on what you think about this whole thing – feel free to ask whatever questions you have. Thanks in advance.

Food and Prayer

Week Six

Me and my Lubbock lawn care buddy, Josh, met up early again to pray about how to implement what we were learning in this group. We also did more surrender of our businesses to God so that He can direct us in which ways to go with our staff and our decisions moving forward. We actually had the Lubbock catering businesswoman named Liz join us for about the last ten minutes. Turns out that she is a Christian who already uses prayer within her leadership group at work. We were happy to have her because she is so experienced with bringing the Lord into the marketplace. It was a short addition this week, but we invited her back for next week and she agreed to join us.

As for the talk of the week, we had a banker who did a few reviews of helpful business books (Outliers, Who moved my Cheese?, Diffusion of Innovations, etc.). It was actually cool because in his reviews he brought out the most important points of these books and showed us how we could implement them in our everyday workings. I have to admit that this was especially nice for me because I do not invest myself in business books. At best, I read the backs of books and maybe the last summary chapter while in a random Barnes and Noble. Then I head to magazine aisle and read meaningless Entertainment and Sports news. Smart businessman, huh?

Anyway, after the talk there were several people who asked some intriguing questions and even more who gave their own suggestions for books that had seemingly changed the way they went about doing business. One of them talked about how to implement the contents of these books into real-life. This was cool because I tend to ignore book ideas because I figured they couldn’t be used in the local market. Now I am thinking I could grab a few books and see if I can become a better businessperson. I am thinking about expanding my staff so I’ll seek out a book that talks about smart human resources.

Okay – that’s it for this week. Please feel free to send your comments about books I might check out for this specifically. Or if a book has changed your life or perspective send those titles my way. This group is teaching me to take other people’s opinions and apply them to my own world. But, I know there are plenty of you out there who can add to my knowledge. Help a brother out…

Till next time –