Professionalism – Is It Dying?

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I recently received an invite via Facebook to join a new networking group. This is a group that is being organized by someone local to me who owns a marketing company (yes, that technically makes her a competitor) and is doing this using Meetup.com.

I was tempted to attend the inaugural meeting. After all, you never know which networking opportunities can be beneficial if you don’t try them out.

My hesitation, and what ultimately cinched my decision to not attend, was the poor English in that event’s Facebook page. Typos, poor grammar, incorrect verb/noun matching…it made me cringe with how unprofessional it looked.

Furthermore, I’ve been to the company website for this event’s founder and it, too, was riddled with typos (a marketing company that misspelled “brochure”) and less than stellar English usage.

This could be a great event. I, however, prefer to have my business associated with organizations that uphold the same level of professionalism that I try to attain and uphold.

Is it just me, or is professionalism on the want? Have we, as a society, adopted a lackadaisical attitude in the way we present ourselves in business situation?

When did it become acceptable to use a Chamber networking event as an excuse to get drunk?

When did spell check become a nasty phrase?

Why are poor grammar and typ0s acceptable if we’re sending messages from our phones? (I hate those “Please excuse any typos. This was sent from my xxx phone.”)

Maybe I’m all alone up here on my little soapbox, but I think that our business demeanor should be professional – from appropriate dress to proper grammar to good phone etiquette and more. Sure, inject humor and your own personality into it, but keep it clean, appropriate and business-like.

Am I really all alone up here on this soapbox?

Being a Solopreneur and Getting Sick

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So being sick is no fun in the work world. My husband has been sick and has been going in for at least 1/2 days – after all, in this atmosphere where everyone fears for their job, not being there means the boss may decide s/he can get along without you by making everyone else take a piece of your load. So, you go in sick…exposing everyone else to what you’ve got…and making your own recuperation that much slower.

Now, what if you’re a solopreneur, like me. Although I have other small businesses that I partner with to help Lev Promotions provide a full array of services to its clients, I am Lev Promotions. Me, myself and I with no one else. When I’m sick, business could conceivably come grinding to a screeching halt. So, what happens?

Well, technology certainly helps. With a SmartPhone and  laptop computer, I can conduct business from my sick bed.

A good relationship with my clients is a saving grace. I know that most will understand if I am a bit slower to respond if I am sick (or on vacation or away on business). They also know that I will do whatever is humanly possible to work with them to fill their needs at all times. If a delay is caused by something in my life, they know that I will work even harder to do so.

For those who don’t understand that everyone is human and gets sick sometimes, I still go the extra mile. After all, it is a business relationship and I appreciate their business, too.

What usually suffers is the pipeline of prospects. It’s tough to call a prospect on the phone when you can barely speak for all the coughing or you have no voice. It’s not a great first, or second, impression. That means that new business might be down for a week or so once I’m back on my feet. I’ve got some contingencies built in for that, but it always hurts to know that being on your own may have cost you some business opportunities when you’re not running at 100%.

All-in-all, being sick is never a pleasant way to get out of a bit of work.

Stay healthy my friends.

Trade Show Season Begins

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In the world of trade shows, all the buzz right now is about CES – the Computer Electronics Show – happening in Vegas right now.  It’s a big enough and important enough show to even make the evening news.

January 2nd marked the beginning of the 2013 trade show season. Not all the shows will be as talked about as CES. Many will come and go with barely a whisper spoken about them. Nevertheless, every trade show holds importance to that industry’s professionals.

If you’re planning on exhibiting at a trade show any time this year, now is the time to start your preparations. In fact, if your particular show is less than four months away and you’re not already working on your booth, personnel and marketing materials, you have some serious catch-up to do. (Yes, Lev Promotions can help!)

Personally, I will be attending the promotional products industry’s biggest trade show of the year next week. I’ll be in Vegas for five days getting education on various marketing subjects, meeting with my preferred suppliers, getting to know new ones on the scene and seeing what the “hot, new” promotional products for 2013 are.

Am I excited? You betcha! I love this show. It gives me the opportunity to touch base with people I communicate with all year-long but only get to see in person once or twice a year. I get to learn new marketing techniques that I can pass onto my clients and use to build my own business. And, I get to see, touch, hear and even taste my supplier’s offerings.

If you have any upcoming marketing needs or events that I should keep in mind when I’m walking the show floor looking for new ideas, just let me know.