Naughty and Nice

You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout and I’m telling you why. I’ve made a list. I’ve checked it twice. Here’s this year’s Naughty and Nice:
1.Anyone not reading these articles: Of course, if you see this, then you’re reading now and welcome to our little version of “Ann Landers for Small Business”. Hopefully, you’ll become a regular reader and get yourself into the Nice List next year.
2.Those not taking the advice of these articles: Okay, if you’re not taking the advice of these articles you may not be naughty but you’re at least doing your business a disservice. And, guess what? I know your competitors are applying the lessons to success.
3.Any business that holds a community hostage to meet its demands rather than looking to work collaboratively and with an emphasis on internal operations: I’m not naming names or pointing fingers at anyone specifically but I think we all can take a reasoned guess. The time for strong arm tactics to get what one wants, whether a company, a union, a customer, a community, a council, or a toddler, for that matter, is long gone. We all have a vested interest in the future of our economy. We should all be engaged in it. We need to find creative ways to partner, invest and share in the returns. These aren’t original thoughts; just perhaps unique ones to this part of the world.
4.Those who appear they would rather take a long walk off a short plank above a pool of rabid H1N1-infected hungry piranhas than provide customer service: I’m reminded of a corporate mantra that, paraphrased, states the company is not in the product business selling to people but in the people business selling a product. If you and your employees commit themselves to this fundamental principal of customer service you will, in fact, sell a lot of product and achieve a very loyal and growing following of customers. Those that won’t don’t survive…or at least, lose my business (and give me ideas for future articles!)
5.Finger Pointers: Going back to my January 22nd article, Who are They, Anyways? it’s far too easy for people to point fingers, sling mud, and flat out complain. But it takes a real citizen to get engaged, get involved, and get moving. So, for those of you that point fingers that “they” should do this or do that you definitely get on the Naughty List. Instead of pointing fingers and being part of the problem I suggest you join one of the numerous groups working hard to make this community that you call home a better place or, at least, make a small difference on your own each and every day – I’m sure there’s a piece of trash that’s blown onto your front lawn that needs to be picked up or a neighbour that could use a hand.
1.Regular readers: Thanks, folks! I appreciate all your comments and kind words. Your constructive feedback is welcomed and, in fact, has formed many ideas and topics I’ve covered over the years; including this article.
2.Community groups, service clubs and those who support them by working together for the betterment of the Alberni Valley: Much more than a diverse, stable economy is needed to make a thriving, desirable community. Despite the fact that our local economic base has been far from stable over the past couple of decades it is becoming more diverse and everyone’s efforts to support our sports, arts, nature and, each other, is becoming increasingly noticed by new and potential investors and residents. So, keep up the great work that is vital for the Alberni Valley’s evolution into new economic opportunities.
3.Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce – or, better yet, the senior levels of government for (finally) stepping up to help fund the new Visitor Information Centre: It has certainly been a long row to hoe for the Chamber of Commerce to secure the funding necessary to build a much-needed, highly visible visitor information centre of which our community is proud to have and our growing number of visitors to our community will be attracted into to learn more about us and opportunities for them to enjoy and invest. This challenge purposefully started more than four years ago when, in August 2005, Community Futures provided resources to the Chamber of Commerce to conduct a new visitor information centre feasibility study and business plan. Although it’s been a long, challenging pursuit, it all started with a vision and a purpose – much like every other community focal points such as Harbour Quay, the Multiplex and, of course, every small business.
4.Entrepreneurs: For you sacrifices. For your commitment. For your determination. For your risk. For your potential. For your vision of opportunity and community. Those of you who take the plunge and remain swimming in the water – often with sharks – you absolutely, categorically deserve to be on the nice list and have all your dreams arrive under your tree in the near future.
5.Staff, directors, volunteers and clients of Community Futures; All of you definitely earned your way onto this list for your commitment to the vision and goals of the organization and the collective positive impact that you make towards the economic diversity, stability and vibrancy of our community.
Of course, no year-end article would be complete without a personal acknowledgement. So, as a wink to my significant other, she definitely makes it onto one list by really being on the other. I’ll let you think about that one while she blushes!
Have a great Christmas and Holiday Season!