Posts tagged networking

Come On, Get Happy!

Jason Training Employees at Bal Harbour ShopsI get asked a lot about how I always seem so happy. The answer is simple: I love what I do and who I do it with.

OK, the dry cleaning and rug & drapery cleaning business admittedly isn’t the most glamorous… But my team is. No matter the industry, a business is ultimately about the people. As a team, we make each other happy… what’s more glamorous than that?

When I first started Sudsies and Rugsies, I spent a lot of time finding others who share my vision and caring passion. Having a commonality in our emphasis on integrity and character makes it authentic and easy to work with one another. Together, we’ve created a culture, a real community, where we thrive on helping each other and our clients. Even when one of us is having an off day, the smiles and support from the other members transfer back that positivity.

Want to know what else keeps me happy? Giving people a purpose, myself included. It’s not enough to just be surrounded by great people; the group should serve greatness too. I enjoy helping others, not only by providing them a position within the company, but also by ensuring that they receive every opportunity to learn, grow, and be empowered to find their highest role. It could be sending them to continuing educations seminars, providing leadership guidance, or granting them the freedom to get creative when assuring that the client has that above-and-beyond experience that bonds them to both the person and the brand.

So there you have it, my secret to happiness. Yes, it first has to come from within, although helping others also find a piece of contentment is what sustains an overall deep satisfaction for all… The best way to jumpstart your own journey to happiness is simple. Smile!


Personify Your Business Through You

Jason with client Robin talking a sudiesIn my career as a small businessman, one of the things I’m most proud of is the brand Sudsies and Rugsies have come to represent. While clean clothes and carpets are valued, at the end of the day, our customers identify most with our can-do attitude and friendly smiles. Our team enlivens those happy faces that swirl around our logos. We truly live like the organization we present.

Think about your favorite brands. Each represents a unique personality, but all have the following in common when connecting with their audiences.

They’re Clear:

It’s important to be both clear and transparent. Be open and honest. Know who you are and keep it concise.

They’re Consistent:

If you exhibit one behavior one day and another the next, people will be left scratching their heads. Yes, change in the form of evolution is important to continue growth and relevancy, but at the core, know who you are. Don’t deviate from your foundational beliefs. That goes for your team too. Fill your team with members who share in your passion – it makes for much more authentic culture. Consistency also applies to the level of service… clients need to feel they can count on you EVERY TIME.

They’re Compelling:

A business provides a product or service… a brand represents the personality that transforms the product or service into an experience. Honor the spirit and spark within you every day; in every connection you make. Think about what drives you and use that to find new ways to reach both loyal and new clients.

Whether you own your own business or are employed by one, YOU ultimately convey what the brand is about. So, live like you are that brand. Remember you inject life into an otherwise inanimate entity. If you apply this approach, I think you’ll find an even greater joy in both your professional and personal lives.

Here’s to a brand new you!


Will You Tell a Friend?

One of the best sources of new customers is referrals. They are pre-qualified by our existing customers to get something out of our services and are likely to already have a favorable view. It’s also the highest testament to how we are currently running our business. If we’re doing a good job, people tend to share their experience with their friends.

But sometimes our customers need a little encouragement, or simple reminding, to make that referral. Similarly, I hope that your membership experience with the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce has been a positive and rewarding one. If we’ve fulfilled our promise, I encourage you to tell your friends, colleagues and other contacts about the benefits of joining our organization.

I can’t believe that it’s been 17 years since I joined the Chamber. I’m proud of its growth and we are able to accomplish bigger and better goals every day because of the diversity and strength of the group. Along the way, I’ve met so many individuals who have inspired me, mentored me, or even did a simple favor that helped catapult my business, as well as help me grow as a professional. Everyday, I enjoy reconnecting with old colleagues, many of whom have become friends too, but also meeting new faces at the Chamber and drawing from their own fresh ideas.

We always refer to the passion of our members, and I urge you to remember that part of that passion is sharing the Chamber with others. Tell your contacts. If the Chamber grows, we also grow as members. More minds means more resources and power to tap into. We not only have a first rate-network representing a broad spectrum of industries, but a world-class community with economic vitality, social purpose and connected residents.

Miami Beach is truly a sophisticated city, running on a global scale. Within there is so much talent and perspectives that we could all learn from. As Chamber members, it is our duty to also help them in achieving their aspirations. So start spreading the word!

At your service,

Jason Loeb.


Give Some Summer Lovin’

I guess the adage “time flies when you’re having fun” is really true, as Summer always seem to speed by so quickly. Just one month left before it’s back-to-school for the kids and back-to-the-grind for us. Hopefully, you are able capture quality time with a family vacation, but this time of year also presents the perfect opportunity to reconnect with our professional family.

Think of all your advocates: contacts, mentors, loyal customers, etc. While they have contributed to your business tremendously, have you done anything recently to return the support? If not, this is the month to do so. Understandably, it takes enormous time and effort to build and grow our business with varying meetings, tasks, and initiatives tugging for our attention, but it’s also important every once in awhile to stop and recognize our successes to date… and how we got here. I suggest reaching out to these people to show your appreciation. It could be a loyalty rewards program, scheduling that lunch you’ve been talking about doing for the past six months, or a simple note to say hello and thank you. In business, money may motivate, but people are the true resource in helping you achieve your goals. Plus, it’s the human connection that makes work enjoyable and worthwhile.

Express your gratitude, then pay it forward. Find a promising up-and-comer or a start-up with a compelling mission and lend your support. We all need a little help sometimes, even if its just advice and guidance. Miami Beach is an inspiring background in which to pursue a dream, and this city’s success and sustainability relies on its community working to help one another realize these aspirations.

I hope this summer leaves you refreshed and ready for the upcoming high season. Remember to enjoy and take advantage of these quieter moments, for they can be just as valuable as career peaks. In the meantime, we at the Chamber are always available and happy to help you make the right connections.

At your service,

Jason Loeb

Chairman

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3 Steps to Making Great Business Connections

Here at the Chamber, we always talk about the power of relationships. Our team works hard to bring our membership events that create an ideal setting in which to make these connections. But in the end, it all comes down to one thing: your ability to network.

Networking is imperative to growing a business, yet it’s a daunting task for many. Some thrive within a crowded room… others shrink at the thought of facing so many strangers in one place. Successful networking doesn’t require a certain personality, but it does take a few key skills. Here are a few tips to help maximize your time at next Chamber event, or any networking function:

  • Genuinely get to know the person:  Have you ever returned from an event with a pile of business cards, but no real idea of any of the people behind them? The “speed dating” approach certainly gets you in front of a lot of people, but rarely results in qualified leads. Spend a little extra time with each person you meet. Talk to them about their aspirations for their business first and offer your assistance in meeting those goals. Once at ease, they’ll be more apt to want to hear about you. Then its your turn to shine and state your needs.
  • Search for commonality:  Wallflowers can’t expect the introductions to magically happen. Sure, it can be intimidating going up to someone you don’t know, so search for people you’re likely to have something share something with. It could be a conversation about tennis you just overhead or a article of clothing you admire. It gives you a good jumping point to spark the conversation, but also establishes commonality. People like and want to do business with others whom they relate to.
  • Get comfortable:  Yes, sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone to make things happen, but you don’t want to be a complete outsider either. When RSVPing to networking events, think about the type of people and places you want to be around. After all, it is these contacts with whom we will hopefully be working with long-term. Sustainable relationships can’t be forced…If you can’t relate to the overall vibe of a networking event, chances are, you won’t feel comfortable with doing business with the people found there.

Networking is like a boomerang, help others and they’re more apt to help you. Perhaps you won’t meet as many people in a night (luckily, we have plenty of activities planned for you to capture time with hopefully all our members), but I assure you that these approaches will open avenues that are more effective and meaningful for your business.

At your service,

Jason Loeb

Chairman

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Miami Beach Chamber 90th Gala & Silent Auction

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our 90th Dinner Gala and Silent Auction. 2012 is a historic year for the Chamber as we celebrate the many successes of our leadership, business partners, community, and most importantly, you as our devoted members. All your hard work has proven that indeed high tides raise all boats, and Miami Beach has managed to even further bolster its reputation as the world’s greatest city in which to live, work and play.

As the gateway to the United States, the mere mention of “Miami Beach” conjures up visions of a posh, sophisticated destination for the local, national and global jetsetter.  Our urban paradise is a unique combination of Manhattan hustle, Los Angeles glamour, and Maui fun-and-sun. Amidst all our grand offerings, it is often forgotten that Miami Beach is actually a small and intimate island with devoted locals who invest in their community.  This is what really makes us thrive, what makes us resilient, and what makes us successful.

This year’s honorees depict specific strengths. From raising our children in a Grade A level high school, to combining professional and personal passion as a community leader, to accelerating the transportation and accommodation of incoming guests, to building a premier medical facility, to enlivening the rare South Beach quality of life, the resulting successes of each individual has made lasting contributions to our incredible city.

I am a true product of the Chamber. Upon starting my own business, I sought out this organization for guidance and received more than I ever anticipated.  Besides forging solid business relationships, my membership has been a source for personal ones as well.  Looking forward, I am reassured that our momentum will drive us to new heights under incoming Chairman Alan Lips and looking forward to assisting in new ways.

On behalf of the entire Board of Governors, Pillar Board of Trustees and our committed Chamber staff members, thank you for your gracious support.

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Sweat the Small Stuff

A lot of people ask me how I’m able to maintain my endless enthusiasm for business. Well, I’ll tell you my secret?…. I sweat the small stuff.

No, I don’t panic when problems crop up or become enraged when things don’t go as planned. I focus on the minor details that can make or break a company. The big picture is good, but it’s the brushstrokes that build the overall image. Similarly, adherence to our business strategy lies in ensuring the supporting tactics are in place.

Look at your company from every angle – is every procedure, employee and product in line with your strategy? Believe me, one rouge component can break down the entire process. An overly tedious procedure, surly employee or inferior piece of equipment can also hinder the ability of other departments to perform. As a result, what was once a seemingly minor glitch has escalated into a real hinderance, affecting your product, service, or worse, the relationship with your customer.

Some details to consider:

Your Team: Hire people who share your passion. Once you have your dream team, pay attention to them. Are they getting the tool they need to succeed? What opportunities can you provide your superstars that supports both their and your company’s growth?

Products: Don’t be afraid to invest! How can you create an excellent product or service from sub-par equipment? The long-term benefits far exceed the short-term savings. Your challenge lies in using these excellent resources efficiently.

Processes – Look at the operations of every department. More importantly, look at the communication amongst them – how are they interacting?  Each department can do a superior job within their respective function, giving you a lot of great parts to work with. However, they’re no use to your customer if they’re not assembled into a desirable product.

Promote – So now you have a great product, but how are you going to make money if no one knows about it? Whatever your marketing plan, make sure it relays your strategy. The same goes for networking. Connect with the right people, ask the right questions and get involved. Here is where the Chamber comes in!
Indeed, the details are tedious, but if you take the time to study and addresses them, it will be well worth it. Don’t believe me? The proof can be found in any of Monet’s great Impressionism works. Those tiny dots on their own are mere dabs of color, but given enough thought and attention, they meld together to form a beautiful, tangible vision.

At your service,

Jason Leob

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.


Welcome Note

“A rising tide lifts all boats” has always been a favorite mantra of mine. John F. Kennedy coined the phrase in a 1963 speech, and the proverb has echoed ever since as we’ve endured waves of thriving and challenging economies. While its various interpretations have been praised by some and criticized by others, I believe the key to individual success indeed lies in a balanced, supportive community.

We’re all business people, but we’re also residents striving for a work-life balance. As professionals, we aim to provide our customers a superior product and experience. In turn, we expect the same in our own daily life events. A desirable society relies upon a cohesive collaboration of organizations, from grocery store trips to tourism offerings. The Chamber is about bringing companies together to meet one another, but to also work together in creating opportunities and experiences unique to this community. Miami Beach boasts a glamourous history and remains high on the local, national and international radar, in part because it’s always evolving. Most recently, this island hotspot has transformed into a well-rounded business, entertainment and cultural mecca with its landmark structures like the Miami Beach Convention Center, New World Symphony Hall and Mount Sinai Medical Center, as well as key events such as Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach International Fashion Week and (fittingly) Miami International Boat Show. Each has grown in great magnitude and prestige, fulfilling what a well-heeled traveler values in a global destination and what a resident enjoys in their own backyard.

This is all not without relationships. As Miami Beach Chamber members, we have access to a great network and can build upon each other’s achievements. Take advantage of meeting opportunities and value your networking contacts as partners. Uncover their needs and goals. Some you may be able to help with, some not, but make your relationship an active one – successful people believe in their business, but champion their peers as well. In turn, voice what you have to offer this community and what you need from it to grow. You’d be surprised at who may hold the key to helping you achieve your goals. Finally, along with professional and personal duties, we have a social responsibility. Identify a cause close to your heart and fight for it with direct involvement.

I choose to embody the proverb above by offering my support to each of you. Through every ebb and flow, remember your advocates. Let them support you, but more importantly, offer your support to them. Smooth sailing.

At your service,
Jason Loeb
Chairman of the Board, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.