Posts tagged Sudsies

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!


What’s More Positive than a Smile?

When I started Sudsies more than two decades ago, I thought really hard about what type of organization it should be. If my team and I were going to immerse ourselves in the business, it might as well be an environment that we enjoy coming into everyday. Furthermore, in an industry filled with negative connotations, I knew I had to stand out from the rest of the South Florida dry cleaners out there.

Then I thought, what’s more positive than a smile? Bingo, that was my brand.

Image-wise, our focus is pretty evident. We are a luxury dry cleaner, but slick, high-end graphics take a back seat to smiley face themes, bubbly trucks, and playful language.  But it wasn’t just enough to incorporate smiling into our business, we had to make it our business. I’ve discovered that people really don’t really care what you know; it’s how you make them feel. I had faith that we had the finest technology and skilled technicians, but what separates a good business from a great business is going above your core competencies. Thus, along with clean clothes, our mission includes providing our customers and fellow staff free smiles. Some small, but smile-inducing added services we provide include carrying clothes out to our customers’ cars, aiming to complete orders earlier than promised date, and recognizing customers on their birthdays and anniversaries.

Of course, none of this is sustainable without a strong team. One of the things I’m most proud of for Sudsies is the culture we’ve created. We are a family unit. When we hire, we select for attitude over experience. In fact, many of my greatest team members and managers joined Sudsies without any dry cleaning or laundering experience what-so-ever. Yet, I saw their innate enthusiasm, energy, and positivity – I can’t teach that, but I can always train them for skills. Ongoing education and professional development courses not only provide them the skills they need, but also help them discover what aspects of the business they truly enjoy, thus can thrive in. For me, there is no better way to put a smile on someone’s face than giving him/her the opportunity to succeed.

So when you see a Sudsies smile, know what it’s genuinely real. It’s truly our pleasure to serve 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.


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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Your Happy Staff

Job Satisfaction!

Ever wonder where all your time goes? According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average work day accounts for nearly 41% of our day (sleeping claims another chunk at 32%). As leaders, we probably dedicate even more time to our companies. This statistic underscores the importance of the adage “love what you do.” Otherwise, that is a lot of unhappy hours you’re allowing to pass by.

The health and sustainability of a company is rooted in the job satisfaction of its employees. The secret is simple: build a positive company culture. Sure, business is a serious matter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t incorporate a little play into the professional mix. For example, my team at Sudsies recently created a “Smile Campaign” highlighting the many positive personalities across South Florida. Some of you may have seen the yellow happy face photos indicative of the initiative. It’s simple, but also contagious (come on, it’s nearly impossible not to respond to big smile) and a great way to get both employees and customers involved and build upon their relationship. Who knew dirty clothes could be so fun?

As a tourism-based economy, it is our duty to be warm and welcoming to our visitors and fellow residents. People frequent venues they feel good about, otherwise they’ll move on. The only way to create this authentic quality service is to embed it in your company culture. This relies on us having the right attitude, talking the talk and walking the walk…all while grinning. Your employees are dedicating substantial hours to helping grow your business – why wouldn’t we make their time here as enjoyable as possible? So come on, get happy. Putting a little creative business spin on the “Field of Dreams” prophecy, if you build it with positivity, the customers will come.

At your service,

Jason Loeb

Chairman

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What is your mission statement?

This week, I’d like to take a moment and go back to our roots. Miami Beach has certainly undergone a series of transformations since the Chamber’s humble, yet enthusiast beginnings in 1921. But one thing that has remained constant over the past 90 years is our mission. The Chamber statement is simple:

To promote the economic well-being of Miami Beach’s citizens, to improve the quality of life for the entire community, and to communicate the view of the business community on major issues of public policy.

I stand by the notion that it is in fact the people that deliver on an organization, a community. However, there needs to be an anchoring force that focuses these people’s passion and ensures their efforts are maximized in the right direction. A mission statement does just this. At the Chamber, we have grown from a small umbrella stand to a state-of-the-art facility, and have capitalized on the Art Deco Renaissance, Rat Pack days and celebrity flockings. But throughout all the glamour, the our mission statement calls us back to business.

To enjoy the art, culture, environment, social causes and general beauty of our environment, we must be economically viable. I go back to my mantra, “ a rising tide lifts all boats” – it’s not about just a few select companies, everyone should be working together to assist each other, in all fields, to achieve a well-rounded and sustainable city.

As members, we should be remembering just that. Help all your fellow members and businessmen, even if they don’t immediately seem connected with your industry. Business is more intertwined than first meets eye both economically and socially and what might not initially seem to benefit you directly at first could very well lead to long-term success in terms of your company and/or the growth and offerings of the neighborhood in which you also live and play. Most importantly, our mission statement reminds us to use our business savvy for good: to ensure that our efforts are minding the entire community, and that the results trickle down to all Miami Beach’s personal and professional residents.

We thank our members as the driving force behind the Chamber’s many mission accomplishments. Now, take a moment to reflect on your own business….What is your mission statement?

At your service,
Jason Loeb
Chairman.


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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Miami Beach Education Foundation: Nominees 2012

In business, community and personal relations, education is the binding element that allows for growth in each these sectors of life. What’s so neat about education is that it’s a never-ending process, no matter how much knowledge you obtain. Even more important are the relationships you develop with your teachers along the way. It’s more than learning just facts, but experiencing life lessons that inspire you. Education is an incredible process that every student should have ready access to and that every teacher should be able to readily impart.

In an effort to jumpstart quality learning for our children, the Miami Beach Chamber Education Foundation was created to support our public education system. As a community, we should be building up to our schools, not cutting their resources. Part of this process includes highlighting the individuals within who excel in nurturing our youth. April 27th marks our the presentation  of the annual Elayne Weisburg Excellence in Education Award. One teacher from Miami Beach Senior High School, as well as from each of its feeder schools – Treasure Island Elementary School, North Beach Elementary School, Ruth K. Broad K-8 Center, Nautilus Middle School, South PointeElementary School, Fienberg Fisher K-8 Center and Biscayne Elementary School – has been nominated for his/her outstanding work. I’m pleased to announce that this year’s nominees are:

Jacqueline H. Adler, Biscayne Elementary School

Olga Bichachi, Treasure Island Elementary School

Gussie Bowen, Miami Beach Senior High

Dorothy Brochey, Nautilus Middle School

Benjamin E. Groff, South Pointe Elementary School

Onil F. Rodriguez, Ruth K. Board Bay Harbor K-8 Center

Anat Schwartzbaum, North Beach Elementary School

 

On behalf of the Chamber, I extend congratulations and heartfelt appreciation to our nominees.

The winner will be announced at the April 27 luncheon hosted at the Palms Hotel & Spa. Speaking from my personal experience last year, it will be incredibly difficult for our panel of judges. We would be proud and honored to have any of these educators teach our child, or even ourselves for that matter. Should you like to support these teachers on their special day, please visit www.miamibeachchamber.com/cm_Events.php for registration details.

 

At your service,

Jason Loeb

Chairman

 

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Chamber Team working their magic for the City of Miami Beach

And they say New York City never sleeps… We’ve touted a lot of ongoing successes, yet things continue to bustle here at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. We have our annual gala around the corner and dozens of events are on the books. Despite Miami’s nickname, all these great happenings aren’t getting done via magic – the secret weapon is our incredible Chamber staff. Indeed, we have great leadership guiding the unprecedented growth of this organization, but our staff is the backbone in bringing the Chamber mission to life. Specifically, I’d like to recognize the following individuals for their commitment and hard work:

 

* Jerry Libbin, President & CEO

* Ana Cecilia Velasco, Chief Operating Officer

* Wendy Unger, Acting Director of Membership Relations

* Shirley Inoni, Director of Finance

* Chantal Gloor, Operations Coordinator

* Valarie Rasken, Director Marketing & Communications

* Anaely Delgado, Communications Associate

* Lisa Ricci, Membership Relations Associate

* Daniel Santamaria, Membership Relations Associate

 

* Susana Penaranda, Receptionist

* Dona Pugliese Zemo, Director of Visit Miami Beach

* Monique Beaudet, Assistant Director of Visit Miami Beach

Meet our Chamber Team.  Click Here.

These 12 individuals are accomplishing what many large corporations can only aspire to do. They’ve work diligently behind-the-scenes and it’s important that their contributions are brought to the forefront. As many of you have personally attested, they take great care of our members, believe in our visions and are passionate when executing the supporting strategies and tactics. On behalf of the Chamber membership, thank you for all that you do. You represent the power of teamwork and have left an impacting footprint in the development of Miami Beach.

 

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.