Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thank You For A Great 2011



On behalf of myself and our team at Upward Trend, I want to thank all of our Trend Setter Package clients and all those that have helped us grow in 2011. It's been a great year and we have loved serving each and every one. We are also looking forward to serving many more clients and making more friends in 2012. See our services at http://www.trendsetterpackage.com/, or http://www.upwardtrend.org/.


Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Safe Side Security



If you are thinking of having a home security system installed call Safe Side Security, Inc! We were established in Davis, California in 1983. For the past 26 years, we have provided design, installation, monitoring, servicing and inspections of security and fire alarm systems. We are the "local" company serving Yolo, Sacramento, Placer, Solano Counties and the surrounding areas. As active members in the Sacramento Area Alarm Association and the California Alarm Association, we continue to work with our fire departments and law enforcement agencies on local and national industry issues.

1-800-794-7575

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Signature Tree Service As Latest Trend Setter Package Client


Curtis Fosnaugh, owner of Signature Tree Service has just signed on as Upward Trend's latest Trend Setter Package client. As part of the Trend Setter Package monthly service, we will be building a brand new website, adding a new blog, managing and adding social media services such as facebook, twitter, linkedin, YouTube and more while expanding them. In addition, Curtis will get a monthly email newsletter to follow up with and market to existing clients, consulting, video, SEO optimization and more.

The current website for Signature Tree Service is at www.signaturetreeservice.com. Signature Tree's facebook like page is up: Like Us. You can reach Signature Tree Service at 707-449-8653.

Welcome to Curtis and Signature Tree Service of Vacaville, CA.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Darci Chadwick As Latest Trend Setter Package Client

Darci Chadwick, a director with Scentsy is Upward Trend's latest Trend Setter Package client. Upward Trend will be building a new website, blog, expanding social media including facebook, twitter, linkedin, and YouTube. The package also includes a monthly email newsletter, video, SEO optimization and more.

Darci currently has a facebook page for here new business venture:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scent-From-Heaven/177317675693530?ref=ts&sk=wall.

We will be expanding this site and here is her current twitter site: https://twitter.com/#!/darcichadwick.

Look for much to come very soon from Darci Chadwick!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Payroll Etcetera Does Much More Than Payroll Services

Ewald Mueller
Payroll Etcetera


311 Cordelia Street
Suisun City, CA 94585
707-426-6394
Fax: 707-426-6812
Email:ewald@payrolletcetera.com
https://www.paychoiceonline.com/


Why partner with our company?

Our expertise is confidentially managing every aspect of payroll…from calculating tax obligations to producing checks and preparing management reports. We offer flexible solutions that are accurate, secure and reliable. Looking for a QuickBooks expert, database pro, perhaps monthly financial services or just the right report generated? At Payroll Etcetera we go beyond payroll. Why not partner with us?

No Obligation - Free Quote 

Our Priority No matter what busineess you are in, payroll and payroll taxes are a necessary task. It's tedious, time-consuming and regulated by many legislative requirements. As experienced local payroll professionals, we can deal with these details so you can focus on your core business. Delegate this responsibility to us, the payroll experts. We are committed to exceed your expectations and to save you time and resources!

Our Solutions As a local payroll provider, we offer comprehensive solutions designed to fit your business. Our knowledgable and experienced staff offers confidential and reliable assistance for every aspect of payroll. Count on us to deliver accurate and timely payrolls while accommodating your unique needs. From meeting your pasic payroll to management reports, tax pay and tax file services, we can do it all.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas From The Upward Trend Team

"Merry Christmas" & "Happy New Year"

From the Upward Trend Team.

Terry, Ryan, Jean, Craig, Christian,
Sandi, Lori, Linda & Jayne


Saturday, December 24, 2011

All Size Flooring Center and Carpet Cleaning

Is your carpet worn and dated? If it is time for you to replace old carpet you should seriously consider installing hardwood flooring instead of replacing old carpet with new.

There are many advantages to hardwood flooring. Consider the environment for instance; hardwood flooring is made from all natural timber which is a renewable resource. Today's hardwood is harvested from managed forests. USFS (United States Forest Service) reports show currently twice as many hardwood trees are planted than harvested to ensure that hardwood is a continually renewed resource. 50 years ago there was only half the hardwood standing compared to today. The hardwood industry has proven itself environmentally responsible. Consider synthetic fiber; it can last in a landfill for 200-500 years.

We hear on the news repeatedly, and the EPA confirms that one of the top threats to our health is poor quality indoor air supply. Wood flooring helps create a much healthier living and working environment with its hard surface preventing dust mites and molds from proliferating as in a carpet. It has been estimated that 35 million Americans suffer from allergies, many of which are mold and dust mite related. Wood flooring is a blessing for these allergy sufferers.

The EPA further reports that chemicals such as garden pesticides can accumulate on floors, especially on absorbable carpet fibers. The hard surface of wood flooring significantly reduces these chemical accumulations. The home environment is also subject to what is termed "off-gassing", the release of toxins by certain synthetic materials. These toxins are known to cause chronic illness to those living within the home. Carpets soak up and retain these toxins whereas wood floors do not.

Cleaning and maintaining wood floors is much simpler today than it was in the past. Modern wood floors only require simple sweeping and an occasional vacuuming. It is essential that your floor be protected against constant moisture and scratches due to heavy wear. It is recommended that your wood floor be cleaned routinely with proper hardwood floor products. In heavy traffic areas, simple preventative measures in the form of rugs will protect the surface from scratching and wear.

One of the truly outstanding features of hardwood flooring is the rug decorating possibilities it presents. You will want to choose rugs that magnify the natural beauty of the wood. Keep in mind that the floor will change color over time and with light exposure, select rugs that you can easily move around the room. Think of the freedom your hardwood floor affords you; no longer are your rug choices limited to only those that would look good with your carpet. Natural wood looks good with any colors and patterns you wish to choose. If you find the perfect Persian rug, go for it since it will be outstanding on your wood floor. With wood you are free to buy rugs for all corners of the room, under the table and the hallway if you want! Hardwood flooring sets your inner rug shopper free.

Your hardwood floor will give you a lifetime of health and pleasure if you maintain it properly and protect it with area rugs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2664812

All Size Flooring Center and Carpet Cleaning is a fully licensed, family owned and operated, contracted flooring business. Here at All Size we can handle all of your flooring and carpet cleaning needs. We have a designer showroom full of the latest trends in flooring. We will work with our customers to find the best flooring solutions for the job, taking into consideration things such as traffic patterns and wearabililty and we stand behind our installations and work.

707-448-3300. www.allsizecarpet.com

Friday, December 23, 2011

Knapheide 9' Dual Rear Service Body Features and Benefits


Clay gives us a features and benefits tour of the Knapheide 9' Dual Rear Wheel Service/Utility Body, including the Master Locking System, rear window protector, HD rack and more. California Work Trucks is an authorized distributor for Knapheide Manufacturing.

California Work Trucks is located at 930 Whipple Road in Union City, CA. Call them at 510-477-8425. See more soon at www.calworktrucks.com

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Storm Watches Are Fun and Versatile and Baker Street Downtown Has THE Selection


Brenda goes over some unique offerings from Storm of London watch company. Great accesorizing and change for one price 3 watches in 1. Check out more at www.bakerstreettime.com or call at 707-255-4434.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wendy VanHatten Is Having A Book Signing Party At WineStyles Tomorrow Night

WHAT: Book Signing Party

WHEN: Tomorrow, Thursday, December 22...6 pm to 8 pm
WHERE: Wine Styles, 11B Town Square Place, Vacaville
Join me as I sign my two newest books. Snacks and conversation provided. Wine is available for purchase.
She's Looking forward to seeing you...

My Life: the Sequel…a Girlfriend’s Guide to Personal Success
Some advance readers had this to say…

“Your eBook is absolutely outstanding!"My Life: The Sequel a Girlfriend's Guide to Personal Success" is down to earth, easy to follow and chocked full of helpful exercises that anyone can do in minutes! And what is best...it speaks to me as a woman, a mother, a wife, a professional!  What a wonderful guide to help women at any stage of their life move forward! It is never too late!” --Sue P. - Arizona

“What a wonderful dose of positivity to come into my life at just the right moment! I like the look of it - it's visually appealing, with a clean, easy-to-read look. I LOVE the quotes and the text is easy to skim, or meaty enough to dive into, whichever you want. Did I mention that I love the quotes? I like that the book is interactive and that the sample schedules at the end are realistic.“ --Marie R. – Baltimore, Maryland
“I applaud you ladies for helping us make daily choices with awareness. We live so much of our lives on autopilot that there’s no wonder it’s so hard for us to achieve personal success.  I especially liked the grocery store analogy in helping us make life choices that are appropriate for us as individuals.  I also loved the reality check grid. There’s nothing like a snapshot of how you’re living your life to motivate you take action. Well done!” --Krista J. – Snellville, Georgia

“My Life: The Sequel A Girlfriend’s Guide to Personal Success” feels like you’re sitting with two of your best and smartest girlfriends … getting tips and advice that can improve the quality of each and every day.”  --Katie Y.  - Delray Beach, FL
I poured myself a glass of wine and sat out on the patio on Friday night and thoroughly enjoyed it! I found myself thinking of some of the quotes, tips and stories during the past couple of days.  I really thought the piece on Habits was noteworthy and did that exercise and found several things that I do habitually - some good, some not - and have thought of ways to change the not so good habits to build on my good habits. --Pam M. – South Sioux City, NE

Congratulations to both of you. Thank you for sharing with all of us this amazingly, simple, life changing book you have created for a portion of your legacies.  I will be ready for the Sequel to this Sequel! --Teresa W. – Denver, CO

We had fun writing it. You will have fun reading it. Enjoy…

When the Cat Speaks…Listen, a Purr-fectly Good Way to Enjoy Life
Just released…this quick read book is just in time for stocking stuffers.
Here are some nice things readers had to say about it.
This wonderful book of life lessons reminds me to be nicer to my imaginary friends and makes me wish I had 9 lives. It teaches us that we all have a meow deep inside, waiting to come out. --Franny V
As Myron's original human provider, I can say without doubt that he is the brightest as well as the dimmest feline I have ever met.  He is truly a savant, the "Rain Man" of cats. In some ways, Myron is as great a teacher as Yoda.  This quote could have come from either of them - "Much to learn, you still have". --Jim VH
When the Cat Speaks ... Listen is a clever collection of "Myronisms" --- sage advice from Myron, an exceptional cat living his nine lives to the fullest.  Whether you are a cat lover or not, there are lessons to be learned from Myron's antics that will enhance your life:  Be curious, enjoy life, have friends, play, and take time to enjoy the sunshine in your life.  It's a "purrfect" read! --Wendy Loquasto

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lodi Cobbles Are Popular At Dixon Landscape Materials


Raj Hansra of Dixon Landscape Materials shows off the very popular Lodi Cobbles. This is the 2"- 4" size and they also stock the 4" -8" size. These are very popular in dry creek bed landscaping, as well as wet creek and fountain water features. It is also used in landscaping around the home and business.

Give Dixon Landscape Materials a call at 707-678-8200 and visit their website at www.dixonlandscape.com.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wendy's Latest Book Is A Bit Of Encouragement--Even For Men!


Wendy VanHatten's latest book offering is a rewritten and updated book by Wendy and Mary Guinane McNamara titled, My Life: The Sequel, A Girlfriend's Guide To Personal Success. It has just been released and is available on Amazon.com.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

"But, the true problem lies in making choices without thought, whether for groceries or for life.

If your life choices were laid out just like the aisles of a grocery store, would you be actively choosing things in every aisle? Would you shop in the gourmet section? Would you shop in the fresh produce where things change daily or stick to the aisles with standard staples you can always count on? Would you even go down every aisle to see everything that's available?

If life really was a trip to the grocery store and price was not object--what would your shopping list look like?

For what may be the first time in a long time, choose what your life would include based on what your heart tells you. Think like you did before people told you what your life would be. Think bigger than you have in the past, because there's no reason not to and thinking big takes the same amount of energy thinking small does.

Your life won't look like anyone else's. And, just like your grocery list, it will change from week to week or even day to day. Keep it handy and jot down new things you want as they come to mind.

Now, what if you had to do all your shopping for life in one or two trips? Would you go through the aisles randomly picking and choosing on a whim? Or would you put some thought into your trip and do a little preplanning? If you had the opportunity, would you make an organized, alphabetized list for your life to be sure nothing was left out?"

Buy it on Amazon.com today: My Life: The Sequel

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

2012 GMC Denali Truck - Vacaville GMC


Bill Cross demonstrates the 2012 GMC Denali Truck. A luxurious truck with 400 horsepower! Vacaville Buick-GMC, Orange Drive in Vacaville. http://www.vacavillegmc.com/

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jamis Kids Bikes - Velo Wrench


Vinny at Velo Bike Shop goes over the Jamis youth bike line up. From the tiny tots on up. See more at www.velowrench.com or call 707-451-4706

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stefon Harris: There are no mistakes on the bandstand


What is a mistake? By talking through examples with his improvisational Jazz quartet, Stefon Harris walks us to a profound truth: many actions are perceived as mistakes only because we don't react to them appropriately.

Great advice applicable in more ways than the bandstand? Hmmmm.....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sue Enquist - TEDxIrvine - Competitive Greatness 24/7


How do you sustain the hunger and drive that makes a champion, not just once but consistently over time? With 11 National Championships under her belt, UCLA coaching legend Sue Enquist knows better than anyone else.

Sue is UCLA Softball's first All-American, National Champion and Hall of Famer. She is the only person in NCAA Softball history to win a championship as a player and a head coach. Her tenure at UCLA produced 887 victories, 65 All Americans and 12 Olympians.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes ATS Tax and Financial Solutions As Latest Trend Setter Package Client


ATS Tax & Financial Solutions, Inc of Benicia has become Upward Trend's latest Trend Setter Package client. Here's just a bit about this 26 year old company:

ATS was first conceived on the 4th of July 1985 in the historic Benicia City Park landmarked by the gazebo pictured below. On this day, numerous towns people came together to picnic in the park, enjoy the entertainment in the gazebo and wait for the waterfront fireworks that night. Amongst the many picnickers were a few members of a local church discussing some community needs. Out of this small group of friends arose the subject of needing a local full-time tax office. At that time both Frank and Sylvia Barata were employed as tax specialists with the IRS and intrigued by the idea of fulfilling this need. Within a few weeks Sylvia chose to leave her ten year IRS career and take on the challenge while Frank kept a foothold at the IRS. With the financial support of Gene and Nancy Duplin, active ATS partners for the first two years, an office was secured in August and the Benicia phone number 745-1040 was captured.

Unlike many established tax practices, ATS had no clients. By way of advertising via mailers, articles, commercials, live radio call-in talk programs and many personal presentation, ATS began to grow. Many of the first comers are still with us today and we continue to strengthen our relationships. The confidence, trust and loyalty portrayed by ATS clients, old and new, is an affirmation that the idea conceived on July 4th 1985 was a true inspiration and reminder of our original purpose.

ATS has become a growing family serving clients coast to coast. Over the years, the clients have dubbed the title of "Tax Angel" upon the ATS preparers and staff. The angels continue to live up to this status. Although thousands of tax law changes have been enacted and boggled the minds of many, ATS continues to remain true and loyal to its clients by providing quality tax services.

ATS Tax and Financial Solution's current website is at http://www.taxangels.com/. They are located at 1075 First Street, Suite 6 in Benicia and their phone is 707-745-1040.

Upward Trend will be building a whole new website, adding a blog, social media including facebook, twitter, linked-in and YouTube, along with a monthly email newsletter, video, SEO optimization, consulting and more as part of the Trend Setter Package of services for one low monthly amount. Look for more about this company very soon.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Anna Campbell


The Entrepreneurial Spirit in Anna Campbell by Wendy VanHatten
When visiting with Anna Campbell, a residential Realtor, the word entrepreneur surfaces many times. Perhaps that is because she sees someone with that entrepreneurial spirit as someone with drive. According to Anna true entrepreneurs also need to be productive and have purpose.
What does Anna see as her role? “My role is helping people every step of the way throughout their entire home buying and selling process. This can be years from many people as they learn about the market, their own home value, and establishing their credit and finding where they want to live. I want to build a community of homeowners that enjoy their life in their home and community.”
It is apparent Anna loves building that community, helping clients, making friends, and truly helping people make their life better during their home journey.
In fact, Anna tells me it fits right in with her passion about how she lives. “My passion is to fulfill my purpose in life. My purpose in life is to take care of my family, share all of my knowledge, and help make my little piece of this earth a better place. My passion is a driving force that helps me wake up, show up, and keep going!”
To do that an entrepreneur must be driven. What drives Anna? “My biggest driving force has come from working with a new client that is scared or unsure of what their choices are or what they are going to do, and after we have spoken to each other over the phone or in person, and they get to the place where they finally sit back and breathe. They are able to feel safe and sure that they are no longer alone and they are set at ease by knowing that they are now a part of a team. A team that actually cares about them as the amazing and unique person they are.”
Anna has faced risks in all her business, including becoming a Real Estate Agent in this economy and in a completely different state. In fact, she tells me she believes all entrepreneurs face risks.  She goes on to say there is always some fear when you are taking a risk and you should understand your results when you are thinking about those risks. “But, when you have other people and their lives depending on whether you take the risk helps you know if the risk is worth it.”
What risks did she take to start her business? “My family and I had just moved to California and I had closed my printing business in Texas. I love working with people, researching, and solving problems. I decided to become a Realtor, in one of the worst real estate markets, and an area when the majority of the homeowners had lost $400,000 or more in property value. Plus, I didn't know anyone other than my husband and daughter. But, it was a challenge and I was excited! So, I learned the area, joined local groups to make friends, and took every class I could get my hands on. I invested heavily in getting my business started and building a strong foundation. I have lived here for one and a half years and I have now been a Realtor for one and a half years and 2011 has been an amazing year for me and my business!
Making that move from Texas, meant Anna had to grow her business quickly. And she did it in some unique ways.  “Since I need people to recognize me I market and brand my business through my wrapped Dodge Challenger. I also utilize my highly integrated website and blog, sharing information freely with my neighbors, friends, and family.”
When she thinks back on what she would have done differently Anna tells me “ I would have gone straight to a high quality website without wading through companies that only offered basic websites, that are cheaper and don't provide any way to generate leads. Generating leads is how you feed your business and grow your business.”
Joy and happiness play an important factor in success to Anna. “When my family isn't stressed about paying our day to day bills, we are happy. When my family is able to take 1-2 family trips each year, we are happy. When I have met more people than I knew before and their life is better because of us working together, then I am happy.”
Has Anna achieved success? With her outlook on life, it’s hard not to believe Anna will be successful in whatever she chooses. And…yes she does believe she has achieved success.
Does profit play any role in success for Anna? “Profit to me means excess money that I don't know what to do with. I have no need for profit. My only financial need is to pay my bills, take our family trips, and support my favorite groups and charities.”
Anna also sees herself as an expert in certain ways. According to her, “I see myself as an expert yesterday and always educating myself to be an expert for tomorrow.”
If that doesn’t sound like someone who embraces the entrepreneurial spirit, I don’t know what does! And when asked if she thinks she has the entrepreneurial spirit, Anna lights up and soundly says “Yes!”
Does she have advice for young people or those just starting out in business? She does. “Take your time and don't be afraid to change your mind or your direction. When you really put your heart into something and it doesn't work, you didn't fail…you just didn't find what your true purpose is yet. Don't stop, keep trying! You will find your purpose and you will experience your true success... and it will truly change your life!
I’d definitely say the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Anna.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Rudy's Auto Body As Latest Trend Setter Package Client


Rudy's Auto Body in Suisun City, which was established in 1962 has become Upward Trend's latest Trend Setter Package client. Rudy's is located at 1510 Humphrey Drive off of Railroad Avenue in Suisun City. They can be reached at 707-422-1072 and their current website is at http://www.rudysautobody.com/.

As part of the Trend Setter Package of services, Upward Trend will be building a new website for Rudy's along with a new blog. We will be adding social media including Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Yelp and YouTube. We will also provide video services, a monthly email newsletter, SEO optimization and consulting.

You will be seeing much more about Rudy's Auto Body in the coming weeks and months. Welcome Rudy's Auto Body!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Carolyn Higgins

The Entrepreneurial Spirit - Carolyn Higgins

by Wendy VanHatten



Carolyn Higgins, of Fortune Marketing Company, is definitely an entrepreneur with an entrepreneurial spirit. Why is this so apparent? It’s her attitude.

In fact when asked what entrepreneurial spirit means to Carolyn, she tells me the “entrepreneurial spirit is more than being a business owner; it’s an attitude. An entrepreneur is someone who veers off the beaten path because they are curious and want to see if there is a better, faster, easier way to get where they’re going.”

For Carolyn she says an entrepreneur will look at a product or a process and wonder how it can be altered to make it better. “The entrepreneurial spirit is daring, adventurous, curious, and analytical.”

That’s Carolyn…she knows what she’s talking about. She’s in the marketing business.

We all know what marketing is. Many of us know we need to market more, better, or different but we do not all know how to make it better, especially for our own businesses. That’s where Carolyn comes in as a Strategic Marketing Planning Consultant.

Carolyn tells me she is trying to build a seven figure business that will help small to medium sized businesses succeed by creating and implementing strategic marketing plans and systems for them. “I want to build a brand that is as well known and respected as Duct Tape Marketing and Guerilla Marketing, with books, classes, workshops, videos, and a team of consultants on staff to help business owners.”

Just how does she plan on achieving this? As the president of her own company, her role is to drive the strategic direction of her company. Eventually she will get to the point where she will manage the business, write, and speak to promote the brand. She can then hire others to run the day-to-day aspects of her business.

She practices exactly what she tells others to do. She grows her own business using the marketing plan she created specifically for that. Some of her tactics include speaking, blogging, social media, networking, public relations, referral marketing, and so much more.

Why does she do what she does? “I do what I do because I want to help others succeed. When I sold advertising I saw such a need for small business owners to get help developing effective marketing strategies. There are so many people out there who are great at what the do, but just don’t understand how to effectively market their business to get the customers they need. My goal is to help them.”

It comes back to her passion. In speaking with Carolyn you can tell she is passionate about helping others and helping them with their marketing needs. The thing is…many small to medium business owners do not even realize they need more marketing assistance. That’s where Carolyn steps in.

She says she has a couple of passions, really. “Professionally I’m passionate about using strategy and research to develop good marketing plans. I’m also passionate about teaching business owners the difference between good and bad marketing. Personally, I’m passionate about nature and the outdoors. I love backpacking and camping.”

What drives Carolyn to succeed as an entrepreneur? Probably many things, although she says her desire to never have to work for anyone again is right up there. Like most entrepreneurs she loves her life as it is now. “I love being in control of my destiny. I love making my own decisions for my company. I love the flexibility in my life. I love that being a business owner has allowed me to become more active and involved in my community. I guess you could say what drives me is my love for the lifestyle; I get to help people on so many levels now – AND, I actually feel like I do help people. I never felt that I made a difference in the corporate world.”

Did she take risks when starting her business? Of course. “I took some financial risks and completely changed my standard of living. I risked a steady paycheck, saving for retirement, my savings, and my severance package. I also risked failure. I used to think of myself as someone shy and insecure- I had to throw myself out there and do things that were a little uncomfortable at first, like networking.” Was she afraid of taking those risks? “Not at all. In fact, sometimes I think I have an unhealthy tolerance for risk. In fact I view risk as a challenge.”

Carolyn started out by investing in Duct Tape marketing. This system utilizing a mentor, a process, and a proven system allowed her to hit the ground running with everything she needed to get her business off the ground. And even though she is no longer a Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, she truly believes that investment the first year was well worth it. Any regrets? “I’ll say my only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner!”

Success to Carolyn means having the ability to live life the way you want. Having both the time and resources to enjoy the things she loves is continued success. Has she achieved success? “Not yet!”

Does she see herself as an expert? “No. I see myself as someone who has some experience and knowledge that I can use to help others. But I do not see myself as an expert.” I would have to say she is well on her way, though.

Carolyn understands how important profit is to any size business, including hers. Like so many entrepreneurs, profit is important…but not the only important factor. In fact, she’s working on getting a bookkeeper to help her with that aspect of her business.

When asked about seeing herself as having the entrepreneurial spirit, Carolyn pauses. She didn’t used to see herself with that spirit. Now…“it wasn’t until I was in business a couple of years that I began to really think of myself as an entrepreneur. So now, yes I see myself having entrepreneurial spirit.” It is evident to me she has that entrepreneurial spirit. Her focus on businesses and what they need, the way she listens to her clients, and how well she prepares plans for others to succeed gives her an edge any of us in business should pay attention to.

Her advice for those just starting out in business? “ Research. Research. Research and Plan, Plan, Plan!!! It is critical to understand the market, your potential customers and how and why they buy what you sell, your competition, your product or service, and what problem it solves BEFORE you open for business. If you don’t’ understand these things you’re going to waste a ton of time and energy.”

Learn more about Carolyn at:
Website: http://fortunemarketingcompany.com/
Blog: http://fortunemarketingcompany.com/marketing-blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FortuneMarketingCo

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bridge to Life Christmas


Bridge to Life Christmas is a program at Mission Solano. Volunteers spend Christmas Day at Mission Solano, helping with a holiday meal and distributing presents.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cathy Spencer of Gateway Insurance Honored with Award of Excellence by Safeco Insurance®


Award of Excellence


December 2, 2011, Vacaville CA--Cathy Spencer of Gateway Insurance has been Honored with Award of Excellence by Safeco Insurance® for the second year in a row.

“Our independent insurance agency works hard to serve our customers by getting the right coverage for the right price,” said Cathy Spencer of Gateway Insurance in Vacaville. “It’s an honor to be recognized by Safeco as one of its top agency partners.”

The Award of Excellence celebrates outstanding agents with superior underwriting skills who have developed a solid underwriting partnership with Safeco and whose agencies have qualified for membership in Safeco’s H.K. Dent Society, the company’s elite agency recognition program.

“The Award of Excellence designation is the most prestigious underwriting recognition agents who partner with Safeco can achieve,” said Debbie Akers, vice president for Safeco’s underwriting field operations. “Safeco is proud to honor these best-in-class agents for their long-term loyalty with our company and their outstanding underwriting abilities that serve both their customers and Safeco.”



About Gateway Professional Insurance Services

Since 1983, Gateway Professional Insurance Services has represented the most respected Insurance Companies in America. As an Independent Insurance Agency, the staff of 9 full time licensed agents is able to meet the most comprehensive insurance needs of our customers. We help you assess your needs and manage potential risks to offer you a variety of affordable insurance products to choose from.

The Gateway Insurance family lives and works in the communities it serves and feels a responsibility to give back when it can. We are proud to have been chosen as “Business of the Year 2006-2007” by the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce and honored with the Spirit of Solano Award from WestAmerica Bank Corporation.


About Safeco Insurance

In business since 1923 and based in Seattle, Washington, Safeco sells insurance to drivers and homeowners through a network of independent agents and brokers in eight regions throughout the United States.

Safeco is part of Liberty Mutual Agency Corporation, a strategic business unit of Liberty Mutual Group, consisting of property and casualty and specialty insurance carriers that distribute their products and services primarily through independent agents and brokers. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 82nd on the Fortune 100 list of the largest U.S. corporations based on 2010 revenue. The company has financial strength ratings of A (Excellent) from the A.M. Best Company, A2 (Good) from Moody’s Investors Service, and A- (Strong) from Standard & Poor’s.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little Wing Connections Vacaville Luncheon Is Tomorrow At Noon

New Location!
This Thursday, December 1st, 12:00noon - 1:30pm

This is a great networking venue! Come on out and have some lunch and share your business. Meet new friends.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chris Anderson: How YouTube is driving innovation


TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation -- a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace radical openness. And for TED, it means the dawn of a whole new chapter ...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shifting Your Paradigm with Bob Proctor


SuccessCast is an excerpt of TSTN's dynamic programming. Everyday, our viewers get the key insights and ideas for how to succeed at work, in their families, with their finances, and with their health. TSTN Presents is your ticket to the best live events from the nation's top presenters. Discussion topics range from improving relationships to enriching the lives of your children, from setting goals to building successful presentations, from creating a winning life to managing a healthy lifestyle.

This is a great program! http://www.tstn.com/

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Seth Godin on Women in Leadership


SUCCESS magazine publisher Darren Hardy gets author Seth Godin to open up about the role of women as leaders and the changing attitude of companies to become socially and environmentally aware. Read more about Seth Godin in the April 2011 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Baker Street Downtown of Napa Valley As Latest Trend Setter Package Client


Baker Street Downtown of Napa Valley has become Upward Trend's latest Trend Setter Package client. Baker Street Downtown is located at 1018 1st Street (at Main Street) in downtown Napa. Telephone is 707-255-4434 and their current website is http://www.bakerstreettime.com/.

Upward Trend will be adding a blog, social media including facebook, twitter, linkedin, an email monthly newsletter to follow up with existing clients, SEO optimization, consulting and more. Their existing website will remain at this time.

Baker Street Downtown has a lot of events, so we will be announcing many of them on their behalf.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Being More Creative Is Really Easy


Innovation business psychology science

Some great ideas here to expand our creativity

Friday, November 18, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Fuso Italian Restaurant As Our Latest Trend Setter Package Client

Fuso Italian Restaurant is located in downtown Vacaville at 535 Main street. Their style is old world Italian and they also have a full bar, and a banquet room available. In addition, when the weather is nice, there is quaint outdoor seating off the street that offers a wonderful ambiance.

Upward Trend is pleased to announce that Fuso Italian Restaurant has just become our latest Trend Setter Package client. We will be building a completely new website (their current website is http://www.fuso535.com/), adding our most important piece, a blog, and we will also be starting and managing their social media package including facebook, twitter, linkedin and more. The package also includes a monthly newsletter, video, a YouTube channel, consulting and more. All this in one affordable monthly package of services that is unique in the industry.

Look for more from Fuso very soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Courtside Cottages As Latest Trend Setter Package Client


Upward Trend is pleased to announce that Courtside Cottages of Vacaville has become our latest Trend Setter Package client. We will be building a brand new website, adding a blog, and social media including facebook and twitter. The package also includes a monthly newsletter, and video, along with consulting, all in one package of services at one low monthly fee.

Courtside Cottages of Vacaville is a unique community specifically designed for the care of Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementia related conditions. Their beautiful cottage community consists of five charming cottages, each with a maximum of 15 residents. Residents enjoy the comforts of home, quiet sitting area, a kitchen providing home-cooked meals and individual bedrooms nestled within their cottage.

Courtside Cottage is located at 431 Nut Tree Road in Vacaville and their current website is http://www.courtsidecottages.com/. Look for more soon about this facility and the Internet products Upward Trend will be doing for them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Baja Fresh of Vacaville As Latest Trend Setter Package Client

Baja Fresh in Vacaville located at 150 Nut Tree Parkway, Suite 100 across from the Factory Outlets in Vacaville has just become the latest Trend Setter Package client. Upward Trend will be building a blog with custom header, social media including Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and more, Video, Email Newsletter, Consulting and more.

We appreciate having Baja Fresh in Vacaville as a valued client and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship. www.facebook.com/bajafreshvacaville

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thank You Success Magazine

I just received my Success Magazine issue today for December and Upward Trend has a 1/4 page ad in this issue. It is a real treat to be in this magazine with our company and I have loved Success Magazine since the early 1970's. Of course, it began in 1897, and except for a shift change from 2007 to 2008 was published throughout this period. Now, published by Darren Hardy, it is better than ever before.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Compound Effect - Good Book


The Compound Effect is a distillation of the fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenal achievements in business, relationships and beyond. This easy to use, step by step operating system allows YOU to multiply your success, chart your progress and achieve any desire.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Leaders with Values


Management thought leaders share their ideas on values in business. Featuring: Arturo Condo, David Rock, Buie Seawell, Erin Lehman, Christopher Adkins, Maj. Gen. Frederick B. Hodges, Susan Clancy, and Jonathan Gosling

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Tanning of America


Steve Stoute, founder and CEO of Translation, explains why hip-hop culture should matter to marketers. He is the author of The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ian Ritchie: The day I turned down Tim Berners-Lee


Imagine it's late 1990, and you've just met a nice young man named Tim Berners-Lee, who starts telling you about his proposed system called the World Wide Web. Ian Ritchie was there. And ... he didn't buy it. A short story about information, connectivity and learning from mistakes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Connections For Life As Latest Trend Setter Package Client

Connections For Life is dedicated to empowering people with developmental disabilities by providing services that promote independence, equality and integration, enhancing their quality of life.

Connections For Life was established in 2001 and was previously known as Solano Supported Living Services; a program within USARC/PACE and has served Solano County since 1993.

Connections For Life's office is located in downtown Vacaville at 419 Mason Street, Suite 109. They can be reached by phone at 707-455-1792 and their current website is http://www.connections4life.org/.

Upward Trend will be creating a blog, social media, a newsletter, SEO optimization, video and more for Connections For Life and we are pleased to have them as our latest client. We look forward to a long relationship.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TEDxWaiakea-Larry Czerwonka- Create Your Own World Series


Most businesses operate everyday handicapped by the fact that no one knows the rules or how to keep score beyond a financial statement. But what would happen if a firm took the time to define positions and rules and created a way to keep score?

Type his name into http://www.amazon.com/ and see his two books.

Monday, October 24, 2011

TEDxZurich - Thomas Zweifel - Leading through Language


What is the difference between a good company and a great one? Language, argues Thomas Zweifel, an accomplished leadership coach. In his interactive talk, he will set out to prove to the TEDxZurich audience that communication is the most important leadership tool of all.

Thomas D. Zweifel
Thomas D. Zweifel is the Chairman of Swiss Consulting Group and a consultant for Insigniam Performance. Since 1984, living on four continents, he has helped top and senior managers develop leadership in the action of meeting strategic objectives. Dr. Zweifel is the author of six co-leadership books, including Communicate or Die, Culture Clash, and The Rabbi and the CEO. Since 2000, he has taught leadership at Columbia University and St. Gallen University. Dr. Zweifel often appears in the media, including ABC News, Bloomberg TV, and CNN. He lives in Zurich with his wife and two daughters.
Web: thomaszweifel.com -- Twitter: @thomas_zweifel

Sunday, October 23, 2011

TEDxZurich - Benedikt Germanier - Value driven living


As a strategist on Wall Street, I had to learn what it meant when people were purely money driven, thinking of nothing but how to make money. After the second year in Greenwich I got sick driving through the posh neighbourhood. When my boss called me up on the trading floor to offer me a pay rise in the middle of he financial crisis, I knew it was time to go and start a value driven approach to live and work. Today, I manage a small company that is dedicated to innovate and create beautiful things to the benefit of humanity.

Benedikt Germanier, CEO at zai
In the summer of 2009, Benedikt was appointed CEO by the zai Investor Board. Since then, he also teaches economics at the University of Applied Sciences in Chur and Rapperswil. Before taking on his new roles, Benedikt lived in the USA and worked as a leading strategist for UBS Investment Bank. He studied in Zurich while working as ski and tennis instructor, promoting courses in sports and Feldenkrais therapy. Benedikt is married and has four children.
Web: zai.ch

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Complete Janitorial As Our Latest Trend Setter Package Client

Stephen Wachira, owner of Complete Janitorial, in business since 1999 has just become Upward Trend's latest Trend Setter Package client. We will be building a brand new website, adding and actively managing a blog, social media including facebook, twitter, linkedin and YouTube, adding a monthly email newsletter to their existing clients, SEO optimization, basic consulting, video production, and more. All of these features are included in the Trend Setter Package of services and updated throughout each month.

Look for more from Complete Janitorial including a list of rather unique services very soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Regency Dental As Latest Trend Setter Package Client

Regency Dental Group is located at 1001 Nut Tree Road, Suite 230 in Vacaville, CA 95687. Their phone number is 707-453-1776, and their current website is http://www.regencydental.net/.

Upward Trend is pleased to announce that Dr Donna Burton, DDS, owner of Regency Dental Group has just become our latest Trend Setter Package client. We will be building Regency a completely new website, adding an active blog, adding social media including facebook, twitter, linkedin and YouTube. The Trend Setter Package also includes a monthly email newsletter, video services, SEO Optimization, consulting, and more.

We look forward to getting these new sites online very quickly and plan to develop a long term mutually beneficial relationship with Dr. Donna Burton and the staff of Regency Dental Group.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mike Walsh - Speaker on the future, technology and innovation


Mike Walsh, best selling author of Futuretainment and CEO of innovation research lab Tomorrow, is a leading authority on the digital future. Mike's expertise is explaining new patterns of consumer behaviour and disruptive technologies in emerging markets. His advisory work and keynote presentations provide unique insights into the growing influence of new markets on breakthrough innovation and business transformation.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Singing In The Rain

It was raining yesterday morning when I left the house to go running. Not sort of raining, either. I'm talking full out, full blown, Cecil B. DeMille* raining.

The kind where you drive your kids to the bus stop even though it's directly across the street.

The kind where
you hesitate at the door of the post office, preparing to run to your car.

The kind where
you're too lazy to go back in the house for an umbrella, so you wrap yourself from head to toe in a blue, plastic tarp that you found in a corner of the garage, just so you can go down the driveway for the newspaper. (Or is that just me?)

Anyway, you get the picture. R - A- I - N ... rain.

Now the truth is, when it comes to running, I don't mind the rain. In fact as long as it's reasonably warm, I kind of like it. There's something fun about deliberately getting soaked on a day when everyone else is doing all they can to avoid it.

So out I went.

All was fine for the first half mile or so. That's when I left the comfort of my quiet neighborhood and ventured out into the windy, hilly, nearby country road that makes up my usual route.

The problem was that with all that rain falling so fiercely, both shoulders of the road had become flooded with three-foot wide, fast-moving rivers of water. There aren't any sidewalks and with cars speeding by on a regular basis, I wasn't sure where to run.

I couldn't run in the middle of the road (that would be stupid) and I didn't want to just turn around and go home (that would be disappointing). So I did what you would probably do: I put my head down and decided to just slog through the ankle-deep water along the shoulder.

Blah. Pretty miserable. But I eventually made it home safely.

After shedding my 20 pounds of water-logged clothing and hanging it to dry in the bathroom (see honey, after 22 years, I'm learning), I got to thinking that my running in the rain experience held some pretty good lessons for me and my fellow mid-life solo professionals.

To wit:

  • There's always going to be rain. I used to think that the day would come where I'd be "successful" as a solo and my worries would be over. I finally realized that no matter how much experience and good fortune you achieve, there are always going to be rainy, miserable days.

    So don't worry about it; put your head down and keep running. The sun always comes back out.
  • "Safe" is the wrong choice. If the "safe path" and the "scary path" led to the same place, you wouldn't have a decision to make. It's only because the more difficult road holds so much more promise (and deep down you know that), that you can't easily walk away from it.

    But not only does scary lead to better results, it's where all the fun, interesting, juicy action is too. There's a reason Nike doesn't make t-shirts that say, "Just Think About It."
  • We don't regret failing; we regret not doing. I got a call last week from a guy who told me he was thinking of leaving his boring job and doing what he really wanted to do instead. Then he made a mistake. He said (out loud), "If I knew I'd be successful at it, I'd do it in a second."

    Uh oh. If ever there was a phrase that paints you into a solo professional corner, that's it. Because once you hear yourself say it, there's no putting the lid back on.

    Every poet, musician, writer, philosopher and little old man at the coffee shop will tell you the same thing: Take more chances; follow your dreams; don't trade your life for money.  Pay attention to that; you don't get to be an elderly, musical, poetic guy named Aristotle without picking up a few tips along the way.   
Here's the bottom line. Working for yourself, particularly if you begin in mid-career, isn't always fun and it isn't always easy. There will be plenty of rainy days, plenty of times you're tempted to take a safer route, and plenty of anxiety along the way.

But I can guarantee you this: It sure beats working. See you in the rain.


Reproduced with permission from Michael Katz's Solo Professional Newsletter
Copyright ©2011 Blue Penguin Development, Inc. All rights reserved.
www.BluePenguinDevelopment.com

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Words Of Wisdom

"It isn't what you have, or who you are,
or where you are, or what you are doing
that makes you happy or unhappy.
It is what you think about."

-- Dale Carnegie

Thursday, October 13, 2011

TEDxBOULDER - Jake Nickell - Never Stop Making


Jake Nickell is Threadless's young and fearless entrepreneurial leader. Jake has a passion for learning new things, from how to get t-shirts made to figuring out how to design and program an e-commerce website. Currently, he's focused on running the worldwide, hugely successful business that Threadless has become. He likes to think creatively and unconventionally about how to keep Threadless one step ahead by encouraging nutty employee ideas and staying away from the "business" side of running a business. Jake also continues to keep up his geek cred through a love for programming. When he's not working, he's busy hanging out with his wife Shondi, daughter Arli, and son Dash.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Managing Values Across Cultures


Management thought leaders share their ideas on values in business. Featuring: Christopher Adkins, Mansour Javidan, Matthew Hayward, Buie Seawell, Mary Gentile, Gianpiero Petriglieri, Kari Granger, and Arturo Condo.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Hillman & Lucas, PC Law Firm As Latest Trend Setter Package Client

The law firm of Hillman & Lucas, PC has just become Upward Trend's latest Trend Setter Package client. Hillman & Lucas is located at One Harbor Center, Suite 220 in Suisun City CA 94585. Their phone number is 707-427-7377.

Hillman & Lucas practice law in these areas of expertise:

  • Estate Planning & Administration
  • Real Estate
  • Business Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Bankruptcy
  • Meiation & Arbitration
We look forward to serving Hillman & Lucas, PC on the Internet with our popular Trend Setter Package of services.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Words Of Encouragement

"I have found the best way to give advice
to your children is to find out what they want
and then advise them to do it."

-- Harry S Truman

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Words of Wisdom

"When dealing with people, I generally take the obvious approach.
When someone says, "This always happens to me and that always
happens to me. Why do these things always happen to me?"
I simply say, "Beats me. I don't know. All I know is that
those kinds of things seem to happen to people like you."

-- Jim Rohn

Friday, October 7, 2011

Upward Trend Welcomes Cultivate Cleaning As Latest Trend Setter Package Client


Cultivate Cleaning of Vacaville has just become our latest Trend Setter Package Client. Cultivate Cleaning is a new business owned by a young and spirited entrepreneur named Lynn Reigner. Here is just a sampling from a card handout to demonstrate her designed strategy:

Our exemplary services, your unique dreams

Our time spent, your free time

Our care for your space, your relaxation

Our professionals, your personal cleaning consultant

Cultivate Cleaning offers a full range of
earth-friendly, superior cleaning solutions and
products delivered directly to your home or business.

Telephone: 707-399-0354

As part of the very popular and successful Trend Setter Package, we have already started her new blog, and now managing her facebook pages, new twitter page, linked-in and soon a YouTube channel. In addition, a website will be built within a couple of weeks, and a follow up monthly newsletter and video services are included along with a bit of business consulting as desired. All of this for a low monthly stipend.

Watch for more from Lynn and her new enterprise Cultivate Cleaning! Upward Trend is proud to serve her growing company.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Capitalism at Risk


Dutch Leonard and Lynn Paine, Harvard Business School professors and coauthors of "Capitalism at Risk: Rethinking the Role of Business," describe how corporate leaders are responding to the forces challenging the free market.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Managing Values Across Cultures


Management thought leaders share their ideas on values in business. Featuring: Christopher Adkins, Mansour Javidan, Matthew Hayward, Buie Seawell, Mary Gentile, Gianpiero Petriglieri, Kari Granger, and Arturo Condo.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's about you in your market


Murray Eldridge, Director of Actinuim Creative Strategies, speaks to yourBusinessChannel

Friday, September 30, 2011

Closed. Gone Fishing. Out To Lunch. On Vacation. We're Not Here. See Ya!

I am continually amazed when I find businesses who claim to want more business, complain about the economy, and more, who aren't even open during business hours. Yes, during business hours.

A business goes to the trouble and posts their hours, and then doesn't even stick to that? I've seen it many times.

There is a huge assumption here that if someone shows up at your business and you're closed during business hours that they will just come back another time. It is seriously doubtful, but what about having that happen twice? See ya! You've just lost another customer of who knows what value to your business.

I can name three local businesses in the last six months where I've shown up at their store intending to buy and found the doors locked and the lights off. All three of these I went back to a second time and found them closed again. I wonder how they could ever grow a business this way.

One of the most basic rules necessary for good business: When you're open, be there!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Able Towing Has Become Latest Trend Setter Package Client

Upward Trend welcomes Able Towing as our latest Trend Setter Package client. We will be building them a website, adding a blog, updating and managing their social media including facebook, twitter, linkedin and YouTube. It also includes an email newsletter, video, SEO optimization, consulting and more.

Look for more about Able Towing in the coming days.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Words of Encouragement

"We can gradually grow into
any conditions we desire,
provided we first make ourselves
in habitual mental attitude
the person who corresponds
to those conditions."

-- Thomas Troward

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Words of Encouragement

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed
is always to try just one more time."

-- Thomas Edison

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Old Technology for New Prospects



Using a piece of "technology" that you've probably got sitting in your office, for tracking prospect conversations

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gateway Professional INSURANCE Services Is Latest Trend Setter Package Client


Upward Trend welcomes Cathy Spencer, and Gateway Professional Insurance Services as the latest Trend Setter Package client. Upward Trend will begin managing Gateway's blog, all their social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and others, along with a monthly email newsletter, video, SEO optimization, consulting, and more.

Gateway's current website will remain at http://www.gatewayinsurance.com/. Gateway Professional Insurance Services has been located at 1990 Alamo Drive, Suite 1 in Vacaville for the last 28 years. Give them a call at 707-446-9864.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Words of Encouragement

"You simply have to put one foot
in front of the other and keep going.
Put blinders on and plow right ahead."

-- George Lucas

Saturday, September 3, 2011

TEDxCMU - Chris Guillebeau - Fear and Permission


Some interesting thoughts . . .

Chris Guillebeau travels the world and writes for a small army of remarkable people at chrisguillebeau.com. This talk is about crocodiles, killer whales, writing your own permission slip, and changing the world.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Leading Collaborative Groups


John Abele, cofounder of Boston Scientific and author of the HBR article "Bringing Minds Together," explains how to effectively manage teams.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The One Star Review by Kirsty Dunphey

I was recently asked (most flatteringly) to give the opening address for a former staff member who has just opened his own real estate agency. As the words tumbled out of my mouth: “I’ve known Richard since his first day in real estate, I’ve seen him get his first listing, make his first sale, receive his first glowing testimonial.” It was at this point Richard with his trademark smile and honesty interjected with “She also saw me get my first complaint!” The audience laughed, and so did I.

Complaints, especially in service based industries like real estate are a common occurrence. Obviously great players attempt to minimise them, but I’ve always been of the opinion that when a complaint occurs, it shouldn’t be something you dread or push under the rug. It should be something that highlights a service or procedural error that you can improve on going forward. It's something that can make you better at what you do.

Saturday
5 days before the launch I’d gone out on a lovely romantic dinner with my husband to celebrate the day upon which 8 years ago he’d proposed to me. We arrived home around 10.20pm, Saturday and I checked my phone to find a text message from one of my business partners informing me that there was an unfavourable review posted on our facebook site.

I logged on to facebook straight away. After reading the review I texted the two staff members who may have been involved and heard back from them within minutes. From there I spent the next hour in repair mode.

The review gave us one star (this alone was mortifying for me when every other review on our facebook page had given us 5 stars). It stated that the person had called our office and hadn’t had their phone call returned in a reasonable time.

Devastatingly two of the reviewer’s friends had commented on the review already and it had only been up a matter of hours. That’s the power and the curse of instant social media beautifully illustrated. If 2 of his friends had felt they needed to comment, how many others had already seen it and not commented and how many had seen it just by looking at our page.

My first step was to comment on the review that I was looking into the situation and would be in touch soon. I also left my direct email address on that comment. I then went to the person’s facebook page and directly messaged them again stating that I was doing my best to get all the details and there I gave my direct mobile and email address and asked for some more details on the situation so that I could appropriately respond.

From there an email went out to all potential staff involved and all business partners as an update and a request for more information from those involved.

Sunday
Sunday morning I heard back from the complainant with the details. His frustration was completely justified, we had not gotten back to him in an appropriate time and I let him know where I was at in my investigations, I let him know he had been heard and that I was just waiting on a few more pieces of information to not only find out how he’d been left without contact, but also to resolve the enquiry he’d contacted us with. I told him when he'd next hear from me.

Monday
8.30am – I had the information he required from us that he was after in his initial phone call to the office and had that side of the situation resolved fairly quickly.

By midday I also had an explanation as to how the return of his call had been delayed. We’d had a staff member away from the office on medical grounds and this contributed to the delay. However, most importantly, when I relayed this to the complainant, to me the most vital thing was that I let him know that these were the circumstances surrounding the issue, but they were by no means an excuse. Every office is busy, every office has people away sick and every office should have appropriate means in place to deal with these everyday occurrences so that the experience to the customer is seamless.

In damage control mode I wanted to make sure that while I was working on resolving this issue that the unfavourable review wasn’t the first someone saw when they looked at our reviews page. As such I asked a number of clients if they'd feel comfortable in reviewing our services on the page and quickly we had a couple of lovely reviews from very happy clients showing at the top of the page. Now, back on to resolving my one star.

Tuesday - Wednesday
I went to the office in question so that I could speak to the staff members involved and conduct some training based on the feedback we’d been provided.
I kept contact with the complainant informing him of the training I was doing and the progress we were making in attempting to have delays of this sort not be an ongoing issue.

Thursday
I touched base a final time with the complainant to make sure he was 100% happy with the way I’d handled the issue. When he replied that he was, I asked if he felt comfortable removing the review. His reply was that I’d gone to a lot of trouble and he was happy to remove his review. He was extremely reasonable the entire time I dealt with him. And my final follow up to this gentleman will be to pop something in the mail to him next week thanking him for his feedback and for helping us become a better service company.

Ultimately, with social media, you can typically find ways to remove unfavourable posts and reviews by deleting them. For me that was never an option. If I couldn’t find a way to resolve this issue for the gentleman so that he felt comfortable deleting the review himself, I would have left it there (as sad as that would make me).

Was it a lot of work to go to get him to delete the review? Yes, it was quite a big investment in my time.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. It highlighted an aspect of my business that I wasn’t aware of and that needed addressing.

I’d go as far as to say that I’m grateful for the complaint because of the flaws in our service delivery that were easy to address and rectify that it illuminated.

The next time you get a complaint – will you see it as an opportunity to get discouraged or an opportunity to improve?


Reproduced with permission from the Kirsty Dunphey weekly email. To subscribe to Kirsty Dunphey's weekly email, go to www.kirstydunphey.com