Refresh Your Business

Business Energizers Logo, copyright Business Energizers, a division of Lynray Inc.

Branding and marketing matters for how your customers view you and your business. How long has it been since you took a fresh look at your business presence?

I was meeting with a marketing friend, named Bill, the end of last year. He looked at some of my branding and marketing materials and asked when they were created. “Some of it is over 10 years old,” I said. “They look it,” he said. Ouch!

That began our refreshment adventure. Nine months later (about the same time to birth a baby) we have created a new branding look, updated copy, website, and marketing materials. It was an enlightening, clarifying process that helped me to better understand the value we offer to our customers. Well worth the investment of time and money.

Here’s the process Bill guided me through:

Read more

, , ,

Why Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland Splash Mountain

Are you planning a family vacation to Disneyland this summer? If so, notice how they attend to the details of what makes you happy.

Disney understands what you, the customer, wants before you do.

Several years ago I attended a Disney seminar for leaders and was amazed at their organization’s attention to their customer’s needs and desires.

Disney employees exemplify what I call “The Diamond Rule: Strive honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”


Here are some ways they understand you, their customer, intimately:

  • They minimize distractions and expedite check in at their hotels because they know your family’s nerves are frazzled from the long, exhausting trip to get there. They know the last thing you need is more stimulation at that moment.
  • You won’t find an outside newspaper for sale anywhere on their property because they know you have come there to escape the real world.
  • Every employee knows where the nearest restroom is because they know you have pushed your bladder to its limits and will need to make a mad dash to get there in time.
  • Trash receptacles are placed no more than 30 steps apart because they know just how long you are willing to hold onto your trash before dropping it.
  • Lines at each attraction twist and turn with their own suspenseful entertainment as you wait with anticipation so that you don’t mind very much how long it’s taking.
  • Disney employees are called “Cast Members” to remind them that when they enter the property “It’s show time!” and your family is their most important audience.

Disney’s philosophy in their own words (excerpts from the Disney Institute website)… Read more

, ,

3 Things Customers Value Most

Understanding your customers’ needs and desires is vital to improving your bottom line.

All customers assess the value of your products and services (the stuff you provide) before making a buying decision by weighing the delicate balance of price, quality and service—3-legs of the stool. You must learn how to masterfully build and balance these three components.

Let’s look at all the components of the 3-legged stool as shown in the accompanying graphic:

  • Your products and services represent what’s placed on the seat
  • Price, quality and service are the three legs
  • The legs are supported and stabilized by a clearly defined strategic plan (i.e., core purpose, core values, mission, vision, goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and action plan).

In this article, we will focus on exploring the delicate balance of the three legs of the stool. At the bottom of this article, you will find links to other articles that I have written about the other components of the stool. Read more

, , , , ,

Celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Workplace-It’s All About Love!

What does love and Valentine’s Day have to do with business? In a nutshell, everything!

  • Customers and employees who feel loved are more loyal to your company.
  • Employees who love their bosses and their jobs perform better.
  • Customers and employees who feel loved share their experiences with others.

What if this is true: “It’s all about love!”?

Simply put: Love aspires. Love inspires. Love grows.

Let’s look at two extraordinary companies, both of which were launched in 1971—more than 45 years ago—operating with love as an essential core value.

Have you ever enjoyed a burger and a beer at a Hard Rock Café? Did you know that the company was founded by two hippies who chose love, peace, and rock-‘n-roll as their mantra? Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton were two shaggy-haired Americans who just wanted to find a good American burger while living in London. They built their first café on London’s Hyde Park corner as the first “classless” restaurant in the class-laden English society.

Today there are more than 175 Hard Rock locations, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos, and live music venues in 55 countries. Emblazoned on the wall of every property is, “Love All, Serve All.” It is the life—and business—success principle that Tigrett borrowed from his guru in India.

The Seminole Tribe acquired the Hard Rock companies in 2007, continuing to keep its love-based culture alive. Their mottos are still visible: “Love All, Serve All,” “Take Time to Be Kind,” “All Is One,” and “Save the Planet.” And how’s this for a core value: “Deliver kick-ass service.”

Southwest Airlines is another company that fearlessly embraces love (“LUV”) as a fundamental principle.

Read more

, , ,

How to Ignite Enthusiasm withYour Mission

Mission EnthusiasmDo you have a mission statement that clearly defines the unique business that you are in or about?

Do your employees and customers understand your organization’s mission?


W. Clement Stone said…

“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.” 

Clearly defining your mission helps you to know which opportunities to say “yes” to and which to turn down. It becomes your “energy umbrella.” Every opportunity under the umbrella of your mission is a wise investment of your organization’s energy and resources. Anything outside the umbrella will not resonate with what is important to your organization. It is a valuable tool to decide on what to expend precious resources.

 “Clearly defining your mission helps you to know what opportunities to say ‘yes’ to and which to turn down.”

 A mission statement is an umbrella proposition that should encompass all you chose to do. It defines the business you are in or about. A mission statement, well written, will answer the following questions:

  1. How do you choose to have people behave (most important core values)?
  2. Why is your organization here (core purpose; the heart of your mission statement)?
  3. What does your organization do (products and services you provide)?
  4. What results do you desire for your organization (beyond just making money)?
  5. Who does your organization serve (your customers)?

The key to crafting a good mission statement is to make it simple but not too vague. Make it heartfelt and not too heady. Make it unique to your organization so as to distinguish you from your competitors. Make it memorable and inspiring to all who read it.

Here are a few mission statement examples that may help get you started with creating your own:

Starbucks Mission: To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

Our TLC Mission: We help create cultures of character and success that inspire hope and awaken the greatness in people, organizations and communities—guiding organizations to get clear, get organized, get going, and get results.

When you have completed your organizational mission statement, consider asking your department managers to gather with their direct reports to craft each department’s mission statement. This exercise will help employees to become clearer about the scope of their service to the organization. Additionally, you will find it to be a meaningful and engaging employee team building experience.

I always recommend to my clients that they revisit their mission annually, because their organization needs to evolve as the needs of their target market changes. Your organization’s core purpose and core values should stand the test of time once you get them right. However, keep your mission like clay that you continue to mold as you get clearer on the business you’re in or about.

Enjoy igniting your enthusiasm and burning desire by creating or rejuvenating your mission statement.

Much success and fulfillment,



(Adapted from Chapter 4 of my new book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Read free chapters and learn more at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz .)

, , , , , ,

Infuse Your Culture with Values

Core Values GraphicWhat does your organization stand for—your core values? Successful business owners understand how vital a company’s core values are to creating a company culture that results in happy, productive, successful employees, which, in turn, leads to happy customers and a healthy bottom-line.

Values are your guide for weathering ethical dilemmas. They become the fabric for weaving good sound decisions. Values become your employees’ moral compass. For your company’s values to permeate throughout your organization, it will take conscious, consistent, deliberate actions.

Jim Collins & Jerry Porras (authors, Built to Last) say…

“The only truly reliable source of stability is a strong inner core [purpose and values] and the willingness to change and adapt everything except that core.”

Core values form the root system of your organization. Values nourish and stabilize your company. They represent the ideals that your organization stands for. They form your legacy. The more widespread and deeply imbedded your values, the more likely it is that your organization will stand the test of time. A company that knows and practices core values can weather storms and the winds of change… (Click here to read more of this LinkedIn article)


(Adapted from Chapter 3 of my new book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Read free chapters and learn more at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz .)

, , , , ,

How Do You Measure Your Success in Business and Life?

Golden Rule 02These turbulent global times demand that we return to basic universal principles both personally and professionally.

Here are some examples of successful organizations that deliver exemplary service by putting into practice a simple, timeless, and powerful core value—The Golden Rule. If you think it’s “too touchy-feely” for your organization, think again.

How about Hewlett Packard’s “The HP Way”— which focuses on respect and concern for the individual. It is simply the Golden Rule, which says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

HP was identified in Built to Last, by James Collins and Jerry Porras, as one of the most successful visionary companies of the past hundred years.

One of the most popular business books of all time, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, dedicates over half its contents to illustrating different facets of “The Golden Rule.” Since the book’s release in 1936, it has sold more than 15 million copies. Today, it is still listed on bestseller lists along with other current top-selling business books.

Not convinced yet? One of the oldest and largest business associations, Rotary International, advocates applying “The 4-Way Test” in making sound business decisions.

Before deciding a course of action, apply “The 4-Way Test” to the things we think, say and do:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

These are all facets of “The Golden Rule!”

Conclusion: It simply makes good business (and personal) sense to invoke this universal principle of service in order to attract and retain customers (and valued employees).

Whenever I facilitate the core values portion of the strategic planning process, I begin by asking the participants to brainstorm these two types of Golden Rule questions:

  • “How do you like to be treated as an employee?” and
  • “How do your customers like to be treated?”

Answering these simple, yet profound, questions will establish or clarify the behavioral values of your organization. Also, the greater the number of employees you involve in defining “their own behavioral values,” the greater will be their enthusiastic buy-in for implementing them.

You will find that these values also provide a worthwhile tool for measuring individual and team service success.

So, how do you like to be treated?

Much success and fulfillment,


Ray Madaghiele is Chief Inspiration Officer at Business Energizers, a division of TLC, an organizational and human excellence company.

Ray is the author of the book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process, which was launched last week. Learn more or purchase at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz . This article is adapted from Chapter 11.

Ray is a Master Facilitator who has a unique lifestyle as a full-time RVer, operating his business while he and his wife, Lyn, roll across North America. Their present RV lifestyle evolved from Ray’s 3,369 mile, 70 day, transformational bicycle ride from Phoenix, AZ to Ground Zero New York City in 2002.

, , ,

Successful Businesses Get Going Quickly with Implementation

20-3rd Phase Intro-Fig10-P110-Get Going COI 2015-05-08Once you “Get Clear” and “Get Organized” it’s time to “Get Going” with everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction. Successful businesses know how important it is to move into action quickly after the direction has been set.

In my previous two blog posts I shared the first 5 steps of the strategic planning process that help you to “Get Clear” about the direction of your organization, and three steps to “Get Organized”. The focus of this blog is moving into action.

Here are the next 2 steps of the strategic planning process cycle to help you “Get Going”…

9.  Prepare for Ignition – Jack Welch said, “When it comes to strategy, ponder less and do more.” After you have defined your Goals, Objectives and Strategies, it’s time to identify how you are going to achieve them—tactically. It’s time to pay attention to the details—to identify the detailed Tactics (action steps), to schedule the timeline for accomplishing them, to identify the resources required, and to assign people to each task.

Now the proverbial “rubber meets the road.” Up to this point, you have been building potential energy, similar to that of rollercoaster cars climbing the initial big hill. Now it’s time for kinetic energy to take over as the rollercoaster cars rush down from the top of the hill—as you put your plans into action! It can be very exciting—and sometimes a little scary. So remember, too, that it’s time to step into your fear and experience the fruits of your labor.

Jack Canfield says, “Remember, you and you alone are responsible for maintaining your energy. Give up blaming, complaining, and excuse-making, and keep taking action in the direction of your goals–however mundane or lofty they may be.”

10.  Keep the Energy Flowing – Napoleon Hill said, “All natural laws and all of nature’s plans are based upon harmonious, cooperative effort.” So, who is responsible for the success of your new strategic plan? Everyone! Gain enthusiastic support and buy-in for the plan by involving ALL employees in the process. Assign everyone a piece of the puzzle to help keep the plan alive. Once your action plans are complete, the task at hand is to keep them alive, employing everyone’s cooperation and collaboration. Don’t let your planning book gather dust on a shelf, never to be seen again until next year’s planning retreat. Allow your strategic plan to be a living, breathing guide to individual and organizational success.

Done right, the strategic plan should guide everyone’s actions by constantly reminding them of the most important use of their time. Create an environment where everyone collaborates to deliver “24k Gold Service” that improves customer and employee loyalty and maximizes profitability.

What do you do to “Get Going” with everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction?

Much success and fulfillment,


Chief Inspiration Officer
Business Energizers

This post is adapted from my book, Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Click this link to learn more or purchase:


I invite you to follow this blog to learn and share valuable tools and tips. And please connect with me on my social media channels.