Just back from a cross-country driving trip, first in many years. I was pleased to note that there were wind turbines in every state as we drove to Colorado. Much else along I-70 looked very much as it has for decades, except in those cities which have grown. While I enjoyed the break, I noticed some lessons for many of us.

How do you publicize your business?

Talk about realizing how little I have been doing in recent years to attract new business! Reminded me how many organizations I know which have not changed their advertising or publicity much in recent years either. This thought first came to me as I moved into the land of billboards. I do not see billboards much in regular activities so their profusion was noticeable. But as I paid attention, I saw far more. There also were smaller signs on farmer’s fences. There was more advertising on cars and trucks. Several of the hotels we stayed at had far more available in pamphlets and flyers for area businesses and attractions, a few even had 10% discount coupons at the registration desk.

None of these may work for you. But what I am recommending is that you take a look at what you do now and whether it is what you really need.

  • Do you have an active plan that is relevant to your business or non-profit’s work?
  • Are you using the right social media and using it effectively?
  • Do you have a referral program?  Are you working it regularly?
  • Are you active in local business and professional organizations?
  • What else can you do that will help you continue to succeed?

What steps are you taking to build in diversity and inclusion?

Even as I traveled through some of the least diverse areas of our country, I noted how much more diversity was visible now. This was true on the streets and in workplaces. Customer-facing staff in many places were minorities, people with disabilities, and many were tattooed or pierced. And it is no longer just the national parks where I saw a lot of white-haired employees.

Some of this presumably is the tight labor market and the decline in working age males who are actually working. But I think many businesses may have begun to realize that there is no reason to ignore such labor sources. Still, I often get questions from food service and retail owners who worry about whether their customers will accept visible tattoos or piercings.

A diverse staff also brings in viewpoints which may enhance your business if you pay attention to their ideas. And if I am part of a mixed family or have a disability or am just plain still alive past 60, don’t you think I want to work with other organizations or patronize service providers whose staffs look more like me?

If the NFL can hire a player without a hand, what can you rethink about hiring?