Category Archives: Chamber News

Business Promotion Spending Guide (Part II)

  Last week I wrote about promotion of your business, in general, and cost-effective ways to promote your business. This week, I will talk about one promotion spending guide that helps you determine how much to spend in promoting your business. First, answer the following questions by checking “Yes” or “No” to the questions. If you don’t know, it is a “No”.  1. Our sales are increasing each year?    Yes No 2. Our profits are increasing each year? 3. The number of walk-in customers is growing? 4. Everyone in our trade area knows we are here? 5. Our location is visible and easy to find? 6. Everyone in our trade area knows what we sell? 7. Our location has “high drive-by” traffic and lots of parking? 8. We have been in the same location for more than three years? 9  We have very little competition in our trade area?…

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How to Produce a Good Day

We have all experienced it – a bad day! Many times, it starts before or on our way to work. Our spouse says something or we get cutoff in traffic, and our minds are set – we are having a bad day. Things go downhill from there. Everything becomes an issue, and by the time we get home, it has become a terrible day.   What if I could show you there are ways to have a good day, even when bad stuff happens? You want to ask yourself three fundamental questions when it comes to your workday: 1) Do you feel you have spent your time and directed your attention to things that matter? 2) Do you feel you did a good job and enjoyed yourself? 3) Do you feel you have enough energy at the end of the day to wake up the next day and do it…

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Four Negative Traits in Leadership

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about jumping the chasm and the challenges of staying relevant and impactful in your business or organization. A couple of those key points were being a life-long learner, having a sense of curiosity, being willing to commit resources in technology or people, and taking action.   On the flip side, some weaknesses can be addressed through thought and self-awareness. Here are four things to watch for in your leadership style: ① Lack of vision. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a business or organization with no vision or that is stuck in the ‘90s business model. The business feels listless and rudderless. Employees pick up on the lack of direction or “no true cause.” The organization may be making it now, but in short order, things will change, and the money will stop flowing; then a crisis will come. A smart…

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How to Effectively Promote Your Business, Part I

With the pandemic end in sight, I hear and see more businesses working to develop new promotional ideas and concepts.  I am occasionally asked what would work best, and my response is – it depends. What works best depends on your business, your specific products or services, your community, your competition, and your skills to promote your business. Keep in mind these six critical points as you think about promoting your business:   ① Promotion’s one primary goal is to get the right message to the right people at the right time. ② The cheapest promotions are word-of-mouth referrals. Keep your current customers happy, because it is cheaper to keep customers than to go get new ones. ③ Great promotions will never make up for inferior quality or poor service. ④ Promotion is an investment in the future. ⑤ If your promotion doesn’t point out benefits to your customers, it’s…

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A TRANSPORT EMPIRE BUILT ON INTEGRITY – Parker & Company

Frank Parker, Jr. President / CEO   As you drive down the road, have you ever looked at your dashboard and wondered how all its parts came together? Have you ever noticed a cargo container of Mission Wonderful Citrus orange juice trucking on down the road and wondered where in the world it was going? (Check toward the end for the answer.) Have you ever gotten in a convoy with a line of trucks and wondered who figured out how all this stuff was getting moved from point A to point B? One company that has been in the transportation business for 36 years is Parker & Company led by its President/CEO, Frank Parker, Jr. “I’m a third generation Brownsville, Texas, resident,” Parker said. “My dad worked in the ship loading and unloading business at the port. I grew up around the port and understood the international trade early.” After…

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13 QUESTIONS WITH MCALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – HERSHAL PATEL

Hershal Patel Co-owner Perspective Hospitality Management Services   1) What is your favorite book? Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s a book about a fugitive from New Zealand/Australia who ends up in India. The way he describes Bombay reformed the way I see India.  2) What is your favorite movie? Hands down, the 007 series.  The one on the top of my list is From Russia with Love. The reason I like the series is because each movie was a guide to the time in which the movie was made. Another reason is one of my favorite cities in the world is Istanbul and a good part of that movie takes place in Istanbul.  3) What was your favorite vacation spot? The greatest place I’ve been to is Istanbul. At the time we went, it was just before some of the civil unrest there but you would never have known.  4)…

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McALLEN CHAMBER WINS KALIFF MARKETING AWARDS FROM THE TFEA ASSOCIATION

The Texas Festivals and Events Association (TFEA) held the Kaliff Marketing Awards competition this past summer.  The competition recognizes and encourages excellence in festival promotional campaigns. The McAllen Chamber of Commerce entered several categories in the competition to celebrate the success of McAllen’s newest festival MXLAN 2019. The McAllen Chamber and PolluxCastor, the event’s Creative Advertising & Production Company, teamed up to host the event at the McAllen Convention Center. MXLAN is a 5-day event where traditions rarely seen outside the interior of Mexico happen alongside modern artists and revelers honoring their cultural roots. The festival, which included a Mexican arts & crafts mercado, food from Mexico and the Valley, a Mezcal & Tequila event, a Neon Nights 5-k Run, live concerts with music from local and up-and-coming talented musicians, and a dance troupe leading a Calenda-style parade from La Guelaguetza (an indigenous ceremonial celebration that happens once a year…

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Naikan and Three Questions

Our world has become such a rush! We jump from one thing to the next. We are trying to manage meetings, work schedules, kids, spouses, and a myriad of other things that demand our attention and efforts. The stress of daily life is taking its toll on us physically, emotionally, and mentally. The ability to step back and reflect is more crucial than ever before in our world. The Japanese have a psychology called Naikan that challenges an individual to self-reflect. The idea is based on the psychology of action, which means doing things you can control and letting go of things you cannot control. We live in a complaint-based life. We complain about people, work, situations, the world, and even the drive to work. Where you focus is where your mind is. When we think and talk negatively, guess what you become – negative. The challenge in the modern…

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Jumping the Chasm

History is replete with businesses that could not adapt or change to stay relevant and make money, such as Sears, K-mart, Blockbuster Video, Service Merchandise, Pier 1 Imports, Toys R Us, Payless Shoes, and the list goes on. So, what happened? There are varying degrees of issues: too much debt, not making critical investments, or losing sight of customers. All of the above businesses had intelligent people running them, but there comes a moment when things change. I call the moment “jumping the chasm” when a dramatic change or risks has to occur, or failure and demise is the end game. Human nature allows us to get comfortable with the status quo. Things are working fine, money is being made, customers are walking in the door, and good things are happening. Then slowly, or sometimes instantly, change starts. Change is hard. If we do not build change into our DNA…

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My Parents Didn’t Love Me

Growing up, I was convinced my parents didn’t love me. They were not much into “wildly praising” how smart I was, or how great I was, or even some of my significant childhood accomplishments. Sometimes I would get a polite nod or smile, but not much more. I don’t think my parents were much into developing my “success ego.” I don’t think my parents loved me. At the age of 11, my mom informed us kids she would no longer do our laundry. She explained to us that white clothes should be separated from the colored clothes, and you should not wash white clothes and colored clothes in the same load. After I turned my underwear and socks pink a couple of times, I learned to wash my whites and colored clothes separately. I don’t think my parents loved me. In middle school, my mom stopped making our lunches. She…

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WE RUN UNTIL WE GET IT DONE! – CYTECH HEATING & COOLING, L.C.

“Comfort, Quality, and Value . . . Every Time!” Dusty & Gail Cyphers, Co-owners Snow! After 100 years, snow fell in the Valley in 2004 and heaters were having problems all. When we wondered, “Who’re we going to call?” the answer was simply, “Why, Cytech Heating & Cooling, L.C., of course.” “It was probably the coolest thing our team has done,” began Dusty Cyphers, co-owner of Cytech Heating & Cooling, L.C. “It was Christmas Eve, and everybody was cold. We ended up running calls until about one o’clock Christmas morning. Everyone pulled their weight. I did not lose one person. Everybody who called in with a problem was taken care of.” Both Dusty and Gail grew up in the Houston area, even attending the same high school for six months without really noticing each other. During her senior year a mutual friend introduced them, love blossomed, and they were married…

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13 QUESTIONS WITH MCALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER – FRANCISCO PAEZ

Co-owner, Kumori & Mori 1) What is your favorite book? The DaVinci Code. It involves a lot of things I’m familiar with through my study of history and religion. I found it very interesting. 2) What is your favorite movie? My favorite movies are Braveheart and The Notebook. I love the action in Braveheart and the storyline. The Notebook is a wonderful story of a couple in love, what they went through, and how they end up together. That emotion is incredible when you find your loved one and stay together your whole life with all the things you go through. At the end of their life, they even died in the same bed together. What else could you ask for in a relationship? 3) What was your favorite vacation spot? That would be Italy because the culture is so unique. You can walk through the whole city enjoying the…

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MEET YOUR AMBASSADORS – ANGIE & KARL KAISER

Co-Owners, On Guard Sanitation & Valley Draft Services What does a severely dyslexic high school dropout do with his life? He uses his skills of engineering and vision to design some of the most intricate draft beer systems in the United States. Along the way, Karl Kaiser, co-owner of On Guard Sanitation & Valley Draft Services married a smart beauty, Angie, who gladly took on the responsibilities of co-owning the business, and they traveled the country installing draft beer systems. That is, until they came to McAllen. Here they found a place they were needed – no draft beer system service company here – and decided to settle down. Then they found the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and they found a family. Becoming Ambassadors, they felt at home. “We joined to network and meet people,” said Kaiser. “I like feeding off the other Ambassadors’ knowledge. We enjoy seeing people’s businesses…

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