Valdosta Daily Times

April 7, 2013

Common business courtesies coming back

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — As the saying goes, everything old is new again. Some things I hope never come back, like mullets, velour, and polyester, but some things are welcome to see again. And not just in clothing and hair styles, but in personal habits as well. Courtesies have been disappearing faster than the dinosaurs in the ice age, as technology has spoiled us and ruined relationships by removing the personal touch in one-on-one communication.

If you missed this year’s Gathering of Eagles at Wiregrass, you missed a great program with CEO Joel Manby of Herschend Entertaiment as the keynote speaker.

Obviously some advice he presented that day really made an impact on some of the attendees, and has spawned a local revolution, so to speak, in business courtesy.

In his presentation, Manby related the story of how Mr. Herschend had taken the time to write a handwritten thank you note to his family for allowing him to work so hard, expressing his appreciation for his efforts. How many bosses do that? Few, I’d wager. But the point Manby made is that taking the time to write a personal note to someone is a far better outreach for a business than just sending a quick text, tweet or email.

This week, I sent one handwritten note to a local business (please pardon my handwriting, by the way), and received two from two other businesses in town — one from Wild Adventures who obviously took her boss’ suggestions to heart, and another from someone at SGMC. And Manby was right — the uniqueness of receiving a note in the mail, the time and effort involved when an email would have been far quicker, and the thought behind the notes all made a lasting impression on me, and I’ve vowed to continue to pass this on myself.

And just think — if this old habit becomes new again, perhaps we’ve just found a solution to the post office’s woes. And even if it doesn’t help turn their business model around, perhaps it will improve, enhance and encourage other relationships, business or personal, in your own life as it has in mine. Thank you, Joel!

Business Roundup

The Egg and I restaurant on N. Ashley Road is opening for friends and family today and tomorrow is the grand opening for customers.

The new Nashville Tractor dealership on N. Valdosta Road is holding its grand opening next weekend, so be sure to drop by there to say hello.

The new physician’s professional building on the corner of N. Oak St. Ext. by Winn Dixie is nearly done, with the exterior looking pretty finished and work going on inside.

The new Waffle House on Baytree Road is not yet open, but they are denitely close, and the new Dollar General on the corner of Northside and Forrest is going up so fast, it will be open before you know it.

There is a renovation permit for a store in the Valdosta Mall, The Buckle. A great store for trendy dressers, it’s popular and in most malls in Florida and larger cities, so it’s great to see some additional national retailers coming to town.

Still waiting to see when Phase Two of the Academy Sports complex is going to begin, although I hear it’s very soon. It will add several additional stores to the area on Norman Drive, some of which I understand are not currently here in Valdosta.

The Bad Habitz Saloon and Grub on Gornto Road near the mall is looking to open mid-April. Despite all of the cars seen in the parking lot, which has spurred many calls to me asking about their opening date, the vehicles belong to workers and employees training and finishing the interior, and no, they aren’t open for business yet.

Splash Island is now open at Wild Adventures, so take the family and your season passes to the park and enjoy the day!

That’s it for this week, but if there’s something I missed, please let me know!