At Your Service by Maggie Inge

At Your Service by Margaret Inge is a weekly column that examines a number of business issues directly related to the Central Catskills’ service economy.

At Your Service: July 14, 2010

It’s a pop quiz: I say, “Thank you,”; you say _____?

If your response is anything other than, “You’re welcome,” I invite you to reconsider. Giving thanks to someone is a spoken token of appreciation. Something the person did made a positive impact and we recognize the gesture. Responding with “you’re welcome” makes it personal and turns the sentiment back around.

At Your Service: July 7, 2010

Last week Thursday, at the Freshtown Marketplace grand opening, owner Noah Katz made a comment that caught my attention, “Now we get to do what we do best – run a supermarket.” It is a statement that reflects a critical self-awareness that serves any businessperson. Making a clear distinction between what we do well and what we must do can make all the difference in turning dreams into reality.

At Your Service: June 23, 2010

When they asked me to talk to the Girl Scouts about writing and the careers that writing skills make available, my first reaction was that I should tell them how hard it is to earn a living as a writer. The more I have thought about it, the more I think that it is simply hard to earn a living. Any young person, whether graduating or simply looking forward, needs to know that life isn’t easy.

At Your Service: June 16, 2010

This morning I saw my first fawn of the season. Following his mother, he pranced across the road in my path; good brakes saved his life. He (while it was impossible to tell from the fleeting sighting, I assumed a he) could not have been more than a few days old and is as cute as a button. I could not, in the moment, think of anything other than preserving his life.

At Your Service: June 2, 2010

When you think it through (and most of us don’t take the time) it is very hard work to sustain a retail business in a small rural community. The odds are stacked against you from the start. You must know your customer base and provide the goods and services that will keep them coming back time and again.