Friday, April 30, 2010

MichiganMall.Com proves change is a good thing

Jan and Marshall Rice know the only way to make better is to keep improving it. 

The Rochester Hills couple have recently made several fundamental changes to their web  portal.  "It's now a search engine stimulator," says Marshall,  "By linking your site to,  the search engine algorithms will then rank your web page higher." also lists Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter pages, so that customer know all the ways how to interact with a business. was established in 1998, as a comprehensive online directory of Michigan businesses. The couple has also serves as sponsors and organizers for the annual Celebrate Michigan Expo, held every September. "We know so many business owners and entrepreneurs," says Jan, "Our job is to help tell the success stories in Michigan." 

Jan and Marshall Rice are passionate promoters of Michigan's business success through all they do. For more information, go to or call (888) 315-1928

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Failure To Plan Your Marketing Is A Sure Plan For Failure

While most small business owners have great product knowledge and a drive to succeed,  many will fail due to their lack of an effective business marketing plan.  

"How do you know if you are achieving your goals if you don't know how to monitor and measure them?" says Sandy Barris, President of Business Marketing Services of Bloomfield Hills, "Your marketing plan is the tool that keeps you sales and marketing activity on track."

Some business owners visualize heavily detailed marketing plans about the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  Barris disagrees, "An highly effective marketing plan can be just a page or two."

For those needing help with ideas, strategy and tactics, Barris has devised an online marketing plan developer. develops specific plans for all types of businesses, including direct emails on how to effectively implement your ideas.

For more details, go to or call Sandy Barris at (248) 335-8766  

-- Dean La Douceur

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Moti Mahal continues a family tradition, returns to Royal Oak

Joe Ullah continues a family tradition. This past February, Ullah re-opened the Moti Mahal Restaurant in downtown Royal Oak.

His father ran the original Moti Mahal on Main Street. Many area diners first learned about Indian cuisine from his family's restaurant.  For the past several years, the Ullah family was out of the restaurant business.  Friends and customers constantly suggested they re-open.

Ullah decided to take a risk.  He found a location on South Washington Ave., not too far from the original. He asked his father to return, manage the kitchen and bring back many of the dishes locals love.

Since he's opened, the response has been overwhelming. Old friends and newcomers are discovering Moti Mahal. Joe Ullah is thankful he took a chance and re-opened. Loyal diners are grateful as well. 

Moti Mahal is at 411 S. Washington Ave., just South of 4th Street in Royal Oak. 

-- Dean La Douceur

Friday, April 23, 2010

A CAN DO Assistant With A CAN DO Attitude

MaryAnn Page had no other choice. She found herself unemployed, needing health insurance, and without many options.  

She chose to put her administrative and business skills to work to help fellow entrepreneurs. She picked a name for her company, “Your CAN DO! Assistant,” which reflected her wide range of talents and abilities.

To meet business owners, MaryAnn joined the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce. She attended various other business events and found out how to network effectively. She learned how to better market, promote, and price her services. It took time, but customers did come.

Today, MaryAnn has a stable of clients who regularly call on her to assist with staging a seminar or helping out with several projects. The Ferndale-based entrepreneur loves every minute of it -- no two days are ever the same.

MaryAnn Page is a CAN DO professional with both attitude and talent to match. You can reach her at 248-496-2771 or at

-- Dean La Douceur

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hyper-sensitive Customers Demand Superlative Customer Services

A bi-product of the down economy is ‘a hyper-sensitive customer’ who has unrealistic expectations about how they deserve to be treated, says customer service guru Lori Jo Vest.

The Troy resident  and co-author of Who’s Your Gladys? says shoppers today are time and money poor, feels guilty about spending, are less loyal then before and believes that retailers are privileged to have them in their stores.

Vest cites a recent survey from Great Britain, where three out of four respondents said they would walk out of a store if they experienced bad service from retailer.

“When times are tough and customer dollars are scarce, it’s companies with exceptional customer service that weather the storms,” advises Vest. She feels that no matter what else your company does, “Ramp up your customer service to the highest possible level.”

Lori Jo Vest and Marilyn Suttle are the co-authors of Who’s Your Gladys? - For more ideas about superlative customer service, including how to purchase their book,

-- Dean La Douceur

A Powerful Polished Look Is Your Best Asset In Business.

In business, a strong first impression is a key to success. Image Consultant Julie Maedar wants all business professionals to understand  a polished look can be a powerful asset.

She reminds clients that looking right does make a difference. "If you're not sure, then err on the side of too dressy, not too casual. No one will ever fault you for looking too good." When looking for what's appropriate in a workplace, Maedar suggests "Look for the most successful person that you want to be like."

She offers each gender one simple rule. For women, always consider the rule of "too's". If it seems too short, too trendy, too old or too revealing, chances are it usually is.

For men, keeping their attire current and sharp is very important. Men need to pay attend to a garment looks, fits and feels. A man needs to replace clothes that look tired -- no matter how dear a friend it has been.

Julie Maedar is a certified image consultant, with offices in Troy.   She is also co-author of the book Inspired Style, which is scheduled to be released this May 2010.  Her web site is

-- Dean La Douceur

Make smart choices about Smart Phones

The constant wave of new smart phones makes choosing the right one for your business use a real challenge.

Dave Peckens, of, recommends that your choice may come down to access to a variety of applications verses your need for a sturdy, secure messaging tool. 

BlackBerry phones are a secure messaging tool featuring a QWERTY keyboard and proven levels of encription. Smart phones like the iPhone and Google Android have an abundance of application options and touch screens.These keep a balance between them serving as an entertainment device and a messaging tool.

"How you plan to use your phone is the key," advises Peckens,  "BlackBerry's are a business die hard since 1995. iPhones and Android products are now in their second generation."  He advises always working with a professional with whom you feel confident. "If he doesn't seem to know what he's talking about, chances are he might not." 

Dave Peckens is founder and Chief BlackBerry-ologist of He can be reached at 248-875-8599. 

-- Dean La Douceur