Who’s laboring on Labor Day?

Bredemarket has always restricted its business to the United States. (Lately I’ve focused more on California’s Inland Empire West, but that’s another story.) So everyone in my target market is celebrating Labor Day today.

Theoretically.

It’s important to note that most other countries celebrate the contributions of labor on May 1, but for several reasons the United States chose a different day. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO page that explained this no longer exists, but I quoted from that page in a tymshft post a decade ago:

Despite the popularity of May Day and the appeal of an international holiday, the American Federation of Labor pushed to secure Labor Day as America’s primary celebration of its workers. This was due to the more radical tone that May Day had taken. Especially after the 1886 Haymarket riot, where several police officers and union members were killed in Chicago, May Day had become a day to protest the arrests of anarchists, socialists, and unionists, as well as an opportunity to push for better working conditions. Samuel Gompers and the AFL saw that the presence of more extreme elements of the Labor Movement would be detrimental to perception of the festival. To solve this, the AFL worked to elevate Labor Day over May Day, and also made an effort to bring a more moderate attitude to the Labor Day festivities. The AFL, whose city labor councils sponsored many of the Labor Day celebrations, banned radical speakers, red flags, internationalist slogans, and anything else that could shed an unfavorable light upon Labor Day or organized labor.

From https://tymshft.com/2012/05/01/the-american-perspective-on-may-day-or-i-am-not-a-commie/

So for over a century, most Americans have chosen to celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September.

Well, some Americans.

I took a walk.

My employer for my day job is closed today (at least for its U.S. workers), so I kinda sorta took it a bit leisurely, waking up at…5:35 in the morning.

You see, this is the last week of my company’s wellness challenge, and because of the current heat wave in Southern California, I wanted to get my walking in while the temperatures were still in double digits (on the Fahrenheit scale; that’s something else that Americans do differently than the rest of the world).

I didn’t take any pictures of myself walking today, but here’s one that I took Saturday while I was walking inside (at the Ontario Mills indoor mall).

At Ontario Mills, Saturday, September 3, 2022. It was about 25 degrees cooler inside than it was outside.

Other people were working.

But while I took my early morning Labor Day walk, I ran across a lot of people…working.

  • There were the people at the Starbucks in downtown Ontario, busily supplying breakfast sandwiches and drinks to people.
  • There was the woman at a 7-Eleven in Ontario, letting me hydrate with a cold drink. (She may have been the owner, but owners deserve a day off too.)
  • Finally, I passed two men who have been working on and off on a residential wall, and today was apparently one of the “on” days. I hope they’re not working in the afternoon.

The truth is that, even in the midst of COVID, the entire workforce can’t shut down entirely. Some people have to work on days when many people don’t work. Remember that even in “blue law” states, preachers certainly work on Sundays.

Me too.

But still my morning walk was somewhat relaxing, because even though it was a weekday, I didn’t have to end the walk by 8:00 to start my day job. So while I got my steps in, I did so somewhat leisurely.

So what did I do after my walk was done?

Well, I did Bredemarket work.

  • I renewed my City of Ontario business license. (Online, of course, since city offices are closed for Labor Day.)
  • Right now I’m writing this post.
  • And after I write the post, there’s an email that I need to send.

So I guess I didn’t completely take the day off either.

But at least I’m not buliding a wall out of doors.

Oh, and I work on Saturday mornings also.

Of course, since I’m employed full-time, Bredemarket itself is a weekend job for me. My official office hours fall on Saturday mornings, for example.

While this is work, in a way it’s not work, because it’s a refreshing change from my normal work. (And since I enjoy my normal work, that isn’t so much work either. If you’re not working at something you enjoy, then you’re working.)

And if you don’t enjoy creating written content, let Bredemarket help you create it.

I can help you with white papers, case studies, blog posts, proposal responses, or other written content. (Well, unless the written content involves finger, face, driver’s license, or related identity services. There’s the day job, you know.)

If I can work with you to create your written content, please contact me.

I’ve never written a case study THIS detailed

I’ll admit that the case studies that I’ve produced, either under the Bredemarket name or under other names, have been relatively short in the two-page range. This is why I usually recommmend the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service for clients who want my case study services.

But there’s no law that says that a case study has to be that short. If you want to create a 1,000 page case study, you’re certainly entitled to do so.

But what about a 17 page case study?

That’s the length of the case study that greenlining.org prepared on a program here in the City of Ontario.

Greenlining.org explains what the case study covers:

Since 2007, a coalition of residents, community-based organizations and the City of Ontario have been working together under the Healthy Ontario Initiative (HOI) to improve health outcomes and quality-of-life. HOI came together to address community health and build safe and vibrant neighborhoods, against a backdrop of high levels of poverty and chronic disease burdens. 

From https://greenlining.org/publications/2021/building-community-collaboration-tcc-case-study/

At 17 pages, the case study goes into a great deal of detail on a variety of initiatives, including Healthy Ontario and the Vista Verde Apartments near Holt and Grove. The apartment complex and other projects all fit within the goals of improving “health outcomes and quality-of-life.”

Read the case study for yourself (PDF).

Update on the Eastvale Restaurant Franchise

Remember the Which Wich in Eastvale that I wrote about in April?

Well, I actually saw it in person this morning.

Which Wich in Eastvale, California.

Based upon the limited hours, I am guessing that the original franchise owner hasn’t sold it yet.

Which Wich in Eastvale, California.

Some additional pictures from Eastvale, including a city informational kiosk and one very large Amazon distribution center.

Nice kiosk.
Big building.

Reminder that if you’re an Eastvale business (or any business) of any type who can benefit from Bredemarket’s content marketing and/or proposal services:

Happy July 2nd!

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain.

But we don’t celebrate on the anniversary of that day. Instead we celebrate the anniversary of the day that the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Which is why 4th and Euclid looks like this on Saturday morning.

4th and Euclid, July 2, 2022.

Come back Monday morning and it will look different, since 4th and Euclid is where Ontario’s Independence Day Parade begins.

Oh, and don’t park on Euclid that day.

Euclid, July 2, 2022.

Why does Your Inland Empire Business Need Case Studies?

When marketing your Inland Empire business to potential customers, you don’t start the conversation by talking about yourself. You start the conversation with a customer focus by talking about your potential customer’s needs.

And what better way to speak about your potential customer’s needs than by talking about other customers who have faced the same problem, and who solved the problem using a solution from your business?

A case study is one way to share another customer’s successes with your potential customers. Case studies can follow a format such as this:

  • The problem. Henry’s Horse Rentals couldn’t get any businesses because all of the people in Alta Loma who rented horses preferred dark green horses, and Henry’s horses were brown and black.
  • The solution (literally). Jane’s Green Widgets and Other Green Stuff offered an environmentally safe horse bath, Jane’s Dark Green Animal Bath, that turned the horses dark green, posed no health hazard to horses or people, gave the scent of a pine forest, and made the horses happy because they looked really cool.
  • The results. Once Henry’s Horse Rentals posted pictures of the newly-bathed horses on its TikTok account, renters formed lines around the stables, requiring Henry to increase his stable from three horses to seventeen. The fivefold increase in revenue allowed Henry to franchise his operations, bringing in more money and starting a worldwide dark green horse craze.

When potential customers read about the original customer’s success, they will want to do business with your company also.

But aren’t case studies only for large national firms?

National firms can certainly use case studies, and Bredemarket has written its share of case studies for large firms. But any company of any size can benefit from a case study. As long as you have a website or social media site to distribute electronic versions of your case study, or a way to hand out physical copies, a case study can start working for you.

Create the study, and at the end of the study encourage the reader to contact you for more information. (Or request the person’s contact information before letting the person download the case study, then subsequently follow up and see if you can help.)

There are case study writing services in the Inland Empire, and in fact there is one that I highly recommend. My own.

Should you use case studies, or should you use testimonials instead?

Yes and yes.

  • You can distribute a two-page case study that describes your company’s benefits to potential customers.
  • Or you can distribute a one paragraph customer-authored testimonial that does the same thing.

Or you can do both. On a high level, there’s really no difference between the two, which is why I often speak of casetimonials as a catch-all for content written from the end customer point of view.

How can your company take advantage of the power of case studies?

Bredemarket can help Inland Empire firms create case studies, in the same way that I have worked with national firms.

Let’s talk.

Maybe the stork should deliver packages also

On Saturday morning, my wife and I returned from errands to find a huge package on our front porch. The package contained a crib.

Not this crib. This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Cveleglg at the Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Krevetac22.JPG

No, my wife is not pregnant.

We examined the package and found the following:

  • A tag from the delivery company. I won’t name the company, but I will say that this package delivery was “off track.”
  • The true destination address for the package, which had the same street number but a different street name.
  • A message indicating that the crib was a gift.

Wrong deliveries have been a topic of conversation in my Ontario neighborhood on the NextDoor app, especially after “R” posted this:

From NextDoor. Author anonymized.

Many people did not agree with “R,” including myself.

So I tried to load the huge crib into the back seat of my car, but it was wider than the car. Since I didn’t want to drive around with an open car door, we went over to the real parents, who thankfully had a truck and picked up the crib.

But the package was delivered several days ago!

The most upsetting part of the story to me isn’t that the delivery company misdelivered the package in the first place.

The most upsetting part is that the delivery company told the parents-to-be several days ago that the package was delivered.

When it obviously wasn’t.

They had been wondering for several days where their supposedly-delivered package was, which wasn’t delivered until today…to the wrong address.

That’s really “off track.”

There’s a technology lesson here

All of the delivery companies, both the good ones and the bad ones, are incorporating package tracking technology into their operations. In theory, the technology lets you know exactly where the package is at any given time. In theory, this benefits the recipient by making sure the package is delivered to the right place at the right time.

But theory is not reality. This crib was lost in the system for several days. And I’ve previously shared the story about my business cards, which traveled from Nevada to California to Texas before returning to California.

It took longer than expected, but I finally got them.

Why do these errors happen? One reason is because the automation isn’t completely automated. Everything still depends on humans in the loop. For example, this morning’s delivery depended on a human to verify that they were delivering the package to the street name on the address label, and not some other street.

Another example that doesn’t amuse me is delivery time guarantees. Let’s say a package is promised to arrive at 10:30 am. In the real world, the package may not arrive until noon or later, but if you check the system, the system says the package was delivered at 10:29…and that many of the delivery driver’s packages coincidentally were delivered at 10:29!

But this is not a technology problem. It’s a business problem.

But it’s really a business lesson

While the delivery company strives for on-time and accurate deliveries, their actual processes to achieve this end up hurting the company. Rather than making sure that the package truly arrives correctly in the real world, the employees are incentivized to make sure the system records correct delivery of packages.

And the employees are punished (maybe fired) if the system says the package wasn’t delivered to the right place and/or at the right time.

The result? Some employee, afraid of losing their job, recorded a crib delivery several days ago to address X when the crib was really delivered today to address Y.

This is something that technology cannot solve. This can only be solved when a company focuses on delighting its customers, rather than reprimanding its employees.

What are you doing to delight your customers?

Unrestricted use from the Truman Library, part of the NARA. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Truman_pass-the-buck.jpg

ArcGIS StoryMaps: Every story has a place, and every place has a story

B2B content creators often find themselves telling stories to drive their readers to take action. Usually the desired action is to do business with the company telling the story. But as Redlands-headquartered company ESRI demonstrates with ArcGIS StoryMaps, there are many ways to tell a story.

Why tell stories?

Now you could easily adopt a “just the facts” approach to sharing the necessary information, but your potential customers’ eyes may glaze over.

Joe “The Facts” Friday was not a content marketer. By NBC Television – eBayfrontback, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33340402

About a year ago, when I was selling Bredemarket’s services to a potential biometric client (obviously before I announced Bredemarket’s change in business scope and stopped providing services to finger/face clients), I started off by presenting a SWOT analysis. For those not familiar with the term, “SWOT” stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

By Syassine – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31368987

For the topic of discussion with my potential client, I went through my independent analysis of all four of these items, engaging the people in the meeting who suggested some improvements. This SWOT analysis led into a presentation of the services that I could provide to the firm—services that addressed the weaknesses and threats that we had mutually identified.

What happened? I signed a contract with the company and worked on multiple projects to successfully address those weaknesses/threats.

Do you see what I did there?

As you probably noticed, I just told a story that had a conflict, actions, and a final resolution. “And they all sold biometric products happily ever after.”

Now SWOT analyses may not be your preferred type of storytelling, and frankly I usually don’t use SWOT analyses to tell stories. Stories can be of the “what happened to a company” or “what happened to me” form. For example, I recently told a “what happened to a company” story when talking about Conductor’s use of Calendly.

And some stories emphasize the “where.” No, not as one of the six factors of authentication, but as a setting for the story.

Enter ESRI and its ArcGIS StoryMaps product.

What does ArcGIS StoryMaps do?

On April 20, 2022, ESRI announced its introduction of ArcGIS StoryMaps, saying that “StoryMaps Allows Content Creators to Unify Digital Experiences in One Place Furthering Esri’s Mission to Bring the Geographic Approach to All.” In its announcement, ESRI started by presenting the problem:

Capturing and sharing life’s experiences today often requires multiple platforms and tools, which can result in disjointed storytelling.

From https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/announcements/esri-brings-powerful-mapping-technology-to-everyone-with-new-storytelling-tool/

ArcGIS StoryMaps seeks to allow marketers and other content creators to use a single easy-to-use tool to tell their stories. As ESRI’s video on ArcGIS StoryMaps states, “Every story has a place, and every place has a story.” StoryMaps helps people tell place stories.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl-J9GjieYM

For an example of a StoryMap, go to https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/42b1a6fe6a524b578becd12c0bee4b4c to view “Sounds of the Wild West: An audio tour of Montana’s four major ecosystems.” Be sure to unmute the sound! (It’s an audio tour.)

What about YOUR story?

Now ESRI hasn’t asked me to tell stories for them (yet), but perhaps your Redlands-based company might want a storyteller. Consider the Redlands, California content marketing expert, Bredemarket. I provide marketing and writing services in the Inland Empire and throughout the United States.

Here are just a few examples of what Bredemarket can do for your firm:

I can provide many more B2B services; a complete list can be found here.

Before I create a single word, I start by asking you some questions about your content:

  • Why, how, and what do you do?
  • What is the topic of the content?
  • What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
  • What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
  • What is the target audience for the content?

After you’ve provided the relevant information to me, I’ll create the first iteration of the content, and we’ll work together to create your final content. The specifics of how we will work together depend upon whether you have elected the Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service, the Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service, or something else.

When we’re done, that final content is yours (a “work for hire” arrangement).

If I can help your business, or if you have further questions about Bredemarket’s B2B content creation services, please contact me.

Ontario Fire Station No. 9 Grand Opening

Ontario Fire Station No. 9.

On Saturday, April 30, 2022, the city of Ontario (California) held its COVID-delayed grand opening for its newest fire station, in the newer southeastern part of the city (2661 E. Grand Park St). The fire station actually opened in January, but the ribbon cutting was held this morning.

Ontario Fire Station No. 9 ribbon cutting. From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9-Gmg2UlbE
2661 E. Grand Park St, Ontario, CA 91762. From Google Maps.

Public safety is a tough profession. I’ve worked with police more than fire/EMS, but it’s tough for all of them. At the ceremony, Ontario Mayor Paul Leon shared the story of a time that he accompanied the Ontario Fire Department on a call. Although Mayor Leon was wearing protective gear, he had to stop at a certain point because of the intense heat from the fire. The firefighters kept right on going, because it was their job.

And now the department has one more station, ensuring that the residents and businesses in that corner of Ontario will be safe.

From https://www.instagram.com/p/CcOwIKsvKV2/