Giving Voice to Businesspeople

 In Blog

Every week, I compile a column that runs in the Business Monday section of The Springfield Republican. The feature is called Voices of the Valley because it gives businesspeople from Greenfield, Massachusetts, to Enfield, Connecticut, a voice—a chance to be heard on who they are and what they do.

Today, the businessperson with the voice on the inside cover of Business Monday is Barbara Paulo, the owner and artistic director of Shear Xtreme Salon and Beauty to Be in Northampton. Last week, I featured Robert Floyd, the owner of the Robert Floyd Photo Gallery and Learning Center in Southampton. The week before that, Dave Sweeney, co-owner of Players Edge New England in Westfield.

And on and on for many Mondays, going back about four years.

I enjoy helping these businesspeople to raise awareness with thousands of readers of The Republican. They are always incredibly grateful. They write to thank me and tell me how their phones started ringing as soon as the ink on their piece was dry. Some write me thoughtful, handwritten notes.

The column isn’t really about them or for them, though. It’s a public service the newspaper provides the community; consumers have a chance to take a quick look at a new business each week to determine what interest and value it holds for them.

The trifecta win is that some readers connect with services that are life-changing.

Like Susan Manolakis’ clients.

Susan spent many years running a full-service hair salon but transitioned into a full-service cancer wellness and hair salon in January 2016. Her business, the Balance Cancer and Wellness Salon and Boutique in Southwick offers customize wigs for those struggling with cancer, as well as tailored bras, breast forms and symmetry shapers to accommodate any body shape.

After the piece on Susan’s business ran, she was contacted by a representative from a local hospital. Susan and the person had a nice conversation, and now, that hospital sends many of its patients Susan’s way. A beautiful outcome for Susan—but also for the patients, who have been connected to services that are giving them comfort in tough times.

Even with these results, though, it is difficult for me to find business owners willing to take the time to be featured in Voices. They are either too busy, or too skeptical. Hmm, I imagine some think. What’s the hook? Nothing is free these days.

But being highlighted in Voices is free, and there is no hook. There are a few qualifications: You must have been in business for at least six months; you can’t use the column to sell and hyper-promote; and your business needs to have some individual quality. (I can’t feature every insurance salesman and real estate agent in the Valley. Sorry.)

You don’t need to know me. You don’t need to write me a 500-word essay on the history and value of your business, and you don’t need to beg.

If you’d like to be featured in Voices, simply email me. It’s that easy.

Think about it. Email me today! It could be transforming for you—and for many readers of The Republican out there who need what you’re offering and don’t know it yet.

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