BUILD. NOT BILLED.
BUI LDING BLOCKS TWO BUSINESSES I’M GRATEFUL FOR And One I’m Not
l love watching successful businesses. Sure, I like to see what the Fortune 100 companies are doing, but the ones that really excite me are the small businesses. I love watching businesses like mine that are doing things right. I want to take all the good ideas they have and implement them. The converse is also true. When I have a terrible experience with a business, I stop and think about what happened and what caused me to never want to do business with them again. Obviously, I try to avoid that in my own business. Our son, Caleb, recently started nursery school — the same school his older sister attended. He had his very first school picture day and we were excited. All the school pictures taken when Keagan was there had beautiful background scenery, as the school has a beautiful campus. Imagine our surprise when we received the proof for his photo. Immediately, our eyes went to the background. Sure, the rampway in the back right wasn’t quite picturesque, but what really struck us was the cemetery in the back left. What school photographer (who I will keep anonymous) takes photos of 3-year-olds with a cemetery in the background? And doesn’t blur it out or obscure it in some way?
The answer is clearly someone who doesn’t care.
I start with a bad example because it typifies too many business owners. This is the lazy business owner. She has had the school gig for years, and doesn’t care about providing the best experience anymore. Lazy, satisfied, and, hopefully, soon to be out of that job. (The head of the school was appalled as well.) Contrast that with the studio where I take my children every Christmas and Easter — Storybook Experiences . This company, run by a husband-and-wife team, is incredible. Of course, children screaming on Santa’s lap is a rite of passage, and those photos entertain for years to come. But even more incredible are photos of children playing with Santa in his toy workshop, or drinking hot cocoa with him around a campfire, or collecting his mail at the North Pole. For not much more money than we would pay at the mall Santa (once you buy the CD, the prints, and a commemorative frame), our kids spend a half hour uninterrupted with Santa and his elves. There’s no long line in the mall. There’s a room full of toys in which they get to play until our adventure begins. Three weeks before we see Santa, we get his letter. When we arrive, an elf takes us through a hidden door to a hallway where we go to Santa’s workshop. When we leave, we get reindeer treats to spread on the lawn on Christmas Eve. We get a postcard in the new year from Santa on vacation. These are not lazy business owners. They have figured it out: This season is about magic, wonder, and making memories. Everything they do reinforces their mission. The staff is exceptional and well-trained. The photos are beautiful.
Amazing photo taken by Storybook Experiences. Both of their names appear in the “nice list” that they are holding. Brilliant touch!
Version by someone who clearly didn’t care.
How my family made it awesome.
The best team at The Newsletter Pro — and I get them!
My kids eat it up.
Quality. Service. Magic. They make it special.
And guess what? This business SELLS OUT all of its Christmas sessions more than nine months ahead of time! Who wouldn’t want that kind of business?
Amber, Project Manager
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