In an earlier blog post, I discussed that the 7 things I no longer do in my indoor playground company as I have matured and grown as a company owner.
I referenced Michael Hyatt, that, in most of his books and programs continuously describes designing your ideal weeks and days as"the appetite zone" Running inside your desire zone, as he explains it, only means you are spending the bulk of your time doing what you love AND are great at.
While there are many jobs I cut completely and a few I delegate into better-suited team members, there are numerous responsibilities that still lie within my"desire zone," and that I feel are important for me to manage personally. Even though this is continually changing as my priorities (both professionally and personally) evolve, these are 5 of those tasks that I'm not giving up only yet as a company owner.
1) COMMUNICATE WITH BIRTHDAY CLIENTS
At Climbing Vines Cafe and Play, we have picked our exceptional personal birthday parties as the main focus of our business.
Due to this attention, I've chosen to personally plan the principal facets of each celebration we sponsor. When someone publications their event with us, they receive a comprehensive confirmation that includes my contact information and mentions that I will be in touch because their event draws near.
While I do not typically handle the implementation of our parties, I do still act as the major touchpoint for parents and collect all their information and tastes. Ten days before each celebration, I send out a personalized celebration"questionnaire" that includes all the details we have gathered up to this point, provides added day-of info, and inquires about last-minute details.
I answer all queries that the host might have in reaction to this email and-- following a few back-and-forth communication-- I record all of their event information on that which we call a"party prep sheet" Because we have around 6 comprehensive events in 1 weekend, this organization is essential!
The party-prep sheet is an extremely thorough document that makes it possible for any of our party hosts to execute the occasion to the exact specifications of their parents, leaving no rock unturned. This has enabled me to have most weekends free yet still feel confident we're delivering an above-and-beyond birthday party experience.
After the party, we send a questionnaire to every hosting family. If they have feedback, whether it be negative or positive, I follow up personally. This closes the loop clients' expertise and makes sure they understand I truly care about their child's special day. This process has resulted in a significant number of repeat bookings and consistent referrals from past parties.
Not merely is planning these parties something I excel in, but additionally, I take great joy inside . Event planning is the way I got into the business in the first place, therefore I am more than pleased to take on this endeavor. If I am ever feeling overwhelmed with all the facts, I understand I've amazing team members I can lean on.
Speaking of our incredible team members, another job I choose to get a hand in is our hiring and firing process. While I do leave the final decision up to our cafe manager, I prefer to write the project posts and descriptions and filter through resumes and software before bringing anyone in for a meeting.
Having spent several years shooting and hiring my fair share of employees, it is easy for me to spot red-flags on software and also find"diamonds in the rough." Since we've got most of our standard operating procedures documented and optimized, I would rather employ based on character and enthusiasm instead of experience.
I also make sure I welcome each worker to our team and touch base with them frequently to check in and collect feedback from them.
3) DREAM UP NEW INITIATIVES
Another job that lies within my current"desire zone" is navigating the general direction of our business and coming up with fresh tactics to best serve our community.
Since I spend time doing these 7 items (and more!) , my time and energy have been freed up to research what our perfect clients want and want and find out a way to incorporate that into our business model.
For example, I discovered that our birthday party bookings were slowing down in the summertime. When I requested a few customers, they mentioned that they DID love our occasions and attention-to-detail but preferred a Summer celebration to be out at their home (since many have backyards and pools). We then started offering cellular events, where we'd bring food, decorations, and activities for the children to their houses, and it was a hit!
Another illustration is our occasions . We're constantly adding fun new events that allow customers, particularly working parents with limited weekday availability, to visit us outside of hours and receive an enhanced experience through the subject of the event, class, or activity.
If I had been I still doing EVERY task in my enterprise, I wouldn't have nearly enough time to perform as much innovation or research.
If it comes to understanding how to innovate and what to provide, it all starts with forging a genuine connection with customers.
It is for this reason that I really like interacting with our customers all time (when I could ) and on social networking. I choose to work celebrations, events, as well as open-play when my family's schedule allows it so that I could remain involved and aware of what's occurring during the day-to-day. It also gives me the opportunity to observe how customers are using our space first-hand and listen to any concerns or queries they have. Although at this age of technology you can find reviews, types, and surveys, I have found that NOTHING can replace having a face-to-face conversation with customers using your distance (and likely visits competitors too!) on a daily basis.
It's for this reason that you will also see billionaire CEOs visiting retail locations on a regular basis. Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, was renowned for seeing hundreds of stores around the country every year, spending time with the customers who were spending their money on his products.
I love being a family owned and operated
company, and I love for my clients to understand that I am fully invested in their happiness.
5) HELP OTHER ENTREPRENEURS ALONG Precisely the Same PATH
While I do one-on-one consulting for people hoping to start out indoor playground equipment home
playgrounds, I do spend a significant quantity of time creating absolutely free content for them here on my blog and over on YouTube. In addition, I have a totally free, 44-page eBook to get play-cafe-owning hopefuls they can download directly on our website or simply by clicking here.
If someone consumes that free info and decides they would like to proceed with their plans, I have an online program called Play Cafe Academy where I help entrepreneurs get from daydream to opening-day in significantly less time and less strain than they ever believed possible.
When I was studying this company model, there wasn't a lot of info out there. Current owners really keep all of their business secrets near their vest, and now that I don't blame them! Even in the event that you charge a consulting fee, you are still kind of giving away the keys that you have worked so hard for and it is quite easy as a company owner to acquire a little smug and protective of your research and development.
When it came time to start my own business, I ended up making a slew of mistakes (and I suggest a TON of errors ) since I simply did not know any better. When I started getting calls and emails to consult for other potential play cafe owners, then I couldn't keep this info to myself. While it's easy for me to feel like an imposter or that there are other small business owners more capable than me to discuss this information, I know that there is a 4-years-ago me sitting somewhere waiting for the next idea to leap out in them.
And honestly, I don't want to see one more business close because someone who is walked before them didn't share any info! Why don't you share it myself?!
But my time is valuable. I have two little kids and run another business... I don't have 12 hours to spend hand-holding each perspective owner through the process. (And let me tell you, it is going to take at least 12 to 24 hours of paid one-on-one consulting to break the surface of what you need, including documentation.)
Students may go through those modules in their own speed, and I don't have to spend some time to walk my pupils throughout the program.
This allows me to help other entrepreneurs in their course while also reserving time and energy I need for my family and other commitments.
Overall, this business model may actually be anything the owner wants it to be. I understand many owners who choose to do ALL of the items inside their small business, and it works for them because we all have distinct"desire zones."
Are and may design my"perfect" weeks accordingly. When I was still burning the candle on both ends trying to tackle everything myself, I would be doing myself, my loved ones, and my customers a major disservice.