In a previous blog post, I spoke the 7 things I no longer do in my indoor playground company as I have matured and grown as a business proprietor.
I referenced Michael Hyatt, that, in most of his books and programs always describes designing your ideal weeks and days as"the appetite zone." Running within your dream zone, as he explains it, simply means you're spending the bulk of your time doing what you both love AND are great at.
When there are many jobs I cut completely and some I delegate into better-suited team members, there are several duties that still lie within my"desire zone," and that I believe are important for me to manage personally. Even though this is constantly changing as my priorities (both professionally and personally) evolve, these are 5 of those jobs that I am not giving up just yet as a business owner.
1) COMMUNICATE WITH BIRTHDAY CLIENTS
At Growing Vines Cafe and Play, we have chosen our exceptional private birthday parties as the main focus of our small business .
Because of this attention, I've chosen to personally plan the primary facets of each celebration we sponsor. Whenever someone books their event with us, they get a comprehensive confirmation which includes my own contact information and mentions that I'm in touch as their event draws near.
While I do not normally take care of the execution of our celebrations, I do act as the major touchpoint for parents and collect all of their information and preferences. Ten days before each party, I send out a personalized celebration"questionnaire" which includes all the details we have gathered up to that point, provides added day-of info, and asks about last-minute particulars.
I answer all queries the host may have in reaction to that email and-- after some back-and-forth communication-- I list all their event information on that which we call a"party prep sheet." Based on clients' choices, I make a list for every one our vendors (catering, party supplies, childhood perceptions
balloons, paper products, etc.) and will ordinarily have a team member complete the shopping and arrange all of the supplies so that they are grouped by party. Because we have up to 6 all-inclusive events in 1 weekend, this organization is indispensable!
The party-prep sheet is an extremely thorough document that allows our party hosts to do the occasion to the exact specifications of their parents, leaving no rock unturned. This has allowed me to have most weekends free yet still feel convinced we are delivering an above-and-beyond birthday celebration experience.
After the celebration, we send a survey to each hosting household. If they have opinions, whether it be negative or positive, I always follow up personally. This closes the loop clients' expertise and makes certain they know I truly care about their child's special day. This process has lead to a significant number of repeat bookings
and consistent referrals from previous parties.
Not only is planning these parties something I excel in, but additionally, I take great joy inside . Event planning is the way I got into this business in the first place, so I'm more than happy to take on this endeavor. If I'm ever feeling overwhelmed with the facts, I understand I've amazing team members I will lean on.
2) OVERSEE HIRING AND FIRING
Speaking of our amazing team members, another job I choose to get a hand is our hiring and firing procedure. While I do leave the final conclusion to our cafe manager, I would rather write the job posts and descriptions and filter through resumes and software before bringing anybody in for a meeting.
Having spent many years shooting and hiring my fair share of workers, it is easy for me to see red-flags on applications and also find"diamonds in the rough." Since we've got the majority of our standard operating procedures documented and optimized, I would rather hire based on character and excitement instead of experience.
I also make sure I personally welcome every worker to our team and touch base with them often to check in and gather feedback from them.
3) DREAM UP NEW INITIATIVES
Since I spend some time doing these 7 things (and more!) , my time and energy are freed up to investigate what our ideal clients want and need and figure out a way to integrate that into our business model.
As an example, I discovered that our birthday celebration bookings were slowing down at the summertime. When I requested a few clients, they mentioned that they DID love our events and attention-to-detail but preferred a Summer party to be out at their residence (since many have backyards and pools). We then started offering cellular events, where we'd bring food, decorations, and activities for your children to their homes, and it was a hit!
Another illustration is our occasions . We're always adding fun new events that allow clients, especially working parents with limited weekday accessibility, to see us outside of hours and receive an enhanced experience throughout the theme of the event, course, or activity.
If I were I still doing EVERY job in my enterprise, I wouldn't have nearly enough time to do as much innovation or research.
4) CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERS
When it comes to knowing how to innovate and what to offer, it all starts with forging a genuine connection with clients.
It is because of this that I really like interacting with our clients all time (when I can) and on social media. I opt to work parties, events, and even open-play when my family's schedule allows it so I could stay active and aware of what's occurring during the day. Additionally, it gives me the chance to observe how clients are using our space firsthand and listen to any concerns or questions they have. Even though in this age of technology there are reviews, types, and surveys, I have found that NOTHING can replace having a face-to-face dialog with customers using your space (and likely visits competitors too!) on a daily basis.
It's for this reason you will even see billionaire CEOs visiting retail locations on a regular basis. Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, was famous for visiting hundreds of stores around the country every year, spending time with all the customers who were spending their money on his merchandise.
I really like being a family owned and operated company, and I love for my clients to understand that I am fully invested in their own happiness.
5) HELP OTHER ENTREPRENEURS ALONG THE SAME PATH
While I do one-on-one consulting for individuals hoping to start out indoor playgrounds, I really do spend a significant quantity of time creating absolutely free content for them here on my blog and over on YouTube. I also have a totally free, 44-page eBook to get play-cafe-owning hopefuls they can download right on our website or by clicking here.
If a person consumes that free info and decides they still would like to proceed with their plans, I have an internet program called Play Cafe Academy where I help entrepreneurs gain from daydream to opening-day in significantly less time and with less strain than they ever thought possible.
When I was studying this business model, there was not a lot of information out there. Recent owners actually keep all their business secrets close to their vest, and now I don't blame them! It's hard as soon as you've worked for years and years to set up a profitable business to want to give those secrets away for nothing. Even in the event that you charge a consulting fee, you're still kind of giving away the secrets that you've worked so hard for and it is quite easy as a company owner to get a little smug and protective of your own research and development.
As it came time to open my own business, I wound up making a slew of mistakes (and I mean a TON of errors ) because I simply did not know any better. So when I started getting calls and emails to consult for additional possible play cafe owners, then I couldn't keep this information to myself. While it's easy for me to feel like an imposter or there are other small business owners much more qualified than me to share this advice, I know that there is a 4-years-ago me sitting somewhere waiting for the next idea to jump out at them.
And honestly, I do not want to see an additional business close because somebody who's walked before them did not share any information! So why don't you share it myself?!
But my time is valuable. I've got two little kids and run another business... I do not have 12 hours to devote hand-holding each standpoint owner through the procedure. (And let me tell you, it will take at least 12 to 24 hours of paid one-on-one consulting to break the surface of what you require, such as documentation) At the typical rate of $100 to $200 an hour to actually consult, imagine what you could end up paying for only a hint of schooling!
Students can go through those modules in their own speed, and I do not have to spend some time to walk my students throughout the program.
This enables me to assist other entrepreneurs along their course while at the same time reserving the time and energy that I need for my family and other commitments.
In general, this business model may actually be whatever the owner wants it to be. I understand many owners who choose to do ALL of the things inside their small business, and it works for them because we all have distinct"desire zones."
I feel very lucky I have learned over the years what my strengths (and weaknesses!) Are and can design my"ideal" weeks so. When I was burning the candle on both ends trying to handle everything , I would do myself, my loved ones, and my customers a significant disservice.