In a previous blog post, I spoke the 7 things I no longer do in my indoor playground business as I have matured and grown as a business proprietor.
I referenced Michael Hyatt, that, in many of his books and programs always describes designing your perfect days and weeks as"the desire zone." Running within your desire zone, even as he explains it, simply means you're spending the bulk of your time doing what you love AND are great at.
Even though this is continually changing as my priorities (both professionally and personally) evolve, these are just 5 of those jobs that I am not giving up only yet as a company owner.
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 have chosen to plan the primary aspects of each celebration we sponsor. When someone publications their occasion with us, they get a detailed confirmation that includes my own contact info and mentions that I will be personally in touch because their event draws near.
While I do not normally take care of the implementation of our celebrations, I do act as the major touchpoint for parents and gather all of their information and tastes. Ten days prior to each celebration, I send a personalized celebration"questionnaire" which includes all of the details we have gathered up to this point, provides added day-of information, and inquires about last-minute particulars.
I answer all questions that the host might have in response to that email and-- after some back-and-forth communication-- I list all of their event info on that which we call a"celebration prep sheet." According to clients' choices, I make a listing for every one of our sellers (catering, party supplies, balloons, paper products, etc.) and will ordinarily have a team member complete the shopping and organize all the supplies so that they are grouped by party. Because we have up to 6 comprehensive events in one weekend, this organization is essential!
The party-prep sheet is a very thorough document that allows our party hosts to do the occasion to the exact specifications of their parents, leaving no stone unturned. This has allowed me to have most weekends free yet still feel convinced we are providing an above-and-beyond birthday party experience.
After the party, we send a survey to every hosting household. If they have opinions, whether it be positive or negative, I always follow up personally. This closes the loop on clients' expertise and makes certain they understand I genuinely care for their child's special day. This method has lead to a substantial amount of repeat bookings and consistent testimonials from past parties.
Not merely is planning these parties something that I excel in, but additionally, childhood perceptions I take great pleasure inside . Event planning is how I got into this business in the first place, so I am more than happy to take on this endeavor. If I'm ever feeling overwhelmed with all the facts, I know I have amazing team members I will lean on.
2) OVERSEE HIRING AND FIRING
Speaking of our amazing team members, yet another job I choose to have a hand in is our hiring and firing procedure. While I really do leave the final decision up to our cafe supervisor, I would rather write the project posts and filter and descriptions through resumes and software before bringing anyone in for a meeting.
Having spent several years shooting and hiring my fair share of workers, it's easy for me to see red-flags on applications and find"diamonds in the rough" Since we have most of our standard operating procedures documented and optimized, I prefer to employ based on personality and enthusiasm rather than experience.
I also make sure I welcome each worker to our staff and touch base with them frequently to check in and gather feedback from them.
Since I spend some time doing those 7 things (and more!) , my time and energy have been freed up to investigate what our ideal clients want and need and find out a way to incorporate that in our business model.
For instance, I noticed that our birthday celebration bookings were slowing down at the Summer. When I requested a few clients, they mentioned that they DID love our events and attention-to-detail but chosen a Summer celebration to be outside at their residence (since many have backyards and pools). We then started offering mobile events, where we would bring food, decorations, and activities for your children to their houses, and it was a hit!
Another example is our occasions . We're always adding fun new occasions that allow clients, especially working parents with limited weekday availability, to visit us outside of hours and get an enhanced experience throughout the theme of the event, class, or activity.
If I were I still doing EVERY task in my business, I would not have nearly enough time to perform as much research or innovation.
4) CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERS
If it comes to understanding how to innovate and what to provide, it starts with forging a real connection with customers.
It's because of this that I really like interacting with our customers all time (when I could ) and on social media. I choose to work celebrations, events, and even open-play when my family's schedule allows it so that I can stay involved and aware of what is occurring during the day. Additionally, it gives me the opportunity to observe how clients are using our distance firsthand and listen to any concerns or questions they have. Even though in this age of technology you can find testimonials, forms, and polls, I have discovered that NOTHING can replace using a face-to-face dialog with customers who use your distance (and probably visits competitors too!)
It's because of this you will even see billionaire CEOs seeing retail locations on a regular basis. Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, was famous for seeing hundreds of stores around the nation every year, spending time with all the customers who had been spending their money on his products.
I love being a family owned and operated business, and that I love for my clients to understand that I am fully invested in their own happiness.
While I no longer do one-on-one consulting for individuals hoping to open indoor playgrounds, I do spend a substantial quantity of time creating absolutely free articles for them here on my blog and above on YouTube. I also have a totally free, 44-page eBook for play-cafe-owning hopefuls that they can download right on our website or by clicking here.
If someone consumes that free information and decides they still would love to move forward with their programs, I have an online program named Play Cafe Academy where I help entrepreneurs get from daydream to opening-day in less time and with less strain than they ever believed possible.
When I was researching this company model, there wasn't a lot of information out there. Current owners really keep all of their business secrets near their vest, and that I do not blame them! It's hard once you've worked for years and years to establish a profitable company to want to give away those secrets for nothing. Even in the event that you charge a consulting fee, you are still kind of giving away the secrets that you've worked so hard for and it is very easy as a business owner to get a little smug and protective of your research and development.
When it came time to start my own business, I wound up making a slew of errors (and I suggest a TON of mistakes) since I simply didn't know any better. So when I started getting emails and calls to consult for additional potential play cafe owners, I couldn't keep this information to myself. While it's easy for me to feel like an imposter or there are other business owners much more qualified than me to discuss this information, I know that there's a 4-years-ago me sitting at work somewhere waiting for another idea to jump out in them.
And honestly, I do not need to see one more company close because someone who is walked before them did not share any information! Why don't you discuss it myself?!
However, my time is precious. I have two small children and run another company... I don't have 12 hours to devote hand-holding each perspective owner through the process. (And allow me to tell you, it is going to require at least 12 to 24 hours of paid one-on-one consulting to break the surface of everything you require, such as documentation)
PCA is broken up into eight modules at which I cover everything from writing your business plan to deciding on a place and signing the proper lease to organizing your own streams of earnings and much, much more. Students can go through these modules at their own pace, and I don't need to take the opportunity to walk my students throughout the program.
This enables me to help other entrepreneurs along their path while also reserving time and energy that I want for my loved ones and other commitments.
I know many owners who choose to do ALL of the things inside their business, and it works for them because most of us have distinct"desire zones."
Are and may design my"ideal" weeks so. When I was still burning the candle on both ends trying to handle everything myself, I would be doing myself, my loved ones, and my clients a significant disservice.