In a previous blog post, I spoke the 7 things I no longer do in my indoor playground design
playground business as I have grown and matured as a business owner.
I chased Michael Hyatt, who, in many of his books and programs always refers to designing your perfect weeks and days as"the desire zone." Operating inside your dream zone, as he explains it, simply means you are spending the majority of your time doing what you both love AND are good at.
While this is constantly shifting as my priorities (both professionally and personally) evolve, these are 5 of those jobs that I'm not giving up only yet as a business proprietor.
At Growing Vines Cafe and Play, we have chosen our exceptional personal birthday parties as the primary focus of our small business .
Due to this focus, I have chosen to plan the principal facets of each party we sponsor. When someone publications their occasion with us, they get a comprehensive confirmation which includes my own contact information and mentions that I will be personally in touch because their event draws near.
While I do not typically take care of the execution of our celebrations, I really do act as the major touchpoint for parents and gather all their information and preferences. Ten days before each celebration, I send out a personalized celebration"questionnaire" which comprises all of the details we have gathered up to this point, provides added day-of information, and inquires about last-minute details.
I answer all queries that the host may have in reaction to that email and-- after a few back-and-forth communication-- I record all of their event info on that which we call a"celebration prep sheet" Because we have around 6 all-inclusive events in one weekend, this organization is indispensable!
The party-prep sheet is a very thorough document that allows any of our party hosts to execute the occasion to the exact specifications of the parents, leaving no rock unturned. This has allowed me to have most weekends free nonetheless still feel convinced we are delivering an above-and-beyond birthday party experience.
After the party, we send a survey to each hosting household. If they have opinions, whether it be negative or positive, I follow up personally. This closes the loop clients' expertise and makes sure they know 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 celebrations something that I excel in, but I also take great joy inside . Event planning is the way I got into the business in the first place, so I am more than pleased to take on this endeavor. If I'm ever feeling overwhelmed with the details, 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 process. While I do leave the final decision up to our cafe supervisor, I would rather write the project posts and descriptions and filter through resumes and applications before bringing anybody in for a meeting.
Having spent several years shooting and hiring my fair share of employees, it is easy for me to see red-flags on applications and also find"diamonds in the rough" Since we have most of our normal operating procedures optimized and documented, I would rather hire based on personality and excitement instead of experience.
In addition, I make sure I personally welcome every worker to our staff and touch base with them often to check in and collect feedback from them.
3) DREAM UP NEW INITIATIVES
Since I spend some time doing those 7 things (and more!) , my energy and time are freed up to research what our perfect clients want and want and find out a way to integrate that into our business model.
As an example, I noticed that our birthday celebration bookings were slowing down at the summertime. When I asked a few clients, they said that they DID adore our events and attention-to-detail but preferred a Summer celebration to be outside at their residence (since many have backyards and pools). We then began offering cellular events, where we would bring food, decorations, and activities for the kids to their houses, and it was a hit!
Another example is our occasions . We are always adding fun new occasions that enable customers, particularly working parents with limited weekday accessibility, to see us outside of open hours and get an enhanced experience throughout the subject of the event, class, or activity.
If I had been I doing EVERY task in my enterprise, I would not 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 real connection with clients.
It's because of this that I really like interacting with our clients in-person (when I can) and on social networking. I opt to work parties, events, and even open-play when my family's schedule allows it so I could remain involved and aware of what is happening during the day-to-day. It also gives me the opportunity to observe how clients are using our distance first-hand and listen to any concerns or questions they have. Although at this age of technology there are reviews, types, and polls, I have found that NOTHING can replace using a face-to-face dialog with clients using your space (and probably visits competitors too!) on a daily basis.
It's for this reason you will also see billionaire CEOs visiting retail locations on a regular basis. Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, was renowned for visiting hundreds of stores around the country each year, spending time with all the clients 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 completely invested in their own happiness.
5) HELP OTHER ENTREPRENEURS ALONG THE SAME PATH
While I no longer do one-on-one consulting for individuals hoping to open indoor playgrounds, I do spend a significant quantity of time creating absolutely free articles for them here on my blog and over on YouTube. I also have an absolutely free, 44-page eBook to get play-cafe-owning hopefuls that they can download directly on our website or simply by clicking here.
If someone consumes that free information and determines they still would like to proceed with their plans, I also have an online program named Play Cafe Academy in which I assist entrepreneurs get from daydream to opening-day in less time and with less stress than they ever thought possible.
When I was studying this company model, there was not a great deal of information out there. Recent owners really keep all of their business secrets close to their vest, and that I do not blame them! Even in the event that you charge a consulting fee, you're still sort of giving away the keys that you have 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.
When it came time to start my own business, I ended up making a slew of mistakes (and I suggest a TON of mistakes) since I simply didn't know any better. When I began getting emails and calls to consult for additional potential play cafe owners, then I couldn't keep all this information to myself. As soon as it's easy for me to feel like an imposter or that there are other business owners more qualified than me to share this information, I know that there is a 4-years-ago me sitting at work somewhere waiting for another idea to leap out at them.
And honestly, I don't want to see one more business close because somebody who is walked before them did not share any info! Why don't you discuss it myself?!
But my time is precious. I have two small kids and run another business... 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 take at least 12 to 24 hours of paid one-on-one consulting to even break the surface of everything you need, including documentation.)
PCA is broken up into eight modules at which I cover everything from writing your business plan to choosing a location and signing the right lease to organizing your flows of earnings and much, much more. Students can go through those modules
in their own pace, and I don't need to take some time to walk my students through the program.
This allows me to assist other entrepreneurs in their path while at the same time reserving time and energy that I want for my loved ones and other commitments.
In general, this business model may actually be whatever the owner wants it to be. I understand many owners that choose to do ALL of the items inside their business, and it works for them since most of us have distinct"desire zones"
Are and may design my"perfect" weeks accordingly. If I was still burning the candle on both ends trying to tackle everything , I would be doing myself, my family, and my clients a significant disservice.