Who has taught you the most about running a successful business? Do you have a business mentor?
Some of my best business lessons come from companies, mentors, and organizations that have nothing to do with this online world.
While sure – I can name names of people who've influenced my decisions, supported me along the way–my most game-changing lessons have been learned watching some of my favorite companies grow.
They are simply doing things that I love as a consumer and want to give that same feeling so that my own clients and customers like working with me!
Today, I want to talk about one company and three things I'm applying in my own business…
Before I get started though, I need to address one thing–you're either a fan of Starbucks or you're not.
Coffee snobs – please don't give me a lecture on roasting my own beans and not feeding the corporate entity of Starbucks. I love my coffee from a variety of sources.
The reasons I love doing business with Starbucks are simple…and they are fairly easy to bring into the way I build my own business.
Here are three things Starbucks does that I'm either doing ALREADY or am starting to do right now.
1. Give people a great experience.
Customer service is often thought of as something you do in response to problems. But I think there’s more to it than being able to respond to complaints or questions.
The thing about Starbucks is that they are proactive in the way they interact with customers. They aren’t automatically trying to upsell you. They are generally super friendly, happy individuals that are simply being nice. Now I’m making a huge generalization and I’m sure someone somewhere at a Starbucks is having a bad day and snaps at a customer.
But literally, I have never had a full-on bad experience inside a Starbucks – even my husband recently told me that the baristas at the one near his work, asked him why he's not ordering his triple tall Americano every day (he quit coffee, that's why!).
The environment is a big deal and every time I go into, I know what to expect, generally come away satisfied and like spending time there.
Can you create an environment where people want to hang out?
I try to make the Fearless Launching Facebook group that place everyone kinda comes back to whenever they need support, familiar faces, and people who will actually listen and respond to questions.
Remember, you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting or hire a full customer happiness team.
Create a space where people want to help each other, where it’s easy for you to keep giving support…and where people feel comfortable sharing.
2. Create A Secret Menu
Okay – this is pretty much my favorite thing ever from Starbucks. The secret menu evolved out of the frequently asked for variations from their customers and creative baristas.
Slowly over time, that secret menu has become public. I think having a menu like this in your own business rocks because not only is it fun to create a little mystery, but this allows your customers to be active participants and creators inside your business. It becomes their business too!
Companies like Jamba Juice, In-n-Out Burger, and Chipotle are just a few chain restaurants that have secret menus…but you'll find a ton more if you do some googling!
A few examples I know of personally…
A social media manager I work with has a special package called the Grab and Go package that was secret for several months until people started hearing about it and becoming repeat customers …now I think she offers it publicly. But honestly, I’m not telling just in case she hasn’t! (email me if you want to know more)
For a long time, even I have had a secret-ish menu. I don’t have any packages on my site for coaching. I don’t say I manage launches. And yet from time to time, I’ll take on clients who ask me to do those exact things.
Soon, you might discover new items on my secret menu–products that aren’t “live” yet, but still available upon request.
(Good rule of thumb is to ask a company if you are interested in something and you just might get it – even if it's the off-season!)
Can you find a way to give people something they really want on demand?
Now, I’m not saying create products and packages on the fly but think of commonly asked for services or products or packages of products you might be able to bundle and have to offer when people ask for something similar.
3. Start rewarding your members
I have a gold card from Starbucks. (lol…so special)
But really that means I got one after spending a certain amount of money on Starbucks related products and was issued one as a thank you for my loyalty.
Instead of just being a pretty place to load money and spend MORE there, there are some other benefits to having the card.
I get offers just for me, birthday presents, rewards unlocked as I earn stars…and I think they used to say that the baristas would call me by name (since your name is on the gold card)…
How do I implement this in my own business?
Well, I offer things to my Fearless Launchers before anyone else. This past weekend I allowed them to call dibs on some very limited spots to work with me (and nope you can’t get in until the public launch unless you’re an alum.
I also like to send surprise gifts, update the content, and gift them access to my other programs. They are gold level members and I appreciate them for being the core of my community!
How can you create a reward system for your members? Maybe you do something every quarter just for them – maybe you have a service package that you only offer to those people in your insider's group. Maybe you let your members try out new products before anyone else.
What rewards can you start giving your members?
Here’s What To Do Next
Is there a company or organization that inspires you to do things differently in your own business?
Starbucks is just one place I go to for business inspiration.
If you want to learn about a few others that I’ve tapped recently for ideas, check out the video below!
Think of three companies that inspire you or you love. In fact, pick companies where you are an active consumer.
Got your companies?
Now, ask yourself what 3 things are they doing that you could be doing in your own business too?