I’m a huge believer that you should always say yes to a customer request for two main reasons. The first one being, you don’t want to let someone down and if you can help in anyway, then why wouldn’t you? And the second being how are you ever going to progress if you don’t push yourself?
Staying in the comfort zone of only offering what you have will mean you never move forwards. For example, in recent times if I’d have said no to the first balloon arch, we as a company wouldn’t have gone on to do over a 100 of them. When I said yes, I had no staff member to do it, I couldn’t knot a balloon without getting annoyed, no idea where to purchase balloons and even if I had, I still had no clue how to make an arch.
But this is the fun of business….
You must take the time to learn, and then enjoy what you are learning. Next, it’s practice, practice and more practice until you start to master it and most importantly learn from all the mistakes you make. In the case of the balloons, we joined a balloon association that offered classes; we studied YouTube videos and read certain literature related to the topic. I got to know several suppliers and spoke to them seeking their advice.
The point I am making here is, by saying “yes” I grew as a person understanding a new subject, my customer was happy and then my company had the skills to progress and make more money from doing a similar service. If I had never said “yes” then we’d still be only do the 4ft LED light up letters.
Some say it’s a dangerous game and I nearly agreed with them a few weeks ago…
My daughter goes to a primary school and the teacher comes running out one day with a big smile to ask if I can do a giant balloon arch for the finish line for their Superhero Run. It was a very worthy charity and I thought why not…I reservedly and thoughtfully murmured that word “yes”.
However, life then became very difficult as none of the methods of making an arch, methods to implement a balloon wall or organic modelling would work for an arch of this size. Problems then started to appear as I asked for advice on social media channels to the sound of radio silence and when responses did start to come it was them asking me questions like;
How will you weight it?
What are you going to do about the wind?
What if a child runs into it?
Where are you going to buy the stronger latex balloons?
I was that concerned with arcing it, that I had not even considered the rest of it. Naturally like my homework at school I had a very short deadline left after leaving it a week or two and then started phoning every company we work with to try and cheat. At this point I hated the word “yes”. Eventually however my luck changed; Karen at Desired Occasions knew how to do it, just had none of the tools to do so. Vitally she knew the name of the pole we needed to form the big strong balloon arch that was also the correct weight and wind proof. It was an extremely good bit of kit though a touch expensive I won’t lie, especially for a free job that I didn’t want to have to go back to the school and say no to.
Karen consequently helped me on the day and together with Faye we constructed a 25-foot balloon arch in red and black balloons. The school never knew of any panic (until reading this aha) and all the children were thrilled to be running through a giant balloon arch on the finishing line.
So, by saying “yes” we diversified a little more as a company, we now have the potential to earn money building these in the future as we know no one else in the area of Cheshire can produce them and I kept lots of people happy while not denting my pride haha!
I will also be eternally grateful to Karen of Desired Occasions for all the advice and help she offered to us so what was already a good working relationship is even better and she can borrow the tools to do this any time.