I’m typing this blog to you from a hospital surgical waiting room. My husband just had gallbladder surgery after being in the hospital for 6 days. One of the key things that came to mind: “Are you prepared for your clients to still be served, if you were in my shoes?”
I started in the balloon industry in 2003 and for the first several years I did as much of the business as I humanly could on my own. Often, my husband and daughter became not-so-willing helpers but supporters of my business and would work many evenings and weekends.
Over time, I trained other people to work with me as needed and on days my husband had medical issues and would not be able to work. I was thankful I had others who were trained and could pitch in.
In January 2015, I sold my company to be able to work full time as Balloon Coach to support the balloon industry by creating new training opportunities for business owners.
I still work as the Marketing Director and as-needed crew leader for Party People Events. I’m thankful to be a team member now rather than the sole proprietor of the company. In May 2015, on a busy event day, the principal from my husband’s school called to let me know he was having a heart attack while teaching and to meet him at hospital.
I got in my van and called Johnathan Gerber to let him know the situation and that staff needed to grab supplies out of my vehicle, as I would not be at the events for that day.
If I was the only worker for the event, I would have had to make a choice to either not be at the hospital for my husband or break two contracts and owe refunds to my clients.
So put yourself in my shoes. What systems do you have in place to make sure your clients are served and money continues to be earned if you are not able to work? What would happen if you were the one with the medical emergency? Do you have someone who knows how to access your files? Does anyone know how to contact clients and be able to create the balloons and set the decor or fill in if you are an entertainer?
If the answer is NO, here are some steps you can take to prepare:
- Network with balloon professionals in your area that might be able to cover for you if needed.
- Have your recipes, directions to venue, contact info and all details set in writing or in computer system to easily be accessed
- If you don’t have an employee yet, have family member or friend trained to know how to find this info to pass onto another balloon pro
- Start the process of having a part time or full time staff member who could step in and take care of the event for you.
- Dream Big!! If the idea of having staff makes you nervous and you tend to be a bit of a “control freak” I encourage you to read the book The E-Myth Revisited. It has a great perspective on business and why many fail for not having business systems in place and share steps to put in place to grow.
Accidents and medical emergencies happen with no warning. Protect your business and clients by creating a plan now to be prepared.
This is my husband’s 3rd hospital stay in the last 4 months. If I was running a balloon business on my own, my stress level would be through the roof and I would have disappointed clients. So, is your balloon business prepared for family or medical emergency?
Team work makes the dream work. I encourage you to make a plan of who your support team can be for now and what you want it to look like in the future. For more information on building a strong foundation for your business join us in our group coaching and online training program Balloon Boss Mastermind
Joette Giardina, CBA
Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.
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