I want to tell you a story about a business model that even a nine-year-old can see! Before I explain it, I first need to set the stage a bit…
One of my dreams in life was to have children and be in a position to take them to school every day. And because I got married later in life, I had definitely heard my fair share of parenting tips over the years. Everyone has their own philosophy and take on best parenting practices.
One common thread has stood out among all the advice I’ve gotten, and that was the importance of a morning routine. Change the routine or add another person into the mix and it can wreak havoc on a fine-tuned schedule. The other common theme was the positive impact a parent can tap into during the ride/walk to and from school. So heeding my friends’ advice, I have been fortunate enough to be able to take my daughter to school since she was about four years old.
So now we fast forward… my daughter is nine years old and is in 4th grade…
We both happen to be early risers and we usually have breakfast pretty early. Often we let my wife sleep in and we head out to the local bagel shop on our way to school to get a little extra time in together. Important note: My daughter loves the potato bagel lightly toasted with butter and I happen to like the protein bagel toasted with egg and swiss.
We’ve been going to the bagel shop long enough that Anna, who works behind the counter, has gotten to knows us and what we like to order. The shop is usually busy, but Anna keeps the place humming along smoothly and everyone is always looked after quickly and efficiently so we never have to wait very long.
In fact, before we step up to order and pay, Anna already has our favorites bagged up and ready to go. Talk about personal touch and a well-oiled machine! We love that she knows us and that she looks after us in such a warm, nurturing way. She knows us, we know her, and she knows what we like.
Every so often we pull up to the bagel shop and there is a line out the door. You can see by the looks on people’s faces that the line isn’t moving very fast and they’ve been standing there for a while. Immediately my daughter knows it’s because Anna isn’t there.
Those days are such a disappointment to us both. It means we’re going down the street to the chain bagel shop to pick up our bagels, and it just isn’t the same. It doesn’t have Anna with her familiar banter and warmth. It doesn’t have Anna who runs the shop like it’s her own. It doesn’t have Anna who keeps the line moving and people smiling.
If your business is lucky enough to have an Anna, you’re one step ahead of most businesses. But the other question is, does your business have an entire team of Annas? Or does it come to a screeching halt if your Anna is out for a day and people end up walking down the street to find a new Anna?
The point I’m trying to make is that when you are lucky enough to find an employee with the necessary qualifications and skills to fill a position, your business can operate the way you intended it to run. However, what you really want is a business built on systems that operate flawlessly even if you do not have an “Anna.” Then when you add a team of “Annas” to your finely tuned systems, you will have a business that stands out to everyone on a daily basis – even when it is Anna’s day off!
Sanford M. Fisch
CEO & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555