Dana Pope

By Dana Pope

Your Company May Be Next

150 150 Dana Pope

The Story of Two Businesses

After being forced to change the design of their businesses, the companies reported dramatic loss of sales and even bankruptcy. Though they did everything right, they still were unable to survive. They had a plan based on a target customer, had the funding and the location they needed. Yet an insignificant population prevented them from succeeding.

Story #1

We can determine who will be in a movie theater by what the movie is rated. If it is rated G there will be kids present. Rated R and we don’t anticipate kids there.

There are PG movies that adults would be interested in like Shrek, Despicable Me, and Beauty & the Beast. Grownups might not go to these movies since they don’t want to deal with kids in attendance. However, they would show up if there was an adult only audience. The result would be increased ticket sales for the movie makers and the theaters, extra exposure for the film since a higher amount of people will be viewing it and a pleasant experience for the adults. A win-win for everyone.

Wouldn’t it be great if adults could go see movies and not be surrounded by kids. I’m not talking about denying families from seeing the movies. Instead having movie times for adults only. Something like adult swim in public pools where the kids must stay out of the pool for 10 minutes while the adults swim.

When the topic of adult only movie screenings is mentioned parents complain they want to bring their children. Despite there being numerous movie times for everyone and only a few that are adult only, people will object. If the adult movie time is only once a day or starts at 11pm people will complain, ‘My kids should be able to attend.’ Even though the parents have a multitude of screenings to pick from, they want what they are told they can’t have.

So the adult only screenings are dropped. We let the meager amount of voices prevail. When did this become the norm? The bellyachers say their kids have a right to attend. What happened to the rights of the adults?

Story #2

There was a bar/restaurant by me that had sand courts so the customers could play volleyball and consume beverages. Parents would bring their kids, who of course used the volleyball courts as a sandbox. When asked for the kids to move so a game could be played, the parents would complain stating their kids had a right to be there.

Remember, this is a bar/restaurant. Even at 11pm the adults couldn’t play because children would be in the sand. I’m talking about little kids. What are they doing at a bar at 11pm? The company created a venue where people could play volleyball yet the courts sat empty. Finally, it drove the adults away and the bar was unable to keep afloat. It closed. It could not survive when its target customer had been chased away. Instead, it was taken over by parents who in essence needed a place that could babysit their kids.

What makes it right for the complainers to get their way? The restaurant had an adult venue. It welcomed everyone, including kids. Yet when the children were asked to move the adults were being chastised by parents for wanting to play volleyball. The owners lost their business because a meager amount of people, who were not the target customer, were too selfish to let the owner run his business the way it was designed.

I enjoyed family time and wanted to do as much with my children as I could. I wouldn’t take my children to places that weren’t designed for them. It was fine. I just went somewhere else. There were so many places that were family friendly I didn’t need to be at any of the very few that weren’t.

Yet somehow we allow a small number of people determine what should be. The business owner created a place made for adults. Why can’t he do that? It’s his business and his vision. I don’t go to a barber shop to get my hair done and complain they don’t have stylists for women. I go to a salon.

We have been submitting to a small, overly verbal group too long. No one gets to determine how things will be in our business. We create our company to run the way we want. No one has the right to change a company’s DNA. A business can’t satisfy everyone so let the owner decide who its customers are.

Build your enterprise the way you want and stick to it when the pressure is on. You’ve created this entity and know it better than anyone. You have set a goal and are shooting for it. Only you have the best interest for your company, so stay on track.

We have to stop allowing the self-absorbed, the nut jobs, the complainers, (whatever you want to call them) determine what we do with our business. Their voices may be loud, but their numbers are few. Explain to them why you have set up your organization this way. Those who do not like the way things are need to do business elsewhere. You don’t care; they weren’t who you were shooting for.

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