Tuesday, August 5, 2014

When care and devotion are absent in a business

We just finished a wonderful holiday long weekend here in New Brunswick.

The weather was perfect and I had my kids for the weekend.  My ex-wife's parents have just bought an RV and had taken it to a beach-front campground.  We were invited for a day of beach fun!

Because I'm so totally wrapped up in business, I couldn't help but notice the signs of an owner who has just stopped caring about his business.

When a business owner is tired, the first things that start to decline are what I call 'customer experience items.'  These are easy to overlook, but combined together they start to put a damper on the fun your customers may come to expect.  Here's what I noticed about the campground:

  1. There were no garbage cans on the beach.  This encouraged some beach-goers to litter.  I didn't like it.
  2. The beach had beautiful sand but there were many pieces of sharp sandstone mixed in.  Two guys working a full day could probably remove 90% of them.
  3. The playground equipment was old, needed paint and hadn't been maintained in years.  I forbade my daughter from using the swings because I feared tetanus if she touched the rusty metal pipes.
  4. There was no food service at all.  No hot dogs, cans of pop or anything.
  5. The WiFi was poor.  This didn't affect me but it was funny to see many of the campers out waving iPad's in the air, obviously trying to catch a signal.
  6.  The whole business was cash-only.  I witnessed one customer who left because they wouldn't accept her debit card to pay for a campsite.
I just think its sad.  The right owner with enthusiasm could grow the number of repeat clients and increase revenues with add-ons like food sales or a bar.  

I guess if he doesn't do well this year, he'll just blame the economy or the tourists who don't like to visit him too long.

BTW.  I used my new Sport-Brella sun shade.  I highly recommend it.  Easy to set up and didn't move a bit in the wind.

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