This Christmas was the most laid back Christmas in my 30 years on this planet. I don’t think I entered a department store or waited in a line. My mother kept asking me if I wanted to go shipping with her and I kept telling her I was done and all the presents were wrapped. This year I did 100% of my shopping online. While some people like my mom think I am nuts, I believe that you have to support your industry. As the owner of an online store, I feel that by shopping online I do my part to support my industry. Not only do I invest in online retailers, I use the experience as a chance to do research, gather ideas, and learn ways to improve our Silly Farm store.
I ordered a set of baby shower invitations from a site called SimplyBabyStuff.com. The transaction of personalized invitations was simple, easy and I loved the overall look of the site. But that wasn’t the best part. The invitations arrived quickly and were gorgeous, but that isn’t the best part either! The best part was one week after the baby shower I received a hand written note that said, “Heather, we hope the baby shower was a success and that everyone enjoyed themselves. If you ever need our services again please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email, always happy to help. Have a great day and thank you for shopping with Simply Baby Stuff.”
I was blown away. I consider myself a customer service junkie and I was so impressed with my card. Sometimes the service after the sale is what counts the most.
Something as simple as a thank you card, left the best feeling in my mind and I will forever use simplybabystuff.com. Granted, I could have walked into a card shop and received great service, but I didn’t. I learned a very valuable lesson from shopping online. I learned through my experience that just because there was not a personal exchange of goods, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the sale personal. I have incorporated their style into my own business practices. Every month I send several handwritten notes to our customers just saying thank you and reminding them I am here if they need me. I use every opportunity to learn and improve.
I encourage each of you support your industry. I am a crazy birthday person. I love birthdays, or any reason to celebrate for that matter. Each year I plan a super-duper birthday extravaganza for my son. I feel an obligation to give him the best parties because of the field I am in. Because I have been in the “biz” for so long I have a lot of friends that would gladly offer their face painting services for free for my sons party, but I will not let it happen. I am not rich and I didn’t win the lotto, but I like supporting our artists and I don’t mind hiring them. I think it’s good to support our industry and give artists work. When I book them for my party I don’t book them under my name. I use an alias so they don’t feel guilty. I prepay them so I know they can’t be mad after the fact, but I do this so that I get to experience being on the other end of the service industry. I watch and observe, will they show up on time? Will they stay later if they don’t finish every kid? Do they eat on the job? Do they bring their own table and chair? Many of the people I hire are friends and I already know how they operate, but it’s nice to see them in action when they don’t know the client.
By supporting artists, internet shopping, and supporting industry events I feel that I am giving back to the people that have given so much to me. Even if Amazon never places an order with Silly Farm, I believe that the universe creates a cycle of giving & receiving and I get included because I did my little piece.
My handsome husband is the Pastor of the Greater St. Mark AME Church and after every service during the benediction he reminds us that when you give in abundance you are setting yourself up to receive a harvest. You can’t expect that business will bloom without investing in both your business and your industry. I encourage everyone to make it a habit to support one facet of your life each day. Whether its posting a friendly compliment to a fellow painter on Facebook, volunteering for a cause, or supporting small businesses.
I will conclude with this little word of advice. Your mind is the most powerful tool in the world. When you manifest your beliefs they can become reality if you invest enough energy into them. Make giving your motto, make support a daily piece of your vocabulary and you will be surprised at how many doors open.