This Is Why People Hate Your Business & Curse Your Name

Business of Software - Dharmesh Shah

Remember the previous post where I talked about 50 tons of bagels and writing a Bar Mitzvah speech? Well some of the experiences I have had working on the aforementioned Bar Mitzvah are really why I am writing the post you are reading now.

If you are not a Member of the Tribe you might not be aware that a Bar Mitzvah is a pretty big deal for us and that there are often multiple events outside of the religious component that are tied into it.

An incomplete list of those might include catering music, hall/hotel, entertainment, photography/video and travel arrangements. The exact scale varies from family to family and person to person but size isn’t the issue here.  We’ll get to that in a moment.

Lessons Learned From Past Experiences.

A thousand years ago when we were planning our wedding we made the mistake of being too thorough in our search for a venue and vendors. I think we visited about 38 different hotels, restaurants and halls and met with countless other vendors.

What I remember about that time is thinking it would lead to a good deal and that it was smart to be patient about making such a big choice.

If I could go back in time I would grab the smug 26 year-old boy and shake him because we saw so many different places and met with so many different people we made ourselves crazy and it wasn’t because of indecision.

There were plenty of places/people that were eliminated within the first visit.

You can accuse me of being slow and doing things in my own time but I do learn and I knew this time around I wasn’t going to go meshugeh meeting with ten thousand different people.

This time around I figured not only would we meet with fewer people we would use the magic of social media and crowd sourcing to help narrow the field.

So I asked friends and relatives for references for who they used and checked in via Facebook so we could develop a short list of vendors and places to check out.

What Happened Next

What happened next was simple. We started out by checking out websites, making a few telephone calls and sending out some emails.

I was mildly surprised to stumble across some vendors who either didn’t have websites or alternatively had something that was cutting edge in 1998. I probably should be more tolerant of that but I am not.

That is because of how easy it has become to build a site. It doesn’t cost a heck of a lot to secure a domain, basic hosting, a premium WordPress theme and to populate it with some basic information and pictures.

But that is really minor compared to the issue that set me off.

Some people never respond to emails or telephone calls and I just don’t understand how you can operate your business that way.

The picture above with the happy face and Customer Happiness Index comes to mind because you can upset people who aren’t your customers and if you are in a referral business you might want to think about that.

Family Events Are Emotional

Family events are emotional activities. It doesn’t have to be a Bar/Bat Mitzvah because we could easily be talking about a wedding, Sweet 16 or some other family event.

I mention family event because most of the businesses I have been speaking with or trying to don’t focus solely upon Jewish events. And I know from conversations with non Jewish friends and the multitude of reality television shows that people can sometimes get a little crazy planning these things.

So if you happen to be someone who provides services to those events you might want to remember that because of this some people might be paying closer attention to who helps make the path easier and who doesn’t.

And if you don’t respond or acknowledge inquiries you could be losing a lot more business than you realize because the person who can’t reach you might feel a bit crazed from trying to plan their event and when someone asks them who they are using they might mention your company in less than favorable terms.

I am just saying.

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  1. Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes November 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    ExtremelyAvg Hi Brian. We are all fighting inertia and sometimes it is much easier to do nothing than to make changes and ask the hard questions.
    I certainly understand that, but if we don’t take that moment to figure out if everything if things are really working as they should be we miss out on some important opportunities.

  2. ExtremelyAvg November 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I think it is important to step back from one’s business and ask the question, “What am I doing poorly?”
    For me, it has been getting print versions out of my books. It isn’t that hard to do, but I keep putting it off. There are a few people who have said they would buy my books as soon as the print version is ready, so I need to get going.
    This post was a good reminder. Thanks.

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