mickey on coffee froth at Disney Springs

Episode 69: How To Avoid Business Meltdowns (Transcript)

Oct 4, 2022



How do you manage your expectations as a business owner?

One of the hardest parts of owning your own business is managing expectations of, well, everything. Clients, team members, employees, contractors, our family, even ourselves! 

What does this have to do with Disney? At the end of the day, each trip to Disney should be planned like a project in your business. You need to go into it with a strategy and goals! 

Kids and Clients Can Be Similar

How does a Disney trip with the kids relate to working with adults in the business world? Well, sometimes clients are just like children. They have unrealistic expectations about what’s possible. 

That doesn’t mean we don’t love our clients! But it does mean that we have to approach client work the same way we approach a trip to Disney to ensure everything goes smoothly: plan, plan, plan, PLAN. 

Manage Expectations

Once you’ve got a great plan in place, you need to set expectations with your clients. Setting those expectations up front, just like you would with your kids, means everyone’s clear on the possibilities and what’s supposed to happen. 

Have Realistic Goals

For every new project, you need to set goals for both yourself and the client. Make sure they have realistic expectations before they even begin working with you, as that will save you a ton of headaches down the line. 

Know the End Goal

One of the things that Disney does incredibly well is approaching every new project with the end goal in mind — and knowing their audience.

They have different campaigns for different audiences. Some of their audience (like us) are die-hard fans who will buy anything. But there are others who are going to need more warming up. They need to be sold on the benefits of joining the Vacation Club. 

The campaigns Disney is going to run to us versus the colder audience are going to look vastly different. Community and connection is the basis of everything Disney does, and that marketing tactic has made them billions. 

We love breaking down topics like this for you guys! If you’d like to keep up the magic everyday of the week, follow us on Instagram at @pixiedustandprofits


Intro (00:01):
Pixie dust and profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher, and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.

Yasmine (00:25):
Welcome to another episode of pixie, dust and profits. I’m Yasine

Nicole (00:30):
And I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:31):
And today we’re gonna talk all about managing your expectations. Now I’m gonna bring up a topic that might be a little controversial, but if you’re a parent with little ones or have been to Disney and have seen parents and little ones, you’ve probably witnessed a scenario where the child is having a meltdown for one reason or another might be too hot. They might not wanna wait in line. They wanna see Mickey and Mickey’s not available. And the parent is like insistent that they carry on with their day to make the most of their magical experience. And Hey, you can’t blame them. Can you, I mean, we’ve talked about this Disney is not cheap, but it is, you know, a bit of a premium experience, especially with prices increasing more and more every day. And if you are going there for that once in a lifetime trip, or like once every like several years, you’re gonna wanna make the most of it, right?

Yasmine (01:32):
You’re not gonna wanna have to spend half your day at the hotel room, which is what I did recently. When I went to Disney world with my daughter, I shared this experience on a previous episode, we took her to Disney for her very first time. It was in may, it was hot. And we honestly spent maybe two to four hours at the parks each day, despite paying for tickets for myself, my husband and my mom who came to help us out. And, you know, after a certain point, like we had to head back to the hotel room to cool things down. And the reason why I feel like I still got a lot of enjoyment out of the trip was because I went in there setting the expectation that she is the one running the show that my daughter is gonna be the one who dictates where we go when we go and we’re gonna have to play by her rules, because if I dragged her along and made her wait in every single line so we can get all those character photos, it would’ve been a nightmare for everyone. And I have to add that. I’m very lucky that we were able to make that decision because we go back to Disney like almost every year. So I knew that there’d be future years for those experiences.

Nicole (02:41):
I saw a post recently that said, I’m back for my child’s vacation. And so now I need my vacation. because you know, you sit around and take care of them all day vacation. Yep. And you know, even if you only have one Disney trip and that’s your one and only I think going in knowing the expectations of your family, your children, yourselves, and having some goals in mind is always a good thing. So it’s, it’s funny to think about planning a vacation as if you’re planning a project in your business, but you can actually go to pixiedustprofits.com. And we have a page that’s like, if you’re planning a trip, keep these things in mind. And we’re like, strateg, you need strategy. you need to think about what your goals are. And so, even though my child is older, we go into our Disney trips saying, what’s the one thing each of us wants to make sure we do.

Nicole (03:36):
We each get to make sure that we have one thing. And, um, in that way we know we will get to toy story mania. That’s your one thing. Mom really wants to try the new, making a mini runaway train. Can we try that one? And so when we’re in line for that, it’s not an argument between anyone or not a meltdown because it’s, I, you waited for the thing I wanted. I’m waiting for the thing you wanted. And that helps us a bit. We also, you know, leave the parks early and go back to our room and relax because none of us wanna be stressed out on vacation. Mm-hmm , um, I fully respect other people have different ways of, of traveling and ways of handling the situation with their kids. But you know what, the reason we’re talking about this is cuz sometimes your kids can be like your clients, right?

Nicole (04:19):
They have temper tantrums, they have meltdowns, they have unrealistic expectations. They seemingly wine or have some sort of red flag risk come up at the worst moments. So, um, that’s really where we’re going with with this. So if you wanna have, you know, quote unquote successful Disney vacation, thinking about, okay, what are the most important parks? We actually just went through this process in planning for pixie dust live. We started thinking about, okay, well the last pixie dust live, what did we do? Where did we go? How did that go over? Where should we go this time? You know, what are the highlights we should hit? Because we know, we know we can’t absolutely hit everything, especially when we’re gonna be leaving to do masterminding in the rooms and things like that. So, um, we sat down and thought about what are the expectations we should set for people.

Nicole (05:10):
And it’s, you know, this day we’re going to run around and eat in this particular park. And the expectation is that you have fun versus another day where we’re like, oh, we’re going to actually look at this particular ride so we can understand the elements of it and go from there about how we apply these things to our business. So there’s thought that goes into every single type of trip that we take. And again, setting those expectations is really important because when you don’t, you don’t have them to fall back on or to look to when things start getting squirrly. I think we can all relate to that in the middle of a launch or a new product, or even accidentally posting something on social media that went in the wrong direction and you have to like go through the muddy waters and figure it out. Right. So if we know what our expectations are, we can always look at what’s happening and say, okay, what were the goals again? Let let’s, let’s try and course correct and get back toward those.

Yasmine (06:08):
And sometimes the goal setting in itself needs a little bit of expectation management, right? Nicole, like think about a Disney trip. All you see are the highlights on Instagram, on Disney’s, um, marketing, it’s all magic, it’s all fun. So when you go and you know, things are a little hard, it’s like, where’s the magic, this wasn’t the trip that we were supposed to have. You’re not supposed to be crying. You’re supposed to be like at this restaurant right now and with clients and businesses and even customers, sometimes a lot of the time they go into any project or purchase with certain expectations in mind. And um, they cuz they see, you know, another competitor or another type of business doing X, Y, and Z or you know, there’s someone telling them that this is the type of business that they should have. Yeah. You can make six figures easily with barely having to work.

Yasmine (06:58):
And as people behind the scenes, we know that is not the case. There’s a lot that goes into hitting six figures a year at minimum, right? So there are difficult conversations we have to have with clients sometimes about the goals that they can expect to hit based on their individual circumstances. Right? You can expect to have a million dollar launch if you don’t have, you know, the appropriate list size or the ad spend to sort of invest in getting there. And even then a million dollar launch can be expensive. Again. For some people, it might be easier. There’s so many variables that go into place and every business is nuanced and unique. And you have to take that into consideration before you set goals. I’m not trying to sound like do and glue. You can hit like great goals in your business, but you can’t hit goals based on what someone else who has not looked at your business says you can do.

Nicole (07:49):
Yeah. And I’ll say that right now, I’ve had this conversation with so many people where they’re looking at the results they’re getting from, whether it’s like an evergreen campaign or some launch that they’re trying to run. And they’re like, why isn’t this doing as well as it used to, or I hear people who are getting these results and I’m not getting those results. And again, we talk about this all the time about looking at your unique business and the industry that you’re in and resetting people because most of the time my clients are actually doing really well, but they’ve anchored themselves. Their education is completely out of, I don’t wanna say completely out of reality, but kinda it is kind of in the land of pixie dust. And so when I go to them and I say, Hey, okay, let me say, you see what you’re saying, but then I’m gonna go back and I’m gonna do some math and I’m gonna come back and say, oh, your conversion, rate’s actually 2.4%, which sounds like a really low number. But when the average is 2%, you’re doing well and it’s only day one, we still have six more days to go. So don’t worry yet. Don’t get so concerned about what the results will be. If you know that you have done it strategically, intentionally absolutely pivot. There are absolutely times where in the middle of something, you need to think, okay, you know what? Something’s not resonating here. Let me find the thing that is and throw that into the mix. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not successful.

Yasmine (09:10):
Like for example, it’s really important to set the type of goal and the related outcome that you wanna achieve. Sometimes you’ll do specific initiatives just to grow your list. Other times it’ll be conversion based and the way that you go about it really differs. So if you’re going into a project looking to increase your audience size, focusing on the potential like revenue, maybe generating the back end of the offer that you’ve created can be detrimental because that’s not what you originally set it up. That’s not what you originally set your project up for. And switching goals. Midway can sometimes be a really hard and difficult pivot to make because so much forethought goes into how you set up your launch, your initiatives and your planning.

Nicole (09:59):
Yeah. I would say that for that, you know, there are times where your launches quote, I say quote launches, cuz I think of a launch as anything new. That’s like getting out into the world, not necessarily like a sales campaign. And so there are times where you’re just trying to, like you said, build your audience. Um, if you have followed us for a while, you know that the happy ever crafter is one of our clients. And so she does something every about eight months. It’s show me your drills. You can go to show me your drills.com and find it. She teaches people calligraphy. And so while we’re doing gearing up for a new session of the free show me your drills, we need to bring in new people to the audience who haven’t heard about it before. So a month or two, before we start launching things, to get people interested, get people knowing about modern calligraphy and that anyone can do it and you don’t need pretty handwriting.

Nicole (10:49):
So those are things that happen well before the actual like sales launch. These, this is like marketing launch where we’re just trying to bring in new, new people to the mix. And so if we went into things, thinking that they were traffic generating launches, new audience generating launches, and we are trying to find people like colder people who have never heard of us before, or maybe follow someone who follows us, that’s a completely different approach in how you talk to that person, how long you nurture that person, how much you need to tell them about who you are and what you do versus a launch where someone already knows who you are. And they already feel like they, they know the types of products you sell. And you’re like saying, okay, you’ve been here. You know, you know who I am, you know what I do come on, let’s work together.

Nicole (11:38):
And you’re like sell, sell, sell. Those are two completely different approaches. And so when you go into something thinking it’s a like value based relationship generator, building trust, building relationship, everything you make is gonna be completely different than something that’s meant for selling. And so if you try to change mid-course to be both, you’re gonna end up not doing great on either side mm-hmm . And so it’s really important to set those expectations early on, remind yourself of the expectations you had and measure your results against the expectations and goals that you set. Those other results you got are just icing on the cake mm-hmm . So if you went into it saying, I wanna bring in a hundred new people to our email list and you brought in 105 new people to your email list. Guess what? You hit your goal. If you made some sales, that’s just icing on the cake.

Yasmine (12:31):
Yeah. You’re not in the sales phase of that launch. So now you have those a hundred people on your list. You can get into the nurturing phase where you will generate like additional revenue by selling your products, but not from that initial like list building or audience growing initiative.

Nicole (12:46):
So Disney does this obviously where they have different campaigns for different audiences. They have the like more warm up stuff, clearly Yasmin and I are on the list of just sell them the sell email because they know that they don’t need to nurture us anymore. But for example, if you are a Disney vacation club member, and I’m not sure if you’re a member in Canada, if you get this, but if you’re a member in the United States, you get Disney files. And it’s a magazine that we get every month and it just has different articles and things that are going on new restaurants to try things that are getting reimagined. Um, some news on the vacation club, resort front, and always advertisements to buy into the next hotel that they have. But this is like a value generator, right? It’s keeping them top of mind, keeping them available for you.

Nicole (13:33):
The goal of Disney files is not to sell maybe indirectly to sell more vacation club points at the newest building. It’s mostly to be a value builder, remind people that they’re there and show them all the cool new things and why they should continue being a member and tell friends about it. If someone goes and buys another contract, that’s icing on the cake, this is a value nurture makes you feel like you got your money’s worth by joining this exclusive community. Those are the goals of that campaign. And if they started measuring how Disney files is doing, but in basis of did the person purchase a vacation club, addition to their membership, it’s not gonna look successful. I would bet it’s not gonna look as successful as you know, the fact that I’m even talking about this magazine I get every month. And sometimes they give us little, you know, artworks that we can pull out and put on our wall and just little things to keep the magic alive. These are like the pixie dust things. So

Yasmine (14:30):
Yeah. It’s connection. Right. And right. Yeah. What, what they also do, like you sort of talked about was by sharing different Disney experiences or things that are coming up, it gets you going back and Disney still profits off of that. Because even if you’re using your Disney vacation club, um, hotel room that you’ve already prepaid for, chances are you’re spending money at restaurants. You’re going into the parks, you’re getting merch. They have DBC exclusive merch that they advertise in that all the time. So, you know, like Nicole said, it might not directly result in conversions to adding onto your membership. There’s still some other benefits that they get from that. But most importantly, it’s that community and connection that they’re able to build.

Nicole (15:11):
Right? And I mean, they do like feature articles about things like the rhino or the elephant backstage experiences at animal kingdom. And you might not even know that exists, but now you do. And you might add that onto your stay. So there’s definitely experiences like this. And you know, how do we tie this back to our customer experience? Cuz we’re, we’ve been talking a lot about customer experience this season and just knowing what your goals are ahead of time working toward those goals, staying on the path, your customers will have a least chaotic experience. Mm-hmm because if you start switching back and forth between like, oh, I’m gonna give people free things. So that way they can come in and then I’m selling them something really hard. And then you go back to the free things and you’re going back and forth and back and forth.

Nicole (15:56):
And you don’t think about the relationship with them as a relationship that grows and gets deeper and more impactful. It’s gonna start feeling jarring to that person. And so always keep in mind what you’re doing and how that looks to someone who might be new to you and your biggest fans. So if you look at everything from those two lenses, before you do it, you might actually wanna start segmenting your email list, which is a more advanced marketing topic that we’ve talked about a little bit here and there. But when you, if you have a message that needs to go to two different people who follow you very similar, but you need to make some tweaks. That’s where you might wanna segment, okay. People who just joined me in the last four or five months, I don’t wanna talk to them that way. It’s really important to think about the goals and what you, what you want to achieve with anything you do, but especially with anything involving your customers and your audience, cuz you don’t want them throwing a temper tantrum. And that being their core memory of Disney

Yasmine (16:56):
No, you do not.

Nicole (16:58):
So thanks for joining us today. We got into a bunch of different topics here, but if there’s nothing else that you remember from it, set your goals, revisit your goals and stay on the path. Trust yourself, trust your past self to know what you needed back then. Uh, thanks for joining us today. If you don’t already follow us @pixiedustandprofits, go ahead and do that on Instagram and on TikTok though, we don’t publish there. As often as I know we want to we’ll see you next week



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