Transcripts Archives - pixiedustandprofits.com

Episode 73: Disney Business: Bob Iger is Back in Charge! (Transcript)

Nov 29, 2022

Speaker 1 (00:01):
Pixie Dust & 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 (00:26):
Holy wow. Okay. I wanna die straight into this episode cuz Nicole and I have just been talking before we started recording about the big Disney news that just happened in like the past 48 hours. Uh, but before I get into that, hi, I’m Yasmin and welcome to Pixie Dust & Profits, and I have my wonderful co-host Nicole here. Hello. And the big news that we are talking about is the fact that Bob Chapek has been ousted by the Disney Board and our, our Brain crush. I’d call him her brain crush, right? Nicole, Bob o is back a CEO of Disney after he had retired, after he had sort of stepped down and, you know, sort of wa you know, was retained on the board for a little bit longer to oversee things. He is back and I think Disney fans are rejoicing everywhere.

Nicole (01:23):
Yeah. Um, so this news broke Sunday evening and it actually was in a communication to cast members, it sounds like, before the media found out. So Bob Iger, who, uh, you know, we’ve talked about many times over the course of this podcast, um, sent a email to cast members letting them know that he was taking over a CEO again. And I, I’ve heard reports from every ounce of the Disney sphere that I’m in on the internet where cast members were just rejoicing and happy. And, you know, that’s, that’s kind of a sign that it was the right decision. Um, I don’t even know where to start with this discussion, but let’s give a little bit of background in case you’re not into the Disney leadership team like we are. Um, so Bob Chopek, I think it’s, I’ve heard both Chap and Chap. So, um, we’re talking about a Bob .

Nicole (02:16):
He was the CEO of Disney for the last 999 days. We’ll get to an inside joke about that later. But he took over from Bob Iger, who had been the CEO for 15 years and he had also worked for Disney for many, many decades before that. Um, so Bob Chopek, along with him came managing during the Pandemic and a lot of changes. And actually if you listen back a couple of episodes, we were talking, I think it was episode 70 where we were just talking about things we’ve been unhappy with as long time Disney consumers and how things just don’t feel as magical as they used to. I actually remember about two weeks ago telling Yasmin like, you know, I kind of feel like I should sell my dvc and that is never a thought that has crossed my mind before. Um, and so anyway, that’s a lot of the sentiment that I think cast members and other, you know, affixes have been feeling cast members, especially, you know, we’ve heard reports about how they were treated not so well during the pandemic.

Nicole (03:17):
They, you know, were laid off in droves and also when they, things started opening back up, they, you know, made them reapply for jobs they already had. And so it was making it difficult for them to even come back to work the magic. And having been to Disney a couple times during the pandemic, it’s still very significantly understaffed. Parks are closing at seven or 8:00 PM Um, there’s just not a presence that I remember there being before, especially when it comes to the cast members. And some of this definitely feels like Disney trying to cut corners on expenses as they’re, you know, raking in profits from nickel and diamond, everyone on things like Genie Plus and Park reservations. And, you know, it’s a lot. And this is just the parks side of the business. Disney’s obviously a much bigger company, it’s a media company, but I think people have also noticed the significant lack of movies coming out, like animated movies in particular.

Nicole (04:16):
Um, Disney plus, I remember last year when my subscription renewed, it was like double what I had initially paid for it. And you know, I don’t watch a lot on Disney Plus because they don’t have as many content releases as Netflix, but I do enjoy the things that I get from there. And so, you know, I justify paying for it because it’s nice to be able to download a couple of movies or watch some of the behind the scenes things, but it is a little bit pricey for a streaming platform that isn’t constantly putting out new content. So anyway, a lot of people associate these ideas and these implementations and rollouts with Bob Chopik who was CEO at the time. And, you know, I’ve, I’ve kind of given him the benefit of the doubt throughout, you know, I, I really thought early on that he was chosen as CEO to do some, implement some of the things that were probably ideas of other leadership teams because these things are never decided in silos.

Nicole (05:12):
Um, and, you know, kind of let him fall on the sword, right? You know, he’s like a sacrificial lamb, let’s get some of these, you know, unpopular things rolled out. Um, and we have, you know, one kind of interim CEO to blame for before we bring in someone new. So that was kind of my theory a few years ago. Um, of course the pandemic hit, so it definitely I think allowed Disney to fast track , intentionally punned, um, some of these changes. And what really was interesting to me, and I know I’m talking a lot here, but Yasmin and I were talking about this this summer, Chex, um, contract was up for a renewal and they renewed him. And I remember seeing the news come out and, you know, sending a, a sad message over to Yassin saying, you know, I really thought that he was just gonna be like the interim CEO and they were gonna get these changes in the door and then change him back to someone who could really make things feel magical again. So I was really sad that day. Um, and now here we are.

Yasmine (06:15):
What, one thing I’ll say, it’s like we’ve noticed a definite shift in how things have been performing at Disney over, I would even say the last couple of weeks. One factor I think that plays into it is, at least with the park side of the business, a lot of these pandemic changes seem like they’re here to stay. Things like park reservations, which kind of makes it difficult to go with the flow and, okay, let me backtrack here. Like, Disney’s never a go with the flow of vacation. You have to like do your meal planning in advance, your dining reservations, you kind of need to know which parks you’re going to in order to do that. But the requirement of Park reservations made it difficult for, you know, families who may have wanted to play it a little bit more loosey goosey maybe like DVC members like us who have annual passes that don’t necessarily, um, need to map out what we’re doing every second. We just kind of wanna go to the parks to relax and, um, play it by ear sometimes that has completely got out the window and the park reservations has made it really difficult for anyone to plan a last minute trip to Disney World. The other thing is, oh my goodness, prices have been insane. Let’s just talk about ticket prices. Oh yeah, I know we voiced this in previous episodes, but they’re going up again as of December 8th and I, which,

Nicole (07:34):
Which you know, is a whole different thing than they, they used to always do price increases around February or March. I remember because I would always be like right after Christmas is when I need to like pull the money together from hopefully if my spouse gets a bonus at work to buy our tickets for our next trip. Like that’s been such a routine of mine for years. And now they go ahead and they announce a price increase for like December 8th or something. Like, they know, they know that we are used to these things happening at a certain time of year and I’m just blaming Eck, it’s probably not him, but, you know, Ecks out here, like, let’s increase the ticket prices just before Christmas. Like, you know, now I’m actually debating not going in April. Like my original plans were because I, I don’t wanna drop the money on tickets right now, not before, right before Christmas when like I’ve got oil bills that are, you know, piling up and everything. So it just, it feels like such a money grab.

Yasmine (08:29):
It definitely does. And I was looking at a post in a Facebook group that I’m in again, as a Canadian in the past, we would occasionally get the offer to get like a slightly discounted multi-day pass in order to incentivize this to come. It was like a 20% savings. So this one woman was comparing the cost of her like discounted six day trip compared to booking a six day ticket. Now, and again, I know the discount factors in, but the price difference was 800 US dollars for the exact same timeframe, exact same ticket, $800. Like that’s, that’s a couple days at the park, you know what I mean? And if you’re extending your, um, trip to like, you know, 10, 15, 14 days, like that was the equivalent of what that ticket would’ve cost if she had stayed for like 12 days versus six. So they are definitely increasing prices across the board and we have heard from many people who want to go to Disney, who used to love going to Disney, that it’s getting harder and harder to afford.

Yasmine (09:36):
And I think they’re seeing the upper limit of what they can charge because we’re getting negative sentiment from customers who just can’t go to Disney and are stating that Disney is no longer a place for like middle class families to go. You kind of have to have a love disposable income to go there. Too. Big attractions like the Star Wars Galactic Cruiser that they have invested hundreds of millions, probably let’s be real millions into building, is closing in March of next year. We have recently learned that they cannot basically fill the ship. I’m using air quotes. You can’t see that, um, sufficiently to justify running this experience. When they at first opened it was like packed full, but they’re seeing an upper limit on how many people are willing to spend about five grand on a two day experience. It’s kind of a one and done these days.

Yasmine (10:30):
The ships are a maximum of 50% full and it’s an expensive experience to run because there are cast members who are actors in there. Um, you know, the building itself was ridiculously expensive and this looks like a negative return experience for Disney. And knowing how popular anything Disney has put out, as of light has been, I think we are starting to see the upper limit on a consumer’s willingness to pay for the Disney experience. And that pushback and that negative sentiment and frankly the hate, um, that has been put towards Bob Eck has been a deciding factor in them deciding to bring back the beloved Bob Iger. But there’s more to it. Nicole, have we talked about the media side of the

Nicole (11:18):
Business? Yeah, so on the media side of the business, um, you know, Disney Plus launched two years ago, three years ago. It was just before the pandemic hit and it was like 6 99 a month. And the entire plan was, you know, get a ton of subscribers, sell them on how good the content is. Cuz I will tell you like you can open up Netflix and you can choose something to watch and you might end up watching something and that’s pretty terrible and you back out of it right? On Disney plus, I don’t have that feeling. I can open up anything, even things I’m not interested in and I know it’s gonna be good quality content and, you know, that was always the intention for the platform and they were gonna slowly raise prices over time. Right. You know, most of us don’t notice when things go up a dollar a

Yasmine (11:59):
Dollar two,

Nicole (12:00):
You know, especially when you get the yearly promotions or the discounts for signing up for a year instead of monthly. We’re used to that. But at earlier this year, I, I can’t remember when exactly they announced there’s gonna be 10 99 a month. That’s, you know, it’s not double, but it’s, it’s a pretty significant increase for something that, you know, doesn’t have constant content coming out. And I’m not as well versed in the media side of the company, however, you know, when Disney Plus came out a 6 99 a month, and we don’t tend to notice when things increase, you know, a dollar a year, especially when we’re choosing pay yearly instead of pay monthly. And I think the intention was always to like slowly increase pricing to get to a point where you break. Even with Netflix, they never went into the Disney Plus, um, model with the intention of it being profitable right away. They knew that this was a gamble, they knew it was an investment, they knew it would be incurring losses. However, what’s happened recently is it went from, I think it was 600 million in losses to 1.5 billion in losses in a quarter. Um, that’s a, it’s

Yasmine (13:13):
A significant

Nicole (13:14):
Difference in, in just one quarter. Um, and, and it came after price increases were announced, right? So they, they changed the price to 10 99 a month, which is not double, but pretty close to double. Um, and it’s also a different platform. You know, there isn’t content coming out every week on Netflix. You can go to the What’s new section and then see six new things you didn’t see like the next from one Friday to the next. And so Disney Plus was kind of built as this platform where content releases come out a lot slower, but it’s very good content, it’s quality level. You could open up Netflix and try to watch a movie and get 10 minutes in and decide, you know, this isn’t for me. But in Disney plus I don’t feel that way. Even if it’s something I’m not completely interested in, I will get sucked in because Disney knows how to tell a story and you get sucked in so easily. So it’s a different type of platform and it can’t be priced the same way as Netflix. I mean, Netflix didn’t raise places prices for how many years. Right. Um,

Yasmine (14:13):
And even when they did, they got a loss of subscribers as well.

Nicole (14:17):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. There’s definitely a limit to how much you can, um, squeeze out of people, especially, especially, and they know this because they have parks and they know people are traveling right now, this isn’t the time where people are sitting at home watching streaming services because we’re all excited to be back out of our houses and we’re traveling. So definitely an interesting time to try to raise the prices. But, you know, going from a 600 million deficit, which again, Disney knew Disney Plus was going to take years to be profitable, they did not anticipate that this would be an operation that would be, you know, in the black from the beginning. They knew that they would have to wait a while, a few years for it to get profitable. But when you’re going from a 600 million loss on the books to 1.5 billion, um, in a very short timeframe, that’s just showing that something is not working, that was previously working.

Nicole (15:13):
And what has changed in the last quarter for this to have, you know, happened. And I think there’s also reports about the last quarterly earnings call mm-hmm. where earnings were not so great to the point that the stock dropped 11% the next day, which is unheard of with Disney’s stock. An 11% drop is about how much it dropped the day after nine 11 mm-hmm. , which is when people knew no one would be traveling the same way again. And so if that gives you an idea of the magnitude of how bad this earnings call was. But the weird thing was that Bob Chopek was so just, he wasn’t portraying it as if it was bad. He was trying to give it this light that like, you know, this is a really good thing for us. And if you’ve ever sat in a meeting where someone’s trying to deliver bad news by making it sound really positive, you’re just feeling very gaslit and like mm-hmm. ,

Nicole (16:11):
Am I just not understanding like, am I reading things differently than this person is telling it to me? Um, and I think there were probably already cracks in the foundation, but I think this call really spurred the board on to have to figure out what’s going on with their leadership and what they can do. So if you don’t know how, um, a business like this typically runs, there’s usually a board of directors that, um, you know, could be some people who have significant shareholders in the company, also people that are elected. There’s a chairman, you know, I don’t know how many people are on Disney’s board, but typically this is around seven to nine people. And the board is the one that chooses who the CEO is. Basically, if a CEO is getting hired, they report to the board of directors. And so they’re JPEG’s boss.

Nicole (17:02):
So after this quarterly results call, not only did they already have a couple cracks in the foundation, but they started hearing from senior leaders at Disney who were just completely beside themselves and started talking openly, not just like to their best friends behind closed doors, started talking openly about resigning if Jpx stayed a ceo. And that is such a red flag. I, you know, this is a shocking development. Like CEOs don’t tend to just disappear overnight without some big scandal. Um, and, and there’s no indication here that there’s a scandal. This is just Disney making a really effective quick decision based on what they needed to do. And so I I I wanna reiterate, there’s no signs of a scandal or anything, anything, but this is really effective leadership at work because you could hem and haw and sit on decisions for a really long time.

Nicole (17:56):
You can say, oh, let’s give it another quarter. Bob Chap’s contract was actually just renewed in July on unanimous vote. And so what does that say when the board four months later decides, oh, we need to fire him. Like that’s, that also hits your own reputation because you voted four months ago to keep this guy in place. And so I, I just wanna highlight the leadership and the level of in intelligence and, and business acumen that has gone into this decision because, um, from what we’re hearing, they started talking about this seriously on Friday night, came to a decision by Sunday afternoon and, um, somehow convinced Bob Iger to come back. Bob Iger had been in the public eye multiple times over the last year saying he had no intention of returning to Disney. And

Yasmine (18:48):
He’s also 71 years old. So like that man, he, he looks like a

Nicole (18:52):
Younger 71 young, but he is not a spring ticket.

Yasmine (18:56):
It must be all that charisma keeps him young, but he, he’s ready to retire, you know what I mean? Like, you know, do things here and there. But he’s, he’s done his service to Disney. He’s coming back through the end of December, 2024. So this is a limited return while Disney figures out who the next CEO is going to be. Um, but one of the interesting things that Bob had said in, um, an interview is that he thinks it was just talking about the media side of the issue. It was, um, chap x’s lack of like, empathy and just like char kind of, he didn’t say charisma, but basically charisma, um, as his reason of not being able to relate with the creative community at Disney and the Hollywood creatives. And that’s one of the things that caused such a huge rift in the relationships on the media side, the chair of the board, I think it was Susan Arnold had said that Bob Iger was uniquely positioned to help Disney, um, turn things around. And we know that he is responsible for the massive creative boom and the resurgence and revival of Disney animation and Disney’s movies. So, um, that, that big loss was probably a massive factor in them realizing they needed to bring Bob Iger back before they continued to hemorrhage money.

Nicole (20:22):
I think what’s really interesting about this too is that stocks immediately went up 6% the next day. Mm-hmm. on a day that the stock market was going down. Yep. Um, and so that really shows the confidence level that people have in Bob Iger. And, and I’m so glad you mentioned the emotional intelligence part of this because we have both read Bob Agers book. I have actually watched the, I can’t re I think it was on Master Class. Master Class. Yeah. He, he, it was basically just a video retelling of his book. It, it wasn’t, there was nothing there that wasn’t in the book. So if you’ve read one, don’t feel like you need to watch the other. But it was obviously very interesting to see his own face delivering his own words. And I think emotional intelligence is something that is often overlooked in leadership positions.

Nicole (21:11):
Mm-hmm. , and I’ve talked about this before, female business owners tend to perform better to their goals to male business owners. And, and I think so much of that comes down to that emotional intelligence piece when you are a relationship based person or understand how relationships work, even if you’re looking at it from a very like, technical point of view of like, oh, I need to make sure I nurture this because I need to get this output out of it. You know, even if you break it down to something that feels very clinical, it’s such an important piece. And PIC constantly felt like he was at odds with cast members who, you know, are your biggest fans. Mm-hmm. , um, imagineers who, you know, echoed so much of the story before, um, Bob Iger days where imagineers kind of got iced out of things and guess what the creativity suffered and the company suffered mm-hmm.

Nicole (22:06):
Because the entire company’s based on Disney magic. Mm-hmm. . And I just think that emotional intelligence is something that really can’t be taught there. Obviously you can take classes and you can kind of become more aware and work on it, but Chopik was constantly at odds, not only with employees, but also with with fans. You know, um, I, I have played World of Warcraft in my day and there was a developer at one point who people said, we want the old game back. Bring the old game back. And he very famously said, you don’t actually want that. Nobody would play it. And then they launched, um, what they call Warcraft Classic, uh, three, four years ago now. And it had a huge fan base. It’s still running today. And it’s, it’s become this meme in the community of someone telling you like, you don’t actually want that.

Nicole (22:57):
You don’t know what you want. And I felt that way with Eck all the time. He actually said in an interview back in September or something, like, adults don’t watch animated films, they’re just made for kids. Talk about being out of touch with your audience. I mean, just some of these comments, I mean, he flat out said, and I know that we have talked about this on the show, DVC members don’t make them enough money mm-hmm. , and he said that it’s in quotes and no, maybe we don’t pay for our hotel rooms, but I can guarantee you the only reason I have an annual pass or I buy merchandise is because I’m not paying for my hotel room. Mm-hmm. , um, I, the, the years before I was a vacation club member, when I would go to Disney, I would try to get the most budget friendly room, and I would never buy any, any merchandise. It was too expensive.

Yasmine (23:49):
I,

Nicole (23:50):
She just felt totally outta touch with, with every relationship.

Yasmine (23:53):
Yeah. I routinely drop like a hotel reservations worth of cash on merch when I go Disney, Nicole’s witnessed it. She sees my like frantic run-ins into like the emporium where I spent like 15 minutes, like buying all the things that I had my eye on during the day checkout and then go, um, and it’s because I’m a DVC member and I sort of like prepaid for that portion. So I’m Will, I’m able to, you know, allocate budget to, to Disney merch. And I know I’m not the only one. Like Nicole definitely does it. DVC members are amongst the most fanatic about Disney merch that I’ve seen at least. So

Nicole (24:31):
I’m also willing to go to restaurants, um, that I wouldn’t have gone to

Yasmine (24:36):
More expensive, like sit down experiences versus just like having a quick service thing or bring your lunch. Yeah,

Nicole (24:42):
Absolutely. So, you know, emotional intelligence and leadership very important. And I think that it’s the soft side of business that often gets overlooked, but clearly has an impact. The other thing I wanna mention is turning to people for help when you need help. Mm-hmm. , just because you’re the CEO does not mean that you have every answer or know what path forward to take or what to prioritize next. And the advisors that you keep around you are just as important as the decisions that you make. Um, and it was routinely said throughout all of Jpx tenure, there was some ice between him and Bob Iger. And I know, um, Bob Eger had stepped down as ceo, but he was still the chairman of the board for a while. So he was still technically chap’s boss and should still, you know, be reported to or have communications with or, you know, he was there to be available. And so when you stumble into situations like the Scarlet Johansen and the, uh, don’t say gay rules in Florida, like some of these really big things that happened in the last two years in the Disney world, especially politically, PAC never turned to Iger for any insight into how he should respond to these situations. And so I I think it’s like a humbling lesson.

Yasmine (26:04):
Yeah. And that didn’t really sit well with, um, Bob, who basically saw, um, PAC take control away from creatives to, aside from like these decisions and put ’em in the hands of like MBAs, which I know we are, we’re MBAs, but like there ha we also acknowledge the fact that like business decisions are more nuanced than just numbers, right? The human element, the creative element. And I do wanna add that, um, Bob Chek had put, um, someone in re, sorry, let me rephrase that. Bob Chek had put, um, an executive in charge of Disney streaming who didn’t have a ton of experience and is also being blamed as one of the reasons why they had that 1.5 billion loss. And on Monday morning, so we’re recording this on Tuesday, November 22nd, this was yesterday morning, Bob Iger out said that executive and put the p and l and just all the decisions back in the hands of creatives in the company.

Nicole (27:08):
And if you read, uh, Bob Bagger’s book or you look into the movie with him, um, he talks about how creatives are like the backbone of the Disney brand. And if you have good content, you can do so much with it. So I, I think like the couple of lessons here, whether you’re looking at it from the perspective of just like, this is some Disney shocking news, or if you’re actually trying to get some business lessons out of this, and we talk about leadership, have some emotional intelligence surround yourself and utilize the people around you for making decisions and for finding clarity of your path forward. Survey your customers, we talk about this so much, but survey them and actually do something actionable with what they’re saying. I mean, especially the ones that have been around the longest, you know, um, people will always complain and I, Bob Iger didn’t have glowing reviews the entire time he was ceo, and I think he was on the decline as he was leaving. He definitely put Disney in some debt buying Star Wars, you know? Mm-hmm. , it’s not everything wasn’t amazing, but when people start feeling like the essence of who you are is gone, that’s a problem. Um, make quick decisions, that’s another good one. You know, sometimes you can really think about things for a really long time and sometimes you just need to kind of pull off that bandaid and, and get that decision moving. Um, gosh, I can’t even, there are so many lessons I think we can pull

Yasmine (28:42):
From here. I think one big one that I would just wanna add, Nicole, is look back on past successes. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel If something is not working, go back and see what did work and how you can continue to implement those strategies or incorporate them into your newer strategy. I think we, in our industry as like online business owners are so obsessed with what is new, what like this guru is telling us to do right now. Because it’s like the hot thing that we look away from our uniquely you business or I guess in my case, uniquely me business, um, and lose the essence that of who we are and what basically attracted our audience and brought us to the position that we are right now. So it’s okay to maintain something, look back and repeat things that have worked while trying to grow, but going from one direction, doing complete 180 to another because that’s what you think people expect of you, can basically blow up your business as we’ve, um, saw things might go up for a while, but it’s not sustainable. So I really, really, really wanna encourage any business owner who’s listening, um, that while change is good, changes don’t always need to be big, little subtle changes can grow your business in a sustainable way that maintains that brand sentiment and maintains that unique element of who you are.

Nicole (30:13):
All right. So thanks for joining us for this kind of off the cuff episode because we’re just rolling with the Disney news as it comes in, um, when this errors, I’m sure Bob Iger will have made some more decisions in the meantime. So definitely go take a look at some of the news articles about what happened in the last two weeks because I’m sure that we’re gonna hear more and more and plans for the future. So a couple of things to wrap up this episode. First of all, follow us on Instagram at Pixie Dust & Profits. If you are interested in reading or audio books or anything like that, we highly recommend getting Bob Iger’s book. Even if you’re not a Disney fan, it is such an amazing story of how to be a leader in your company. Mm-hmm. . And so I cannot recommend that book enough.

Nicole (30:59):
And my favorite part is that all of the best takeaways that I remember underlining while reading are actually in the back of the book already ready for you to, um, read through. So, um, go get that book. And then lastly, if you’re looking for some business partners who can advise you about things going on in your business, or you need a sounding board because you feel like you’re a solo CEO doing it alone, check out the profitable and productive party. It’s at pixiedustandprofits.com/party. It’s, you know, coaching with me and Yasmine. Every month you get two sessions where we just get to work and two sessions where we can actually talk through the different things that you, you know, want advice on. And there’s also an online forum where you can leave notes and thoughts and other people can get back to you on super small group. We love, you know, supporting all these business owners and we’d love to see you there too. So thanks so much and we’ll see you real soon.

Yasmine (31:52):
Bye.

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 72: Magical Onboarding Experiences: Client Gifts & Small Touches They’ll Remember (Transcript)

Nov 15, 2022

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.

Nicole (00:26):
Hi everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of Pixie Dust and Profits. I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:30):
And I’m Yasmin.

Nicole (00:31):
And today we’re talking about onboarding experiences, which is something I know we’ve talked about before, but the inspiration behind this episode is very specific. I recently signed up for a Disney Rewards Visa card. You get a couple of perks with that and it just kind of worked out that I really needed to have that at the time that I took that out. But what really impressed me was that I got that welcome pack in. If you have ever opened a new bank account or a credit card or anything like that, you know what I’m talking about. You get the letter in the mail that has your card in it and it just tells you go to this website to activate it. And you get pages and pages of disclosures that are on those little pamphlet papers with, you know, size eight font that you probably don’t even look at.

Nicole (01:18):
Um, and so that’s the typical experience when you open a new account. And this is not the experience I had because of course Disney has to mag Gify everything. So I got this package in the mail, it had my disclosure information, but it also had, you know, this laminated sheet colorful, magical with, with all of my Disney parks. It talked about how as a Visa card holder you could go to special meet and greet events with the characters. You had, you know, 0% interest on vacation packages for six months and a couple of other little things just, you know, making some of these parks that I already knew about. It was the reason I signed up for the card reminding me of them making it seem more magical like I made a good choice. But that is not all. They also gave four little postcards that were all different designs.

Nicole (02:13):
Um, they were beautiful, they were cute. There was one with the castle with like magical stars around it. I think there was one with Dumbo. Um, just really adorable postcards and it was so unexpected. Um, of course I could send a letter to someone on those postcards, but I opted to keep them and hang them around my office cuz they were so adorable. They were nice art prints almost, even though they were, you know, designed to be used as a postcard. So it was just something that really stuck with me when this happened that I took all the notes on it and I was like, this is gonna be a pixie dust episode.

Yasmine (02:46):
You know, I love Disney and how they take a very like boring, mundane and frankly kind of like stressful experience. Cause like when you get that pamphlet with all of that like legalese, it’s just, it’s a little overwhelming. And I’m one of the people who goes through like all the benefits and you know, elements of, uh, features that come with my credit card because I like to know what I can benefit from but also like what I need to be aware of. And I love that Disney really does magic that unfortunately as a Canadian, I’m not eligible to sign up for that credit card. Otherwise that would be like my daily personal um, card cuz who doesnt love Disney Rewards? Right?

Nicole (03:28):
It’s, it’s wonderful because we were just at Disney for Pixie Dust Live. Mm-hmm . And when I was going around the world in Epcot for food and wine, I used my rewards points. I had $200 in rewards that had been saved up over probably the last two years because during Covid we didn’t go to Disney. So it had built up and I just, you know, went around the world eating and got a couple of souvenirs for my family while I was out all on those rewards.

Yasmine (03:56):
$200 gets you a lot of Mickey pretzels.

Nicole (03:59):
It does. I did have a Mickey Pretzel

Yasmine (04:02):
And beer cheese if you get it in Germany, . So we obviously want to talk about what you can do in your business and what we can learn from that. And one of the things that Nicole and I were just talking about as we were playing this episode is how gifting as part of the onboarding experience just has such a positive impact on the brand and also the experience. One way that we actually applied this at Pixie Dust and Profits live was when we had people register. We actually sent them little, um, luggage tags.

Nicole (04:37):
I love our luggage tags.

Yasmine (04:38):
They’re so cute. They’re so cute. I have them on my suitcases and like, you know, if you have sort of like a common colored black standard issue suitcase, if you’re checking your luggage, a bright pretty luggage tag definitely makes it easier to pull it off of the carousel when it comes out. But we sent it out because we wanted to have a touchpoint in between people signing up for the retreat and the actual retreat to get excited and to hear from us in advance of us all getting together. And I would say like more than half the ladies showed up with the little luggage tag on their luggage.

Nicole (05:16):
It’s so fun. It says, I bring the magic. I love it. It’s my favorite.

Yasmine (05:20):
Other ways you can apply gifting into your business is sending something out with your orders if you have a physical product based business. So I see this all the time. If I order something from a shop, often a small shop on Etsy or online, they’ll send stickers, um, along with their order. And again, you know, I may not have ordered those stickers, but they’re just like a f fun, cute thing that I will hold onto. And like, I maybe unfortunately am in the camp where I just like hoard my stickers cause I’m afraid of like sticking them on

Nicole (05:51):
Things. I am the same. I am the same. I do not put my stickers on things because I I just don’t wanna not use that thing anymore. And then I don’t have my sticker

Yasmine (05:59):
exactly. Or like, I’m worried that I place it on the wrong thing. So like, I have this like one Disney sticker that I put on my iPad. Cause I’m like, okay, this, this is the one thing I’m gonna stick on. And you know, it was beautiful, but like I used my iPad every single day and after about a year it started to fade and I had to peel it off and I was just like sad at the loss of that like totally free but cute sticker that I got. Uh, so instead what I do is I just hoard them in an envelope in a drawer and I just look at them, uh, from time to time. I, I was, while

Nicole (06:27):
We’re talking about stickers, this episode comes out just before Black Friday. So if you have ever seen our t-shirts on our website, they say pixie dust and profits. I bring, I make small business magic. They are the most comfortable t-shirts I’ve ever worn. Those will be on sale. And hint, hint, you might get some stickers if you order them. So take a look at the website over Black Friday. We have some deals for you.

Yasmine (06:53):
Yeah, we had some cute ideas as we were planning it out so you don’t wanna miss out.

Nicole (06:59):
All right, so we talked a little bit about product based businesses, um, and sending something along with your order, but I also wanna talk about service based businesses or even coaching businesses like agencies where there might be multiple people working with a client. So of course the onboarding experience we’ve talked about this before, is so important. And that could include sending a gift. Thank you for working together. Um, I personally like to send gifts maybe toward the end of a project saying like, Look how hard you worked. So I don’t always send a gift right on onboarding. I, it’s kind of personalized to what the situation is or what the project we’re working on together. So that’s how I like to gift my clients. Um, but there’s also the gift of being responsive available and interested and engaged in their business. These are things that are soft skills, but so important.

Nicole (07:50):
Especially when someone has just invested in you. This might have been a scary investment for them. Mm-hmm. , it might have felt risky. Especially right now with the way the economy is having your own business and keeping it running can feel a little bit scary or isolating. And so being available and even if you’re not available to be available, you can say, Hey, I will be out of the office for pixie dust live during these dates. If you have an emergency, this is how you get in touch with me. Those proactive, and I hate that word, but those proactive steps can really mean a lot to the relationship. And that’s what we’re talking about with onboarding experience. Knowing going into Black Friday, who is taking time off, who isn’t, who’s available? If there’s something that’s gonna go down on the site, I know who I can turn to.

Nicole (08:38):
I know who’s moving during that weekend and who not to bother. Those things are so important. And so I want you to keep in mind that gifting and experience doesn’t have to be a physical item. It doesn’t have to be a huge package. It could literally just be remembering a conversation you had during your consulting call and moving on from there to say, Okay, we talked about this, let’s make sure that we address that and we don’t lose sight of it. So taking something traditionally boring, jazzing it up, like your credit card disclosure statements, um, there’s some other things too. So, um, I talked a little bit about how I like to gift my clients. So whether you’re work project based or you have like a certain engagement that you do with people or someone says, you know, I’m moving in this other direction and it’s like an offboarding process.

Nicole (09:29):
You can also gift then, so I, you can call them parting gifts. Um, and so what I like to do is just at the end of a project, I helped someone do a summit last year for example. And as we got close to the date, I know how stressful that is when you’re trying to field emails from 30 different speakers and in your head you’re thinking about, how am I gonna do this? It’s, it’s like a live event. What’s going on? Getting that gift in the mail of, Hey, you’ve got this, look how far you’ve come, this student exists four months ago and look all of you’ve done. So, um, it’s election day here. I’m really involved with my local community and so I am looking for that gift tomorrow, . So, you know, it’s, it goes a long way to recognize that someone’s worked really hard, even if the results may not have been what they expected, good or bad. It’s, it’s an acknowledgement that you were here, you were present, you worked hard. We see you.

Yasmine (10:22):
I love the acknowledgement of the progress and the work that you’ve done together. Cuz again, you typically see gifts in the onboarding process for, um, contractors that I worked with for a really long time. I, you know, I’ll get a little holiday gift. I send out holiday gifts to my clients. Um, but just to acknowledge the end of a big project I think is such a nice touch.

Nicole (10:45):
I think we can also go beyond just the clients that you’re working with or the customer who purchases from you. And I am really big on this. We’ll have some upcoming episodes about leadership and team building mm-hmm. . And so if you have questions on that realm, please dms s on Instagram, send us an email, whatever it may be. But this also extends far beyond just the customer and client. It also extends to your team. Recognizing when they’ve gone above and beyond. The onboarding experience for a new team member can mean so much to their success on your team. Letting them know exactly what you expect from them, what their daily tasks are, what their weekly tasks are. Having regular check-ins and expectations. It goes such a long way versus the contractors who come on and they’re like, Okay, so what is it that you wanted me to do? And they really don’t have an idea for how they fit on the team or what you’re expecting or, um, get surprised by the amount of feedback they get because, you know, they thought they were doing something the way you might have wanted, but they don’t know what you want yet. So this goes far beyond just your customers and bring it to your team.

Yasmine (11:57):
Well, I hope that gave you a few ideas on how you can incorporate gifting in your business beyond just even onboarding. We wanna thank you again for joining us and wanna remind you to check us out on Black Friday. We’ll have more information up on our Instagram and on pixiedustandprofits.com. If you have any questions about leadership, please send them our way. That’s one of the topics Nicole and I really, really love talking about, and we can’t wait to dig into it in a future episode. So email us hello@pixiedustandprofits.com with any questions you have about being a leader in your business.

Nicole (12:32):
Thank you so much for listening today. Follow us on Instagram @pixiedustandprofits if you’re not already. And stay tuned for our next episode.

Yasmine (12:39):
We’ll see you real soon. See you real soon. Bye.

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 71: How to Create Elevated Inclusion in Your Business (Transcript)

Nov 1, 2022

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.

Nicole (00:26):
Welcome to this week’s episode of Pixie Dust and Profits. I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:30):
And I’m Yasmine.

Nicole (00:32):
And today we’re talking about how Disney makes things feel really exclusive, like you’re part of some club, even though you’re there with thousands of other people, it feels like a special experience because of all these little additional things that they have and they do

Yasmine (00:48):
Kind of like going to Club 33 except not paying the $33,000 initiation fee if it even is still that

Nicole (00:56):
. Yeah, I don’t know. I, that is out of my budget so I haven’t looked at it, but I hear that it’s a really cool perk. You could have them find reservations for you that are really hard to get. So you don’t have to call every day at 6:00 AM or whatever time it is. I am actually terrible about planning for restaurants, so I don’t know any of those timelines. Yasmine does all of that for pixie dust live events. So anyway, what I wanted to talk a little bit about today is some of the things that Disney does to make you feel like really, like you’re in this amazing bubble, right? So, um, when you get Genie Plus, which is their new Fast Pass E system, you’re basically paying to skip the line a little bit. You know, you go through a different line, there’s still gonna be a little bit of a weight, but it’s shorter than others.

Nicole (01:47):
Um, but mostly you’re paying to not be in the sun waiting for things. Um, Universal also has this kind of like fast pass approach to things, but there’s this very dnce. So when you look at Genie Plus for Disney, it’s you know, a couple bucks added to your regular ticket price to do the regular Genie Plus where you can kind of choose one up to one ride on each ride as many as you can fit into your day, but you can only have one at a time. Or they have Genie plus individual Lightning Lane tickets. So these are for the high ticket rides you can buy just for that ride. You don’t need to buy the whole entire Genie Plus system. So for example, we use that to go on Rise with the resistance so we don’t have to wait in line and we also don’t have to buy the huge like Genie Plus for every single ride in the, in the park.

Nicole (02:38):
We’re just getting that one. And so they have these kind of like little options and it almost feels like micro transactions in a way because it’s, oh it’s just, you know, it’s just $8 to go on Mickey’s runway train and um, let’s just add that onto her order so you can get the things you want to get. You know, piecemealed in Universal is like the complete opposite. Universal is like you can go on whatever ride you want as many times as you want in the fast pass line. You don’t have to wait at all. And um, you can go on the same ride back to back to back to back if you want to, but you can’t buy it like a micro transaction. You have to buy the full experience all at once. And um,

Yasmine (03:19):
And it’s expensive, right?

Nicole (03:21):
It’s very expensive and it, it depends on the day, the time of year, how busy they forecast the park to be is basically how it comes down. And so, um, I think when I was there in June it was approximately like 300 and something dollars each on top of your park tickets. So it was a Yeah, yeah. Per day.

Yasmine (03:42):
Wow.

Nicole (03:43):
So it was pretty pricey. Um, you can stay at a universal resort, um, one of their luxury resorts and you get it added automatically to your tickets. So sometimes that might be more cost effective for people. Um, in our situation it was just me and my husband and we were there for a few hours and we were like, that would be a cool thing to add to our ticket. And then when we asked and got the $300, we were like, No, that’s okay. We’re good. Um, if it was maybe $75 each, we probably would’ve entertained that, but $300 each was just inputted into no, that’s not, not, that’s not happening. So when you look at this like we were willing to pay something right? And Universal was like didn’t have a product to fit what we would’ve paid cuz we like to do things a little luxury but we’re also fr like we’re also just kind of frugal at the same time and so

Yasmine (04:37):
Smart with your money, right? Like yeah you wanna get a little bit more out of the experience but you don’t necessarily wanna like, you know, lead your wallet dry,

Nicole (04:45):
Right? Especially when you know the kids back at the room with grandma and it’s, you know, we didn’t have to hire a babysitter per se, but we had a limited amount of time and we were willing to, you know, make the most use of that time. But $600 when you price it out for both of us was just too much. So Disney on the other hand, if we had been there, it’s like, oh do you wanna do Ride Atuie? We haven’t done that yet. It’s only $8 in the app and we could very much still spend $300 each walking around the world eating all the foods and getting these lightning lane fast passes. But um, it’s a very different experience cause it feels like it’s right in your hands and you have control of your vacation. And so, you know, not that one is better than the other, they definitely are different trips and different vacations, but it’s just interesting to see how you can feel really included or part of a secret club or something with Disney where like, Hey I can get this little add on here. .

Yasmine (05:39):
That is so interesting. So like I’ve never been to Universal Studios in Orlando and I’ve never taken part of that. Um, what do they call it, A max pass or they’re just a fast pass. Got it. I’ve never really taken advantage of that, but I’ve been to Universal Studios in Hollywood or California and it was a bit different. Um, and it’s just like, it’s wild to me how expensive it is and I guess that’s really just a, a plan for them to get you to wanna stay in their luxury resorts because then it gets like locked in and it feels like an overall premium experience. That’s so interesting. You know, one really sort of exclusive and kind of like inclusive thing, I’m just gonna throw it out there that I really love about Disney World is the minivans. And we’ve talked about this like endlessly, but they’re bringing them back or they’ve been back already, they were sort of phased out during the pandemic.

Yasmine (06:30):
And the one amazing thing I like about that is through their partnership with Lyft, they have these like pickup services that you can call if you need to like, you know, head from a park back to your hotel room without wanting to take the bus. And the beauty of it is they have car seats like built in which you’re a parent with a little one needs legally be in a car seat. It’s a pain in the butt. Like I don’t know about you, but hauling a car seat through the airport was not my favorite thing to do. And just the fact that, you know, I could go Disney World, leave my car seat at home and rely on minivans if I need to use something other than bus transportation to get around is really amazing. And the way that Disney does it, it kind of does feel like a more like fancier version of like an Uber Lyft because they’re these cute vans, they’re red with little like white polkadots like Minis bo and they’re all driven by cast members. So it has that like safety element in there too. And I just think that that’s such a neat service for Disney to have exclusively for their park goers. Like just car seats aside. If you um, want to take a shared ride service and you’ve never really taken Uber or Lyft because they don’t offer it in your town, it could be a little bit scary jumping into a stranger’s car, but at least with minivans you know that it’s a Disney employee. So to have that safety element in there as well.

Nicole (07:56):
Yeah, minivans are definitely one of those things that uh, are either beloved or absolutely hated. I think of

Yasmine (08:02):
The community minivans,

Nicole (08:04):
Well I mean it’s just kind of the symbolism of Disney charging for every little thing they could possibly charge for, um, to some and people thinking it takes away from the other services that they offer to get people around. And from my point of view, I think it’s smart to have all these different modes of transportation. Especially like when you think about minivans, there’s a niche market for that, right? It’s people who wanna go from a resort to Disney Springs or from another resort to another resort. These are much more difficult to do with Disney’s regular, um, transportation network. But at the same time bus drivers are in high demand right now and it’s a very specific driving license that you need to be able to drive a bus versus minivans, which are just, you know, Chevy SUVs. So anyone can drive those so you know, it’s in their interest to kind of diversify the types of employees they need too. And if people are willing to pay for service and it offset some of the court costs, that’s great. So you know, for better or worse, some people love it because it’s so convenient and useful and um, in my opinion safer than probably an Uber or a Lyft and um, others think it just symbolizes Disney is nickel and diving ,

Yasmine (09:21):
I have to make it different. Like again, the whole thing about like exclusiveness and really serving your customer is giving them different product services where they’re at and based on their needs and I think this solves like a very real need for a lot of families that go to Disney. But we can save that for another episode. One thing that I really wanna know about Nicole is at Disney World we have like our magic band, which has our tickets on it, or you can use the My Disney Experience app. What does the experience at Universal look like?

Nicole (09:55):
It was actually really strange to use the Universal app. Um, okay, I’ll say because I think I just came in expecting that, you know, Disney has this great system, you can get to everything from their app, you can, I mean even if you don’t have a Mickey Band, uh, magic band, you can open your room with the app on your phone or on your um, watch or whatever. So I just kind of expected that Universal will have copied that by now cuz this isn’t brand new technology for Disney. They’ve been building upon it for at least a decade. Um, and so I’m sorry

Yasmine (10:29):
To sorry to jump in Nicole. Like one thing that I want to confirm is like, didn’t they have similar magic bandy type things at Great Wolf Lodge when you went there?

Nicole (10:37):
They did, actually, I forgot about that. They had a little band that you could use, um, to do the arcade and a couple of other things just basically, so you’re, you’re out of water, an indoor water park essentially, so they don’t, you’re not gonna walk around with the wallet. So they use this and I think a lot of water parks use something like this these days, so that way, so the

Yasmine (10:59):
Buy is not like, yes and the technology is like, not like necessarily exclusive to Disney. It’s being seen in other theme parks. So yeah, it’s interesting that Universal hasn’t quite um, you know, jumped on that train yet.

Nicole (11:10):
Yeah, I’ll say that Universal app was very much like informational based. So yeah, you could see where you were on the location and see what restaurants were around you, but there was no like mobile order ahead. There was um, like the Disney app you can be like, here I am, I wanna get over there and it will actually like, give you directions on how to get there if you want to. So like that didn’t happen. But more importantly for me is like I thought all of my reservation information would be in the app so I could easily figure out like what room I was in. I stayed at Cabana Bay and it was a really large resort . So yeah, like just things like what was my room number again? And the thing that really floored me was they still have the ticketing system where you have a paper ticket and you, um, have to like use your fingerprint to get in.

Nicole (12:02):
And so we had some trouble with my kiddo trying to get his fingerprint right where it needed to be or whatever. I ended up using my fingerprint on it because I’ve done that at Disney before. But we had to each have our own paper ticket in our hand. I couldn’t be like, here’s our three understandably because staff is like, I, you, I see three in your hand, I can’t count how many people came through. So even my kid had to hold his ticket and like, it just was blind boggling to me that I couldn’t use the app or keep that information somewhere safe. And I’m literally like holding the ticket with my kid, making sure he doesn’t drop it because I don’t even wanna know what process I’d have to go through to go get a replacement ticket to get into the park if we were to try to switch parks or anything.

Nicole (12:44):
So that was really frustrating to like have to dig in my pockets to find paper tickets. They weren’t even plastic cards. So Disney, if you don’t have a magic band or anything like that, you, you can use a plastic card and you know, enough environmentally plastic is plastic but they also can, you know, get in your wallet that might get a little wet on water rides or like the paper tickets were just so crumbly and I, I don’t know, it just floored me. I was expecting a little bit more than just here’s a paper ticket, get into the park. Like it’s, you know, the old days . So in that way, I mean, yeah, I got into the park, it served as purpose, but there’s something really magical when you’re scanning into Disney and whether you’re using a card or a magic band or your watch or whatever, the little like Mickey ears, you know, light up, you get this big ding like you can go like, you’re ready, you’re in.

Nicole (13:41):
And it just kind of gives you those pictures of, you know, the old videos of Disney World where they have like the, the rope drop and everyone’s standing and waiting and like you kind of get that ding that that excitement, that pixie dust in when you’re walk in cuz you’re like, Oh I did it, I’m here. Um, you didn’t feel that at Universal. It was like, here, here’s my paper ticket, you scan it and then put your finger here and um, it just didn’t feel the same entering the park. Which I mean that’s my own taste too, .

Yasmine (14:10):
No, but I think, I think it says something about making things a little bit more seamless and even like, like you said, exclusive, more personalized for your audience. So why don’t we talk about a couple ways that our, um, listeners at home can apply these principles to their business. Cuz let’s be real, not everyone has the budget to create magic bands for their customers. I mean, I wish I did, but I’m a couple billion dollars short of that. So, um, one tip that I wanna give everyone, and I feel like this is pretty basic, but I can’t tell you how many times actually don’t see this being done is one way that you can help convert people or make your customers feel more appreciated. Whether you’re a service based provider or you are selling products, is personalization in emails? I know, I know it sounds so silly, but you know, when you open up an email it’s like, hi friend or hey, like you kind of know that’s being broadcasted to everyone, but what it says like, Hey Kel, and it mentions your names a couple times throughout. I mean, you might be savvy enough to know that this is going to more than just you, but it actually does help in terms of making the person on the other end feel like you’re communicating with them one on one, which can really foster that connection and you know, sort of increase the exclusivity of your brand because you are really, um, welcoming people and really making that connection with them.

Nicole (15:33):
So I know that that’s more about like the marketing side of things. So when it comes to selling, Yasmin actually mentioned this when she was talking about how Universals fast pass system is kind of this like one cost all in that is really priced in a way to make their luxury hotels look one more affordable or that you get more bonuses and exclusivity by being there. So definitely think about that in terms of the products that you have, right? So do you have something that’s kind of a gateway to something larger? Do you have something that can be the bonus to the larger thing that just makes the larger thing a no brainer? Because when you’re charging $300 for one person to have a fast pass and your hotel room is $600 a night, if that like early entry fast access to everything all at once is really important to you, that $600 a night suddenly in your head turns into $300 a night.

Nicole (16:22):
And so thinking about those things where you might have something that is really valuable as part of a bigger offer. So definitely look at those things. Um, I think while this is airing, we’ll still be in time for you to get ready for a Black Friday sale. So also consider how um, Disney has this kind of like ad hoc micro transaction just by the rides you want versus Universals get access to everything and how like which one of those paths you feel like fits best for your audience and the type of products that you sell when you’re going into something like Black Friday because you could do something that’s like all of my little products are all on sale, or you could have, you know, an all access path, big bundle or something like that. A big bundle of everything that you have.

Yasmine (17:09):
One other strategy that I actually employ for one of my clients that really helps us drive sales is we do a gift with purchase, but the gift with purchase is an exclusive item that’s only available as a gift with purchase. So it’s not something that you can regularly buy in the store and yeah, yeah, we purposefully make it so it’s covetable so it actually gets people to spend a certain, um, basket size. So let’s say it’s like free with a $50 purchase in order to get that, which increases our purchases. So again, that’s something that’s like the Universal hotels, What it reminded me of is, you know, if you’re springing for that, well then you get this item so it gets sort of bundled in there and thus the investment that you’re making in the the other products makes it worthwhile because you’re getting this one item that you really want for sort of air quotes free.

Nicole (17:54):
Yeah, and you know, having been a consumer who’s had to buy a few things lately for a friend, they have a lot of those out there and I would just caution you when you’re doing it to plug and play with your carts as if you were a customer, see what they would add, see what they need to do in order to reach that threshold to get the free item or the free shipping or whatever it may be. Um, because it happened twice in the last week trying to send some gifts to a friend and I was at like $49 and I needed to be at 50 in order to get, it might have been free shipping, but it was like, okay, so I need to get two pairs of socks and this and that to get over that threshold and then it became like a $75 order and I wasn’t willing to spend that.

Nicole (18:39):
I really wanted to stay around 50. So definitely look at that experience because yes, you want to entice people to get to that threshold, you want them to spend more to get there, but you want their cart. If you take your most popular sellers and put them in a cart and they add up to $38, having a $50 threshold makes sense cuz then they gotta add, you know, a whole product and they’re basically getting shipping for free. But if your best sellers add up to $48 and your threshold’s 50, it might actually have an unintended side effect of abandoned carts because they’re mm-hmm. feeling like you purposely made it this way to make them spend more. So there’s a lot of psychology that comes into the marketing and selling, and I just want you to, to encourage you to pretend like your customer when you’re setting these up and try and break your carts, try and add a couple different things. Look at what it looks like and what it would feel like to someone when you’re deciding what that threshold level is. It doesn’t have to be $50, it could be 40, it could be 45. You can make it whatever number you want, but mm-hmm. , you know, just act like a customer for a little bit and see how that feels.

Yasmine (19:42):
Thank you again for joining us for another episode of Pixie Dust and Profits. I hope you took something away from this episode. And as always, if you ever have any questions or any comments, please DM us on Instagram or comment on one of our posts. We’d love to hear from you. We’re @PixieDustandProfits on Instagram and hey, if you’re kind of feeling disorganized and you know you have all these new ideas and you’re not quite sure where they fit into your current business plan and you wanna get focused, we highly recommend that you check out our squirrel workbook. It’s all about helping you sort of, you know, shun shiny object syndrome and focus on the things that matter in your business. And you can get that at pixiedustandprofits.com/squirrel.

Nicole (20:24):
Thanks for joining us today. We’ll see you next time.

Yasmine (20:28):
Bye.

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 70: Delivering the Full Experience to Repeat Customers (Transcript)

Oct 18, 2022

Keeping The Magic Alive for Repeat Customers & Long-Term Clients

Let’s talk about what happens when a magical experience becomes a lackluster one – whether at Disney OR in your business. 

Let’s set a scene for you: it’s 2021. It was our first time back at Disney World since the pandemic began. We were there for Pixie Dust & Profits LIVE and Yasmine had been dying to get on Rise of the Resistance. The moment it was over, I (Yasmine) was absolutely blown away. 

However, Nicole had already been on the ride multiple times before. And unfortunately, she wasn’t as excited. 

There were a few things that had been part of the ride the first time she rode it that simply weren’t included that time because the technology had broken down. Unfortunately, that sort of repeat experience takes away from the magic of the promise of Disney, leaving customers more dissatisfied the more times they go on.

Structural Changes

In recent years, likely due to Covid, Disney has made some changes to the guest experience. Certain things have been made more expensive, there are other elements that are no longer free and complimentary, they’ve changed their ticket options, etc. 

The thing is… to anyone who’s never been to Disney World, they’ll likely have no idea about the magic and perks that have been lost or discontinued. However, anyone who has been to Disney World before, and especially die-hard fans like us who go extremely often, can’t help but feel like some of the magic is missing now. 

The Big Takeaway

Okay, so what can we learn from this and how it relates to your business?

There are two sides to this. One side is the business’s perspective — these changes are often a sign of growth and lend to increased revenue. But as consumers, we can end up feeling like we aren’t being provided the full experience anymore. 

So when you do have to make these sorts of structural changes, it’s important to also take into consideration what changes you’ll make to increase client retention and brand loyalty. 

As you’re growing, making sure that you’re still creating that community feeling and having an impact on an individual level is going to be very important. 

When you work with clients for multiple years, you can sometimes become complacent in your work, which might lead to mistakes. So when you have a repeat or long-term customer, make sure you continuously check in with them and be aware of their goals and how they feel working with you!

Lastly, sometimes a quick check-in can be all that’s needed to make sure your clients feel seen and heard! Even if it’s a launch you’ve done before or something simple, these check-ins can be the difference between your client having an okay experience and an amazing one. 

We hope this blog has given you some food for thought! We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please DM us on Instagram @pixiedustandprofits or send us an email with your burning business and Disney questions, and we’ll get into them on future podcast episodes and blogs! 

Transcript

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 (00:26):
Hello and welcome back to Pixie Dust and Profits. I’m Yasmine. And

Nicole (00:30):
I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:31):
And today we’re gonna be talking about when, you know, your experience, your magical experience just isn’t the same. So let me set a scene for you. It’s 2021. It’s my first time back at Disney World since the pandemic. I’m there with Nicole and we’re there for Pixie Dust and Profits live, which is the first time we were actually able to host it at Disney. Despite having planned this event for like basically two or three years, the pandemic, uh, was not our friend in making Pixie Dust live happen, but it finally did. And in fact, we’re actually going back in a couple of weeks for the next pixie dust and profits live. We’re so excited. But we finally get to Hollywood Studios and I have been dying, like dying to go on rides of the Resistance. We get our, um, Genie Plus had just, you know, made itself available. We paid the $15 per person to guarantee that we would get a spot and we go on the ride. And it is incredible. It is everything I imagined and more, I was just blown away. And when it was done, I turned to Nicole and I’m like, That was amazing. And Nicole, I I’m paraphrasing here, so apologize Nicole if I’m not calling you. Exactly. She agree. She was like, Yeah, that was great, but, and Nicole, why don’t you tell us what the butt was?

Nicole (01:50):
Yeah, so I’ve been on Rise of the Resistance probably five times since it opened and um, now when I go on it, my experience is just to look for the people who clearly haven’t been on it before and live through their experience on the Ride . Um, the, it’s an amazing ride. I, I love so many features about it. My husband’s a big Star Wars fan. I have watched the Star Wars movies and I enjoy them. I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan by any means, but I love the creation of worlds and that you’re kind of transported into a different place and while you’re in Queue for the Line, you’re actually part of an experience. It’s more like a 12 minute experience than a ride. And I also love the behind the stage of how they’ve created this ride using technology that they’ve created for different rides.

Nicole (02:40):
Like te there’s some technology from Tower of Terror built into this, you know, And so from that aspect, I tend to start watching the people who have never been on it just to like live through their experience of this magic. But the first time I went on this was probably within two months of it opening. And so I was able to experience the ride before the primary concern was Q capacity and how many people can they get on the ride every hour? And before some of the things some of the advanced technology started breaking down or just became difficult to fix. And so if you have not been on the rides of the resistance and you do not want spoilers, please stop listening to this episode and go listen to the last one or the next one. I will be getting into a couple of details.

Nicole (03:26):
So I just wanna give that disclaimer. But I went on it the first time and got the full experience. I went on it at Pixie Dust Live, got almost the full experience. There were one or two little things that didn’t happen during the ride that I knew were part of it that, you know, changed things. And so I went to Disney this past summer and was able to go on Rise of the Resistance again. And so many features were not included on my part of the ride because of technology that broken down. So there’s one iconic moment where you’re kind of, you know, being chased by Kyle Ren and you’re sitting there and all of a sudden his light saber comes into the ceiling above you and it just rips across the ceiling like he’s breaking a hole and he is about to get into you on my ride.

Nicole (04:15):
That light saber never came down. There was no light indicating that it was there, you didn’t see it. It really took away from the suspense of that moment. So that was one moment. Another moment is there’s a part where there’s like some cannons shooting and you’re kind of ducking and diving and trying to avoid getting hit by these cannons. And one of the cannons takes too much power apparently. And so they have it turned off now so it doesn’t move forward. So your cart is still going up back up back, but you’re not actually ducking anything. And so there’s a lot of little parts like that. And then there’s one big part at the end where Kyle Ren comes out and he’s kind of about to attack you and then, um, the ship is blasted and the air gets sucked out and you start flying away and Kylo like gets pulled in a different direction.

Nicole (05:06):
That animatronic fails pretty often at resetting itself. And so when there’s a huge line for this ride, instead of going in turning the ride off for a half hour hour, they just kind of block that off. So that part has a different, um, video that you watch and then you move on to the next part of the ride. And so that one’s really significantly changes the ride because you’re being chased by Kyle Ren, but you never get this resolution that Kyle Ren didn’t get you. Um, and so the repeat experience has actually taken away from the magic for me personally on this ride. It’s still amazing. I recommend you go on it. If you don’t know about these little details, you’ll still enjoy the ride for sure. I enjoy it every time, but it just, it breaks a little bit of the magic for me when I’m like, Oh no, that that should be there.

Nicole (05:56):
Oh no, that should be there. And then you get to the end of the ride and you’re like, Man, this will never feel like it did the first time. Oh, that’s a really sad, sad reality when you’re at Disney World. I’ve been to Disney World so many times that I still find joy and it’s a small world and it, it’s very, I’d say it’s very abnormal for me to go on something a second time and enjoy it less than the last time. Cuz you’re usually with Disney, there’s always like Easter eggs and like things to fall

Yasmine (06:23):
More to cover.

Nicole (06:24):
Yeah, like even like it’s a small world as like everyone likes to knock on it, but as an adult when you go on it you can see all these little nods to different cultures and you can see like where this came from and why it was made the way it was. And I really love the art on the outside and um, those are things that you can notice. And I can’t say when I go on Rise with the resistance again, I feel like I found more magic. I feel like I’m just seeing, oh this is how they prioritize queuing and getting as many people through their ride as possible over the magic and it’s just not very fun as a repeat visitor .

Yasmine (07:01):
Yeah, I think about like flight of passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Nicole, we, we together have been on that ride at least like I think four or five times because we go on it literally every time we go to Disney World.

Nicole (07:13):
Yeah, I actually went to an event where they rented out that ride and I was able to go on it four times back to back and its

Yasmine (07:22):
Good every time. Everything’s incredible. Yeah, yeah. It never like stops being magical. Then again that ride has less like mechanical components. So it’s gonna be really interesting to see is Disney starts creating these more immersive rides and experiences. What’s the upkeep gonna look like?

Nicole (07:37):
And this is where my brain is at war because I, like, I go to Disney cuz I like to be removed from my day job of being like a process manager, project manager. Like when I go to Disney, I don’t have to think about the schedule. The schedule’s already been made months in advance and I’m just, I’m there to immerse in magic and escape. But rise of the resistance in particular brings me back to that brain of, well that was really interesting when they designed the ride, they knew that this thing might break down. So they had a backup method of how they would do this. They had a backup video to show in case this didn’t work. And so then my brain is starting to look at the reality in less of the magic, which is enjoyable in some ways for me, but I really do prefer to go to Disney to suspend, suspend reality for a little while.

Yasmine (08:25):
. That’s fair. That’s fair. So one of the things we want to talk about is what are other things that have happened at Disney and you know, the recent past that have changed the experience? And I mean we can think of a couple of things as DVC members. Um, one experience that I’ve actually never got to try and now I’m like not sure if I will, is like the top of the world lounge. So if you are staying at Bay Lake, and I think in the past, like if, if you were a DBC member, uh, there is this lounge on top of Bay Lake Tower, which is right next to disease, contemporary hotel that you can go in and watch the fireworks without actually going to Magic Kingdom Park. And like if you ever stayed at um, the contemporary Bay Lake, like you were very close to theme park, you can see the fireworks from like your, your window. If you have like a theme park view, it’s, it’s pretty incredible. So to be able to go to the top of the world lounge, have a little drink and see the fireworks, and I believe they play the music too, right, Nicole?

Nicole (09:28):
They do, they pipe in the music. We went up there to see the Christmas fireworks when we didn’t have Christmas party tickets, um, with my family. And it’s, it’s so awesome to be able to be up there and hear the music along with the show. It is like a side view of the castle. You’re, you’re basically looking over a space mountain, but a really cool experience and it really is just like a concrete slab that you’re standing on with the concrete wall. It’s, you know, it’s not pretty, it’s it’s just the top of a building and they do have a little lounge in there, but if you’re just watching fireworks, you don’t have to get a drink or anything like that. Um, but it’s one of these mysterious things, right? There’s a elevator that goes there, um, specifically only only goes to that floor and so you have to line up on the first floor and give your name and show your car to be able to get up there. It’s a whole thing. But they’ve changed it recently.

Yasmine (10:22):
Yeah. So we could be wrong. So if you have information that contradicts this, please like message us and let us know. But from what I understand, cause we were looking into it for a recent trip that you can only go to the top of the world lounge if you partake in um, like a dessert party that Disney’s offering that’s like villain’s theme. So it’s now the villain’s layer at the top of the world lounge and in order to go you have to pay like the dessert fee price, which like ain’t cheap. It’s I think 70 or $80 at least per person, which can definitely add up and it just reopened like this past July. So if you want to go and to take part of that experience, you can go as a DVC member only, but it’s also gonna cost you.

Nicole (11:10):
Yeah, and I mean I, I appreciate that Disney’s experimenting as things reopen after Covid, but it never feels good to be losing perks. And so these are DBC things, but there’s also been a lot of changes during Covid even before it. So, um, magic bands that come with your room are no longer free. So previously if you booked a trip, all of your tickets and things would be on your magic band that opens the door to your room, it lets you into the parks. They don’t give out complimentary ones anymore. And before it was just like one solid color and you could choose to buy more elaborate designs. Now whether that’s because more people are choosing to spend money on a design or more people are returning so they’re not bringing their old magic bands and it’s creating waste, there’s probably a lot of elements to why they’ve changed this.

Nicole (12:00):
But it also means that the magic I used to see on people’s faces, especially kids when they had a mickey on their arm and they could open the door to their room or they could check out for snacks, is now transferred to you have to have a smartphone that has mm-hmm a wallet app and you know, kids don’t have that and not all adults have that either. And um, just a little bit different over to experience. It’s, it’s not a free complimentary thing anymore. And um, those have been around for 15 years or so. So that’s a recent change. There’s also been changes along the years of different types of ticket options. So, um, we talked a little bit about dvc, but DVC often follows the Florida Resident Annual Pass program and um, they really increased the price of that and took away perks like memory maker, which is where your pictures are all included if you buy, you know, the resident pass, which arguably residents probably care about the memory maker just as much because they were there often enough to like want to have all of their pictures.

Nicole (13:06):
So that’s a perk that was kind of lost. I jokingly said the last time I was there, like, is parking still included? And the parking attendant laughed and said, Yes it is. You can still get free parking. So hopefully they don’t take that one away cuz that’s a nice one. . But years ago there used to be no expiration tickets and basically what this meant was that you could pay an additional premium on the tickets that you bought and let’s say you bought a seven day ticket and you only used four days, you paid that additional premium, you still had three days left that you could use another time at a future trip and you didn’t have to pay the difference of what admission was when you first paid for it versus, um, whatever it was when you travel later. And that was a really cool tool, especially when things happened.

Nicole (13:49):
Like you get c on vacation and you didn’t get to use three days of your tickets. Today that’s not the case. Um, you buy a seven day ticket, you have like 14 days to use all seven of those days. You can’t extend it, you can’t use it later as once you, once you redeem that first day, if you bought seven day tickets and you haven’t redeemed them yet, you can apply them for a future trip, you know, if your trip got rescheduled or something. But if you went in the park for one day like we did, the other three days are just lost and you can’t get them comped. And um, these tickets aren’t very cheap, especially when you’re planning a vacation like this. So the no expiration option is definitely something I missed because I, I probably only used it once or twice before they had taken away, but I have friends who, you know, pulled out there one day ticket from a couple years ago that, you know, they bought and somehow like a kid didn’t end up wanting to go that day and um, you used to be able to actually like just transfer the ticket to another adult, you know, now everything’s tied to the person and mm-hmm , you can’t do that that as easily.

Nicole (14:51):
So there’s little things that I understand from a technology perspective why they’re moving the direction they are, but from a consumer protect perspective, it definitely is harder to have a flexible vacation.

Yasmine (15:05):
All right, so let’s get into the takeaways for your small business. Well, we’re gonna look at it from both a shop perspective. If you sell physical products as well as a service provider, um, if you sell courses for example or memberships, often what, um, some sellers do is if someone has purchased like your live experience of your course before, um, you have access to that forever so you can partake in the next sort of cohort or live experience to really, you know, benefit from going through the material. And also, you know, increasing brand loyalty. If someone goes through your course a couple times, that’s probably a good sign that they trust you and they need that refresh. However, what are you doing to maintain that experience and actually like retain their loyalty? Often as our programs grow and things get more successful, sometimes you know, we put a little bit less of ourselves into it because there are other things that we can automate and um, streamline. And that one to one connection that you can often have with your customers sort of falls by the wayside, even if it’s a one to many connection, still a connection because we’re automating so many things. So as you’re growing your courses or your memberships, making sure that you’re still present and you’re still having that impact, I think is really important to get people to continue through your product life cycle and grow and learn with you, Nicole, what you share about it from a service provider’s perspective.

Nicole (16:39):
So I think we’ve talked about this a lot where most of my clients, if I had to average out how long I’ve worked with them, it’s been around three years and that’s when we tend to either continue working together or, you know, they’re changing their business up in a way that I, I am no longer the consultant fit for them. And so it’s really, I don’t wanna say easy, but it can, especially as the seasons change or you do the same things again and again for clients as a service provider, you can find yourself in a position of becoming complacent with, okay, I have done this before, I know what’s going on. Um, there might be new team, team members who haven’t done it before. And so when you’re kind of doing things at the last minute or you know, duplicating from before, it’s easy to make mistakes because you’re a little bit complacent or because the team doesn’t have the knowledge that you have in your head.

Nicole (17:34):
And so just kind of warning about repeat customers not getting the full experience mm-hmm. that also applies to service providers too. Make sure you’re checking in with your clients like, hey, I know that, you know, things are kind of on autopilot here and we know what we’re doing and we’ve talked about these things, but just making sure there aren’t any goals that you, you know, have floating around in your head that we haven’t talked about or that we, you know, that keep you up at night. So making sure you have those feedback loops is so important. And, um, I tend to like to meet with my clients every quarter just to make sure we have a plan for the quarter ahead, but go outside of your typical process too. Just, you know, shoot them a message and be like, Hey, how are you doing personally if you’re, you know, a service provider like we are where we know our clients pretty well, we know when they’re moving and when they have, you know, stuff going on with their kids and all of that. So we have kind of a friendship with them that we can go in and just say like, Hey, how are you really doing? What’s going on? What’s keeping you up at night? What goals do you have? So just make sure you’re talking, that’s it. Like make sure you’re talking to your clients regularly.

Yasmine (18:41):
Yeah, I’m literally in the middle of a launch with a client. This is I think the fourth time that we’ve launched this course together and we’re still having like meetings every week to talk about all the moving parts because even though it’s a course that we’ve launched before, before we changed a couple of things this time around, we um, brought on an incredible copywriter. We also completely redid our sales page and those were like big projects, um, that really made going into autopilot kind of non-existent because we were reinventing the wheel just a tiny bit. And it was enough that that regular communication had to happen to ensure that everyone was on the same page. And if it weren’t for those regular meetings, there were a couple things that could have been missed because it wasn’t until someone brought it up that we were like, Oh, right, that’s something else that we have to like look into or make sure that we’re covering off or make sure that we have it work. So communication is key

Nicole (19:35):
And it’s with everything from like, yeah, big ideas to the smallest thing. You know, when you have a virtual assistant who’s scheduling promotional emails and then they’re like, Oh, I need a graphic for this one or I need a timer countdown for that one. And there’s just a lot of little pieces that go into completing even just one piece of work and it, if you start becoming complacent or not thinking ahead about all those little things, those things can start coming up against hard deadlines and feeling more stressful then they would if you kept communication open with team and with client.

Yasmine (20:14):
A hundred percent. Speaking of communication and not getting too complacent, if you are a product shop owner and you’ve achieved, you know, a certain level of success or popularity, it can be easy to sort of expect that to continue. Especially if you’ve been working really hard for a while and all of a sudden like things blow up. Very recently I had ordered from another small shop and when I got my order they included a handwritten note and it was like personalized and nice and like just a couple sentences, but I was actually touched. I was like, Oh, this is so sweet. And it made me think about my product business. For those of who don’t know, I do have a crystal shop lu drift APO carry. And back when I first started, I would take the time to literally write everyone a handwritten note. And I’ll be honest, as my business grew and got busier, I stopped the handwritten component and just sort of included a card that had a little note on it.

Yasmine (21:08):
But it really made me think of how I felt opening that box and receiving that little note and how it made me wanna support that creator a bit more and had me rethink my decision to sort of automate things by taking that personality away. So literally since then I’ve gone back to like handwriting. You know, it’s some, yes, it takes a little bit longer, but my business in some ways is a personal one. Um, and I like to have that connection with my customer. So making sure that you’re keeping that experience the same can be really, really important because I remember I would get like emails back or like messages on TikTok or Instagram with people thanking me for my note. Um, and obviously that hasn’t happened since I went to a more standard note. So you can really learn lessons from other businesses and the importance of sort of keeping some of these brand experiences the same.

Nicole (21:59):
All right, so we hope we’ve given you some food for thought and thinking about how are you treating your repeat customers, your followers who have been around for a while, the clients that you’ve worked with for a long time. How are you making sure you’re keeping things fresh and keeping the experience level what they expect, what they’ve gotten in the past, keeping that level pretty active. So we hope we’ve been, use some thoughts there. We would love to ask you for some feedback and if you can just DM us on Instagram or send us an email @pixiedustandprofits. Um, email us your burning leadership and team questions. So we talked a little bit about working with clients and having teams and some of the dynamics that can be there, but we really want to get into this and some of the future episodes for this season. So if you have any questions about leading a team, working with a team, maybe hiring someone to work with you and you haven’t hired before, or just how to better utilize the people you do work with, whether they are employees or consultants or contractors or even just industry friends that you’ve created an informal mastermind with, we would love to hear the questions that you have about being a better leader and having a team. So email us, send us a DM on Instagram and you might be featured in an upcoming episode.

Yasmine (23:20):
Thanks so much and we’ll see real soon.

Nicole (23:24):
Bye.

subscribe on

subscribe on

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

Transcript

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

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 68: Cast Members Going Above and Beyond (Transcript)

Sep 20, 2022

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.

Nicole (00:26):
Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. I’m Nicole

Yasmine (00:32):
And I’m Yasmin,

Nicole (00:33):
And we are here talking about the above and beyond magical engagements that you have with cast members at Disney world. So we’re going to share a couple of our favorite stories of memorable moments with different cast members in different roles. And then we’re gonna give you a couple of business lessons on how you can better interact with your customers. So that way they can feel magical too. So, um, what inspired this episode is a recent trip I was on. If you’ve listened to the last episode, you know, that I got COVID on that trip. So things went a little by the wayside, but before that happened, um, some of you may know that my mother is disabled. She has very low impaired vision. She has a condition called usher syndrome. I share that in case anyone out there has it and wants to know they’re not alone.

Nicole (01:23):
It’s a very rare condition, but essentially it makes it really difficult for her to see and dim lighting. And, um, just, she doesn’t always see objects that are in front of her, especially things that are low to the ground. So she does use a walking cane. She is very independent. So sometimes she tries not to use the walking cane and I have to remind her of mom. You have that for a reason. Um, but one day my husband, my kid and I, we went to Hollywood studio. She stayed behind at the hotel and I guess she decided to go for a walk and go to the lobby at the hotel, just to check it out, see the different paintings and sculptures and all of the things that every Disney resort has to make it unique and fun. And she’s went to the store to just see what kind of merchandise they had, and you could also get snacks and lunch and things like that.

Nicole (02:13):
So we came back and she was telling me the story about how nice they were in the lobby and how one of the cast members like helped her walk around the store and took her arm to make sure she wouldn’t bump into anything. And just really was very kind and supportive and didn’t make her feel like they were going out of their way to help her, which, um, if you can imagine having a condition like this, you know, when you’re putting someone out or when you’re inconveniencing someone and she very much doesn’t ever want to ask anyone for help, she wants to do it on their, on her own. And so, um, it really meant a lot that my mom was gushing about how she felt like she was valued and just got the support that she needed in that moment without asking for it and without being condescended to. So, um, that’s one magical moment about, um, I think in general, how disability friendly Disney world is and how patient their workers are with a lot of situations, because as you know, there all walks of life come through Disney world. And so they have probably seen everything under the sun that you can imagine, and they’re just really patient, no matter what your situation may be. So I, I just give them kudos for being able to maintain the level of calm they can, especially in the last two years where I’m sure it’s been rough.

Yasmine (03:38):
I’ve also had some magical experiences at Disney. Um, two, in fact, it happened recently. Um, the first one being when I took my daughter to Disney world for the very first time, you know, this has been a trip that I have been planning since she was like pretty young. She’s still pretty young, but, um, basically as soon as I was able to like take her Disney, I had planned the trip. And of course, you know, with COVID, we’ve constantly had to cancel and reschedule. So finally on a whim, I was actually supposed to go Disney with Nicole back in may, but she was unable to go and I decided to turn to a little family trip. So I took my daughter, my husband and my mom, and all my daughter could talk about she’s about two and a half. At this point was meeting goofy.

Yasmine (04:19):
She was so excited to meet goofy. So we did some of the character dinings because it was really hot we’re Canadian and you know, us and like, you know, may heat in Florida don’t go well together. So I knew she wouldn’t really deal well with staying in line too much to meet character. So I went the character dining route, and when she met goofy and melted into him that sweet cast member, let my daughter hug him for, I would say about a minute, minute and a half. He, he just waited for her to be done, which, you know, when they have to go around and meet a bunch of different like tables and stuff, like I knew that they were going that little bit of an extra mile to let her have that moment. And it, I think it was a core memory for us, a core memory for her, but the way my little one just melted into goofy.

Yasmine (05:08):
And I said to goofy, she has been waiting all trip to meet you. And he sort of signaled to me that like he was waiting all trip to meet her as well, which, you know, listed another awe for us and from the two tables around us. Like everyone just loved that moment. And, you know, for a little one, like meeting these characters, that’s such a big deal. And I’m just so grateful that like the Disney, um, characters, not, not the cast members behind them, cuz of course they’re real really take that moment to make those, um, experiences extra special. So that was such a sweet memory that I will never, ever forget. And I myself have been, um, engaged with quite pleasantly, um, at Disney. In fact, when we went to Bubash for the first Pix and profits live for the party, Nicole and I dressed up as the fairy godmother from Cinderella because we were, of course everyone’s fairy business godmother.

Yasmine (06:05):
And I unfortunately had to bail on that, um, event halfway through because my feet were not happy the first day when we went to Disney, I think my shoes got a little wet. And um, essentially like I got like the worst blisters on the very first day. And this was like the second last day of the trip and my dogs were barking. Um, so I ended up leaving early and as I was leaving, one of the cast members, um, turned to me and said, oh, has the clock struck 12 for you as well, fairy godmother. And it’s such a simple thing for them to acknowledge the fact that I was dressed up as fairy godmother and to make that little like joke, but it made me so happy. And so giddy as you know, like a 35 year old woman at the time. Um, and it just like left such a lasting impression and they really do keep the magic alive, whether you’re little or, you know, in your mid thirties as I was. Um, so that made the trip a little, um, special for me too, to just have that moment. And it was just, you know, a cast member commenting on my costume and doing so in a really funny way.

Nicole (07:09):
It it’s just one of those things that I think they get to have fun with too. Mm-hmm and you know, they probably stay fairy godmother costumes, and they know, they know that if you’re wearing that, you want the reaction, you want to be acknowledged, you wanna have fun. And they do it in such a kind and respectful way. And I honestly cannot think of a single moment where I’ve had a bad cast member interaction. Um, obviously there are neutral ones where, you know, you’re checking out, but even then they’re still very friendly, but I can tell you off the top of my head, the bad, um, I don’t call, they don’t call them cast members at universal, but the bad interaction I had with someone there, cuz it stuck out because it’s just not common. And I think that it just goes to those core values that they teach their employees and what the brand is all about and that you live and breed the brand while you have that cast member tag on.

Nicole (08:05):
And probably while you have it off too. So I’ve shared this story before, but it is a core memory for us as well. It was in the pre COVID days. You know, it was actually on the flight home was when they were talking about a mysterious illness overseas. And um, it was my dad’s birthday. My dad does not usually come on these trips. So it was a big deal that he came like the whole family was there. My brother, my mom and dad. And so it was his birthday and we ordered his favorite character, Donald duck. We ordered a Donald’s duck cake from the boardwalk bakery. So me and my son went to go pick it up at the lobby and it was January, it was extremely cold for Florida. It was maybe 40. I remember one of the days of that trip rise of the resistance had just opened.

Nicole (08:57):
And me and my husband were there at like five in the morning, six in the morning to, you know, try and get our spot. And it was about 45 degrees. It was so cold. It might have even been lower than that. I can’t even remember. I just remember freezing and I’m from Maine . So, um, anyway, we went to go pick up his cake, very cold outside. We went to the lobby to get ice cream because you can’t have cake without ice cream. And the cast member was like, wow, ice cream. This is the first time I’ve seen this bot today. And we said, yeah, you know, it’s grandpa’s birthday and we have a cake, so we need ice cream and you have candles anywhere. And she was like, oh my goodness, happy birthday. She pulled out some candles from somewhere. I don’t even know I was like in their drawer.

Nicole (09:43):
And then she walked me over to the lobby or told me about in the lobby, you can go ask someone and maybe you can get a balloon. And so I walked over to the lobby. I told them what was going on and they told me, oh, just wait a minute. We’ll see what we can do. I’ll look in the back. They come out like five, 10 minutes later and they have a set of balloons and they have a card signed by Mickey. It was just like a picture of Mickey in front of the castle. And Mickey had signed it and said happy birthday. And it was just, you know, I ordered a cake and I came out with a party and it was amazing. It was awesome. Walked back to the room with this balloon and cake and ice cream. And we had a blast.

Nicole (10:19):
It just sticks out to me as like, you know, if I hadn’t had that interaction with the cast member being friendly about asking why I’m buying ice cream, which is, you know, just chit chat, the whole story wouldn’t have come out and we wouldn’t have gotten to the balloons and the cake and all of that stuff. So I just think it’s something so sweet that I didn’t have to have happened. And it is a core memory and it was just a little bit of, it was just a balloon and, and a cart. Right. so I think they do a great job with just understanding the situation or reading the room. And mm-hmm, this kind of goes back to what Yasmin was talking about with the characters at the character dining. I’ve done many character dinings. Um, we have one in particular that we like to do every trip and the characters are very smart about knowing which tables they really need to spend a couple extra minutes at and which ones they can kind of like wave and walk along.

Nicole (11:13):
Um, even during C when character dining was a little bit different where they basically removed tables and they had this like squared off section that the character could stand in the middle of, they did a great job of making sure they were like doing poses at every table. So you could get a picture of them. Um, and not, they weren’t just like standing there and you couldn’t do anything. So I think they’re really observant of the situation and how to interact with everyone. So what does that mean for your business? Like how can you be more aware of the situation that your customers or potential customers or followers are in and how can you interact more with them? Well, one of the things

Yasmine (11:53):
That we experienced was the fact that every single of these interactions left us feeling acknowledged and left us feeling, uh, you know, noticed. So if you have a business, especially if you have one where you have, like, whether you have like a hundred followers or like, you know, a million, um, often you’re engaging with your customers on social media. So are you taking the time to actually go back through those comments and respond back to people? I mean, one example I was telling Nicole, as we were playing this episode is there’s this, um, embroider who I’m absolutely like obsessed with her work. Um, she’s at needle or thread on Instagram and she just makes the most beautiful fabric collages. And every time I comment on her post, she will like respond back and acknowledge me. And it just like makes me feel special and more engaged and involved with her work and her success because she’s taking that time. So one takeaway there is when people are commenting, you know, try to respond within one business day. I know if you have a ton of comments, it might not be possible to respond to every single person, but taking some time to respond back to your fans and customers goes a long way in building brand loyalty.

Nicole (13:04):
Yeah. And I’ll add to that, that responding in a timely manner. And I am not a proponent of, you know, instantly reply to anything that comes your way. I think there should be boundaries mm-hmm , but one business day I think is reasonable. And even if you don’t have the answer to their question, if they asked a question or whatever it may be, you can still reply and say, you know what? I hear you, this is a great question. I need to do a little bit more research. And that goes a really long way cuz they were acknowledged, they were listened to. And you said exactly what you would do next.

Yasmine (13:34):
Or like, you know, if it’s something that you want to respond to, but you can’t in that moment, this happens a lot like on TikTok, like I’ll get comments on posts and it’s something that I wanna create a video on, but I can’t, I’ll just pop in and say, Ooh, that’s great. I’m gonna create a video on that soon. Which again, doesn’t, you know, hold me to a specific timeline, but allows me, you know, within a week or so to get back to them with a more detailed response of their question plus it’s content ideas.

Nicole (13:59):
Now, when you’re thinking about things like from the inbox perspective, or this could even happen on social, but the comments on social will tend to be a little more higher level. But I always think like sometimes people will send in a question, if you can anticipate the question that would happen before or after that you can add so much more into your reply to that person. So for example, if someone emails in asking a question and we sometimes have a blog post that answers that question, we can say, here we go, here we go. This is what you would do. We have more information about this here and this blog, but I also think that you might li like this related content and obviously we make that more punchy and fun and more conversational depending on what it is. But if you can give a couple more resources or anticipate what their other questions or hesitations might be, it’s just another way for them to feel like, oh, you heard me, you saw me and you supported me.

Nicole (14:53):
And those are all things that make you feel that you are valued and respected. Um, you know, I was just thinking about one time my husband collects pins from Disney and he wanted this Christmas pin from the Christmas party. We had gone to the Christmas party, but they were sold out. And so he asked a cast member like, is there any chance, like we went to this, I, they just didn’t have the pin. I really want that pin. And they went down into the storage areas, which are actually underneath the stores and magic kingdom to try and find that and did not. But then later on in the week we did find one, but those little interactions like that, like you don’t have to go down into the store, dare to find anything she could have said, you know, all we have is what’s behind the, the desk here and left it at that.

Nicole (15:40):
But she didn’t. And so think about that when you are replying to someone’s email or their DM and say, you know what? I actually have something that you might be interested in. Let me send it to you. Whether it’s your own content and resources or somewhere else mm-hmm because even if you’re sending them to somewhere else, as long as it’s like not a direct competitor, it’s still, oh, like they’re a helpful person. They’re gonna come back to the helpful person. And so I just think it’s important to, um, not just answer the question being asked.

Yasmine (16:08):
So we’re wondering what are ways that you try to help your customers and fans be seen? Um, you know, how do you sprinkle some of that magic in your business? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and tell us in the comments or send us a DM. We’d love to hear from you. We’re at @pixiedustandprofits on Instagram. And if you want more great business ideas from us, be sure to get your free business bundle. It’s at magic.pixiedustandprofits.com. Thanks so much for joining us and we’ll see you real soon. Bye bye.

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 67: That Time I Got COVID at Disney World (Transcript)

Sep 6, 2022

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 Yaman 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 (00:26):
Hello and welcome to season six of pixie dust and profits. I’m Yasin

Nicole (00:32):
And I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:33):
And I can’t believe that this is our sixth season of getting together and talking about Disney magic and business canal.

Nicole (00:41):
I know, right. It feels like we were just in a hotel room, even thinking about this idea and we’re six seasons in now, and it’s so exciting and honestly is the most fun part of my week to get to do some pixie dust stuff.

Yasmine (00:54):
I mean, we get to get together and basically nerd out about Disney. I can’t imagine anything more fun than that. so we have so many interesting things to talk about this season. Um, I’m not gonna spoil too much about what’s coming up, but I will say that this summer was packed with a lot of changes at Disney, from a business level. And you know, there’s some things we just like, couldn’t wait to talk to you about, we brushed upon them in our summer series, which if you haven’t listened to, we revisited some of our most popular episodes and updated them with new perspectives on how Disney was approaching a topic. Um, so make sure you go back and download those if you haven’t heard those, but for today’s episode, I think we’re gonna talk about, um, a very memorable experience. One of us had at Disney world recently, and that person is Nicole. You know, I, I remember it clear as day. So Nicole was at Disney world with her family and it’s not uncommon for her to send me messages. Like we do that. Like we go Disney world. We share like the experiences notes, things that we observed, this all inspires episode ideas for the show. But this message, this one, this one surprised me, Nicole, why don’t you tell us what happened?

Nicole (02:07):
Yeah. So to set the stage a little bit from the business perspective, if you’re anything like our clients, the customers who purchase from our clients or the women in our profitable and productive party membership this summer spent a little bit weird. I don’t know if it’s because it’s like two years after the pandemic started. People are like trying to live life, but things still aren’t right. Or it’s the first summer where we feel like we can live again, but you really still can’t. Um, so things are kind of all over the place. There’s obviously inflation and lots of things going on politically that also run into all of this. And so I guess our vacation was just along the same lines. So backstory being, we were supposed to go to Disney world in January for a couple of days. My, um, family had some medical emergencies and other things going on that we, we, we couldn’t go.

Nicole (03:00):
And so promised my child that I would reschedule. We rescheduled for after the school year ended. And we made it a big trip. Honestly, the, the longest trip I have ever had, I had a really long trip unexpectedly before when flights got canceled, but this was the longest plan trip we had. And it was gonna be 10 days. And we were actually gonna go to universal, which I haven’t done since my honeymoon, 12 years ago. And my kid had never been. And so we were gonna go to universal and then we were gonna go on to Disney world. So we went to universal, we went to discovery Cove, which is a sea world property, which was amazing. We had so much fun. Um, and then you can see where this is going. I’m sure I got like, I lost my voice Friday morning. So probably like fourth day into the trip.

Nicole (03:48):
I was like, you know what? I was going on some roller coasters. I was screaming all last night, not a big deal. Um, we wore masks everywhere. We wore masks on the plane. We wore masks in line. It was a hundred degrees in Florida. We did all of the things to, um, avoid getting COVID. We haven’t had it up to that point. We hadn’t had it at all since the pandemic started that we knew of. So we were really knocking on wood. Um, and then a couple days later I got a little cough, but it was, you know, a cough every few hours, like nothing alarming. So then I started masking even around my family and the hotel room. I was like, let’s just be safe about this test is negative. Test is negative. Um, by the time Wednesday hit. So about a week into our trip, we got to Disney world.

Nicole (04:29):
It was the transition day of our trip and I was feeling fine. Um, warm mask, absolutely everywhere, indoors rides, everything. And then, um, the next morning I woke up and had like a 99.8 fever, you know, not, it wasn’t even anything alarming, took another test, instant positive. Yay. What do you do now? Um, we were supposed to go to animal kingdom. That is my kids’ favorite park. We had reservations to go to Tusker house, which is one of our traditions. We always go to the character breakfast at Tusker house. When we go to animal kingdom, it’s just something we’ve done since our kid has been little and we have a lot of fun. And so it was really heartbreaking that my kid could not go on his favorite ride or to his favorite park. And, um, you know, we did the right thing. We had a positive test.

Nicole (05:19):
Everyone else was negative. Everyone else wasn’t displaying any symptoms. So we separated me from everybody and we, we called the front desk at Disney and we said, Hey, um, what do we do now? , you know, essentially what, what can we do? We need to either stay longer until we’re, you know, cleared to be able to fly. What, what do we do? And they sent us, um, they said they would call the manager and someone would contact us. So what does that mean? so we waited a little bit and, um, the, the manager, I don’t know their particular title there, but basically they called us and, you know, kind of ran down what the protocol is. They asked us to stay in a room, so we don’t expose any of their staff. Um, essentially I guess the roles were because I was positive. I shouldn’t come into contact with anyone, but those who aren’t displaying symptoms and have negative tests, they were free to go around the Disney resort if they wanted to.

Nicole (06:16):
Um, and so he gave me his direct cell phone. I’m assuming it was a work phone, but I had a direct number to be able to text message. And so we ended up making the decision because we were traveling with someone who had, has very special needs that we were, we got the rest of the family home. We were able to change flights. They all went home, they, and then I had to stay behind. So I was alone staying behind and I was told not to leave my room at all. So I had to text message this number. It felt very strange. It felt very strange for someone who’s used to doing everything themselves for a millennial to, to contact someone and ask for help. So you don’t know it is very uncomfortable, but Disney was so wonderful about it. This gentleman was like, no, I’m more than happy to do this for you.

Nicole (07:02):
You’re keeping our staff safe. And basically what I would do is do a mobile order at the quick service restaurant at my resort. And they would send someone to grab my order and just drop it off, outside my door at my room. And I felt so bad asking just for that, but they were more than happy to do it. They were so kind. Um, I talked to them, um, our tickets because we used one day of our park tickets, technically they would expire. And so we had these park tickets that were going to expire and we couldn’t use the other two or three days on them. So they put new park tickets in our account. It was just a one day park copper for everyone. But it’s something that they absolutely didn’t have to do. And it was just really appreciated. So it was a very crazy set of circumstances.

Nicole (07:55):
And I am glad I did the right thing and let them know. Um, I was obviously bummed to cut our vacation short, uh, especially because, you know, universal was fun. But once we got to Disney, everyone’s moods kind of lifted up. We had a nice big room and at one point my kid, we were walking around. He’s like, it’s just so soothing here. Like Disney feels like home for us. And so, um, all I can say is that it was amazing to have a text message number that I could just, you know, send a message. I didn’t have to call. I didn’t have to do, like, if you’re familiar with Disney, even if you’re calling the front desk, there’s usually like hold times or having to wait for someone to recontact you, they made it so smooth and so seamless for me to like stay in place.

Nicole (08:41):
And, you know, I called them and said, you know, my new flight home is this date. My doctor’s clearing that for me. And they kind of cleared the room for me to be able to stay in that room. I don’t know what their practices are right now. I don’t know if it’s on a case by case basis or how full the resorts are, but they were able to hold my room for a couple extra days. So that way I could, you know, not fly well contagious. And then, you know, I needed some laundry detergent to be able to switch out my laundry. I was fortunately in a room that had laundry in place. And so, you know, they dispatch, um, housekeeping, like not at that right away, but like when they’re on their rounds, they like left a basket outside the door. So I could get like new linens and things like that, so that there was no person to person contact.

Nicole (09:28):
And, um, I just really appreciated that they met made something that was a very difficult situation, so much easier for, for us and for me. And, um, you know, there, isn’t like a crazy business lesson in all of this. And I know this is a really personal story, but I mean, I was messaging Yasin during this. And at one point the most stressful part for me was I had a rental car and I needed to bring the rental car back to the airport on the day I was supposed to have originally left. And, um, my new flight home was like the next day or something like that. And so I’m on the phone with the rental agency for, for ages. I finally get through to someone and they’re like, oh, it’s gonna be like $300 or $380 crazy for the, for the one night. Yeah.

Nicole (10:17):
I remember telling Yasin about it. Mind you, I had only paid like $450 for this 10 day rental. So, um, I was, it was, it was a lot of money to have to pay for just one more night. And, you know, I kind of told them the circumstances and everything, and they were like, oh, well, we’ll send you to the manager. I don’t think that they sent me to the manager. I think that they just put me back in the call queue, cuz the next person I talked to quoted me the exact same amount and didn’t seem to know like the notes from the earlier conversation. And I was just like, well honestly though it would, I could drive this car back to the airport and rent another car from you for $110 and drive back to my hotel and expose a bunch of people to COVID along the way.

Nicole (11:06):
And you like, it would be cheaper for me to do that cuz I mean, I don’t have anything else going on. I can’t go anywhere so, um, it was just a really like, I did not expect to get a dealer or anything, but it was really surprising to me for like a one night extension of the car I already had in my possession was going to be $300 and there was like no wiggle room at all. It was just like, well who, who cares? It’s COVID like you got it, whatever. Um, it was, it, it was very different to get that perspective from the car rental company than Disney, who was like, no, please don’t leave your room. I can’t expose my staff. I mean, that was, you know, they said cast members, but you know, I can’t expose my cast members. We need to keep them safe.

Nicole (11:51):
You know, at one point my kid had painted some pottery, you know, the little things you can do around the resorts and that that pottery has to fire. So you need to go pick it up so I couldn’t pick it up. So I, I texted and I was, or I called him and I was like, I’m so sorry to make you guys do this. But you know, my kid has a train that he painted and he wants to gift to his grandpas there any way that you can like get it sent over from the community center to my room. And they were like, oh my God, I’m so glad you, you guys took park in the community room. It’s so much fun. And they brought it over for us. It was there, like it was on my door like an hour later. Um, so just the juxtaposition of that experience with Disney and the car rental company who kept me on hold for a long time, said they were transferring me to someone who could make an exception who then like didn’t even address any of the situation and quoted me the same amount and didn’t seem to care at all that I was, I couldn’t fly.

Nicole (12:46):
Um, you know, it was just one of those, like I didn’t expect concessions to be made, but it was very nice to have Disney really take care of their cast members and inadvertently like I felt, I felt cared for at a time when I might not have otherwise.

Yasmine (13:04):
Well, what’s really interesting about that is by taking care of you and giving you the resources to actually quarantine, it discourages you from wanting to, you know, take any additional risk because you have to similar to what you talked about with the car rental, right? Like Disney had everything taken care of. So by doing that, they were maintaining a safer space for everybody.

Nicole (13:27):
Yeah. And I mean, the interesting thing too is, I mean, if you’re looking at the business perspective of this, right, they, they treated me well, I feel like I missed out. I didn’t do a lot of Disney guess where I wanna go so badly right now mm-hmm because I did not get to have my animal kingdom day. I did not get to have my galaxy of the guardians attempt. Um, I, I really wanted my family to see harmonious together. Like I really wanna go back mm-hmm and um, I had just taken a trip. I shouldn’t want to have to go back this soon, but because I didn’t get to experience it. And they were so nice to me. Had it been a situation where they were just awful, would I feel like wanting to go back right now and they gave us one day part copper tickets for, um, everyone in our party.

Nicole (14:11):
And you know, that’s also gives you incentive to use the tickets. They’re not gonna expire soon or anything, but they give you that incentive to, to use them and come back. So business wise, I still paid for the room I was in, you know, they still got money that way I already had, um, I have an annual pass. My, my family does not. So, but we had already bought their three day passes or whatever it may have been. Um, but I’ll be back to use the ticket they gave me and because they had a good experience. So I, we talk about this a lot where the customer experience is just, um, I don’t wanna say next level, but it’s a very intentional part of the Disney brand. And J just think about that in your own business, right? When the moments are hard for your customers, like what can you do to alleviate that?

Nicole (15:03):
Um, right now I think we talked about it in our last summer series episode, inflation is crazy. Do you raise your prices? Do you not raise your prices? Like having an understanding and empathy for what your customers are going through, uh, really goes a long way for the long term brand value for how much they spend with you for how much they recommend you. If I had a terrible experience, when I’m out here talking to all my friends or talking to my podcast, they don’t know I have a podcast. If I’m out here talking about my podcast on my podcast about, you know, what this company treated me like crap, when I had COVID do you think that my friends are gonna wanna like partake to go there to, you know, you know what, maybe I’ll just wait for COVID to be done before I go to Disney.

Nicole (15:45):
Right? So there it’s very intentional. My, my in-laws, um, just took a trip and they were there about a week and a half, two weeks ago. And if I had had a really terrible experience, they were a month out from their trip. They still could have canceled without penalty. Those are the repercussions of, um, just one bad experience. And mm-hmm , I, I know that there are people who can say they’ve had a bad experience out of something that really isn’t a big deal. Like we say, with my kid all the time, is this a small problem or a big problem? but, um, you know, legitimately I did not have to call and let them know that I had COVID I did not have to do any of that. I could, I could’ve, I was not sick. I very fortunately knock on wood did not get very sick. I, um, you know, my fam my, um, my husband got a little bit more sick than I did when he ended up getting it, um, you know, a week later, but it was knock good wood. We were good. Um, I could have gone to the parks and not had any clue was I, I wouldn’t say I was asymptomatic. There was like a cough and a lost voice, but it wasn’t, I wasn’t feeling bad in any way. And, um, if I wasn’t, you know, hypervigilant packing six COVID tests, I might not have ever known

Yasmine (16:59):
. I mean, we’re all glad that you did that, right? Because it kept you safe. It kept your family safe and it kept everyone else safe too. So pack COVID tests when you go to Disney, I mean, we all know that they’ve lifted all of the past restrictions or not required, um, to maintain them anymore. And frankly, um, we’re three years into the pandemic. No one really has any restrictions in place, but they

Nicole (17:22):
Were very few masks worn. Yeah. Um, we were the only people wearing masks and I, and the flight I wore and 95, but in the parks, like in line, on the rides, all that, I just had the regular medical grade mask. Yeah.

Yasmine (17:37):
Yeah. But like, uh, it’s so important to like, keep yourself safe. So we talked about, you know, the extra mile, you can go for your customer during a difficult situation. I mean, we deal with that quite a bit in our line of business, Nicole, like, you know, occasionally with a program that one of our clients is offering. Something happens to someone in the middle of that program. And you know, how you react can really impact their loyalty to the brand and the business as a whole, you know, we’ve had instances where halfway through a course, someone lost a family member or had to stop, um, you know, focusing on the course, cuz they have to take care of a really sick family member. And you know, there’s many ways you can go about that. You can give them a refund, but what we’ve often done is if it’s a course that we’re gonna be running again, live in the future, we’ll just ask ’em if they want us to hold their seat and they can go through the entire experience again, free of charge, including joining all of the live coaching calls and things like that.

Yasmine (18:34):
People are really grateful for because you’re giving them that extension. Um, and you’re making space for something that is really important in their lives.

Nicole (18:42):
Then I know we’ve talked about this before, but the contract shop who is, um, one of our clients, they have a no questions asked 14 day refund policy because you’re not a lawyer when you’re buying a contract. You’re like, I think this is what I need, but I’m not sure you buy it. And then you read through it and you’re like, oh, this is a little bit more, this is different than I thought. I think I needed that other one. I was trying to decide on there’s so many people who are graphic designers and social media managers and they don’t know which one to take. And so, um, that refund policy, you know, no questions ask you have 14 days to let us know that you wanna refund is very, um, it strengthens the brand. And I think that people get scared about allowing for refunds, because if you allow for refunds, then clearly you’re losing money. But I think that the opportunity of people feeling safe and secure and that they can trust that they’ll get their money back. If it’s not the right thing has also led to more purchases in this case. So anyway, if you’re looking for a contract template or you need anything like that, if you’re a service provider, if you have a website and you need terms and conditions, you can go to pixiedustandprofits.com/contracts, and it’ll send you right over there with a 20% off code.

Yasmine (19:57):
You know, I’ll share another example of a time where like I personally tried to go the extra mile to maintain, um, you know, customer loyalty and satisfaction. And this is from a mistake that I made. So recently in my, uh, crystal shop lit drift Topo, Carrie, we released our Halloween advent calendars, which I’m super excited about cause who doesn’t like opening up a surprise every day is you count down to Halloween. And after I released them, one of the advent calendars, I realized I didn’t change the price cause I was duplicating the listing. It was supposed to be at a higher amount. I had the price on listing, but not on the actual like product itself. It had the price point of one of the smaller asset calendars that I was offering and someone bought it. And that’s when I realized, oh crap, they got this, but it only cost us much.

Yasmine (20:45):
So I immediately changed it and I had a few options at that point. One was, I could just tell a customer, Hey, um, this was missed price, which I do have in my terms and conditions that, you know, I can cancel in order for any reason and, um, canceled it, giving them the option to either like get a refund or to like repurchase the prompt at the correct price. Or I could have just let it slide and, you know, acknowledged it was my mistake, which it was and the financial impact though it was there. It wasn’t massive because it was one order that went awry. Now this was like, you know, a hundred of them being ordered at the wrong price point before I caught it, I might have to do something a bit differently, cuz that would be a huge loss. Um, but in this one case, you know, I made the choice to email the customer, let them know that, Hey, I made a mistake, but because is my error, I’m gonna honor it. And I got that, the soonest email back from her telling her that she was so appreciative of the customer service and like, you know, she’d come back and shop again. Um, and people appreciate things like that. So I know it’s not always like a situation where you can honor a price error, but in places where you, you know, can these little moves along the customer, know what you’ve done for them can really help loyalty.

Nicole (21:58):
I think the biggest lesson is that honesty is always valued and yes, there will be, there will be difficult customers or interactions. And um, I think if you’re honest and, and true to that, then you know, you can do the best that you can do that. There’s definitely, you know, I can’t honor that discount for you. I’m really sorry. This was my mistake. I, I think that’s powerful even if the person still is upset or mad about it, you know, mm-hmm , you can, you can respectfully say, this is, this is what happened and this is the truth and I’m sorry that it is this way. And um, you know, at the end of the day, you can at least feel peace that there was, there was truth in how you handled the situation.

Yasmine (22:39):
Absolutely.

Nicole (22:40):
But fortunately for you, it was just one purchase that that’s not an uncommon scenario, especially when you’re a product shop and you are duplicating listings mm-hmm and Shopify. Um, I, you know, recently ran into a situation where it, it wasn’t like the price was wrong, but it was something where we were doing a promotion and then the promotion ended, but the regular price in the shop was showing on sale for compared to, and the compared to CRA was lower than the, the regular price. So it was showing the right price, but it was showing like compared to a lower price so, you know, things happen and you know, it was a customer who pointed that out. It wasn’t, uh, one of us finding it. So just being honest with, oh, thank you so much for finding that for us. Um, we like to do this for people who like send in typos, they find in places where it’s just like, oh wow, thanks for finding that here’s a 10% off code, 10% off code is, you know, not, uh, a huge thing or a free shipping code or whatever it may be. But at least like, even if they’re not going to use it, it shows that like you appreciate that. They took the time to reach out for something. So, and let

Yasmine (23:48):
You know.

Nicole (23:49):
Yeah. Well thank you for joining us for the first episode of season six and for listening to the story of how I got COVID. I, like I said, I am doing well. I did not get a very bad case and I’m very fortunate and thankful for that. I hope you all are staying self safe and happy and healthy this fall and that you join us for our next episode of pixie dust and profits. If you don’t already follow us head over to Instagram, that’s where we post most of our content. We’re trying to get on TikTok. All right. Maybe if a couple of you email us or DMS on Instagram and say, come on, you guys need to get on TikTok. It might, it might get us on there more. I have a folder of drafts. So, you know, I just need some messages letting us know that you’d love to see that. Well, thank you so much. And we’ll see you real soon.

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 60: Make Your Business “Stick(y)”! (Transcript)

Mar 15, 2022

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.

Nicole (00:26):
Hello everyone. And welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. I’m Nicole

Yasmine (00:32):
And I’m Yasin.

Nicole (00:33):
And we can’t wait to break down some Disney magic for your small business this week. We’re talking about making things sticky and you know, what really inspired this is actually some, some stickers at the airport in Orlando. I was there recently for pixie dust, live intensive with Yas and a couple of women and walking through the airport. I just saw how they have themed so much around the 50th Ann of our at Disney world. So if you have not seen pictures or traveled to Disney since the 50th, as soon as you get off the plane and you head to the people mover, there’s probably a real name for that, but I will forever think of it as the people mover or monorail of some sort,

Yasmine (01:18):
The Orlando airport people mover.

Nicole (01:20):
Right, right. It’s not fun. But you get to hear the mayor tell you the, the same little speech about welcome to Orlando. And that’s always like the first interaction you have when you land. Right? So there’s like strong excitement around I’m on vacation. I’m here. When you’re from the north, you’re instantly like, oh, it is warmer in here. It is more humid here. And your first view of these monorails is all of these decals. They have across the entire siding of the windows of all the 50th anniversary statues, there’s, you know, Simba and Bo pee. And they have all these beautiful things showing how important the 50th is. Now, mind you, Disney is not the only thing in the Orlando area, but it totally seems that way when you get off the plane. And so this is all about being sticky and it didn’t stop there. After I left the airport, I was on the road, cuz I got a rental car and I’m driving to our resort and there were 50th anniversary license plates all over the cars on my way to Disney. There’s just, it, it was just this feeling of like it’s everywhere. They’re making it seem so important.

Yasmine (02:33):
And, and those are locals who are getting the special 50th anniversary edition because they love Disney that much. So like not only is it sticky in the sense that like you can’t quite escape. The fact that Disney has turned 50 years old, people are promoting it and they’re excited to.

Nicole (02:49):
Yeah. And you know, it doesn’t even stop there. Right? So I have a Disney visa credit card because why wouldn’t I earn Disney rewards every time I go to the grocery store? Ya unfortunately cannot because she’s in Canada, but they,

Yasmine (03:02):
I was about to say, you, you wouldn’t, if you’re Canadian.

Nicole (03:05):
So they sent a letter in the mail probably two months ago, that was like, Hey, did you know that you could change your card? Like the graphic on your card anytime you want. And by the way, here’s the near 50th anniversary version of the card. And I, I said, yeah, I want that because my card had a picture of Disneyland and I always felt a little off because I have never actually been to Disneyland. But that, it’s just the stickiness of that same logo, those same colors, which don’t even get me started in the colors. I love the colors for the 50th, but it just keeps reappearing in all these different facets of life and in your surroundings, which gives you the importance of it. Right? So they’re pushing this hard. They’re making sure you know, that it’s a special education event. They’re making sure it sticks in your head. And especially where it says the 50th, even though most Disney people know that this is an 18 month long celebration. It’s not just for the year. You are, you are told, get here, get here. Now this is limited time. These special gold, you know, elements everywhere, the 50th stuff everywhere it’s gonna be gone

Yasmine (04:15):
And you don’t wanna miss it. And the reason like why Disney extends it so long and celebrates for a year and a a half is because they have to really accommodate all people’s like times to attend. If they just did it, you know, the month of October in 2021, a lot of us would’ve missed out, but like they’re encouraging you to take it home with you. As we were talking, I held up my phone case that I got at Disney world for Nicole to see and sure enough, it has a 50th auto key on it. Is that what they’re called Otter box and a 50th anniversary pop socket that I got. That’s like glittery. It has the castle, the number 50 there’s like rhinestones totally up my alley. But like I took it home with me, the spirit jerseys we got in a call, those were 50th edition and, and there wanted to take a piece of, yes, it’s really convenient for us. That Disney took inspiration from pixie dust and profits broke palette for the 50th anniversary.

Nicole (05:10):
Oh, well, and it was just my birthday. So my husband is always looking for new things for me and many ears are a great, safe bet. So he went to go see what was out there and surprised me with these 50th anniversary years that are like leather gold. They’re, they’re gorgeous. I don’t know if I can wear them in the parks because I worry about losing them, but you know, their 50th anniversary ears. So if

Yasmine (05:38):
You worry lounge,

Nicole (05:39):
Yeah. I mean, if you wear them outside of this year, is it cool or is it not like, you know, now then

Yasmine (05:44):
It’s vintage,

Nicole (05:45):
Right? It’s vintage. So, you know, they are totally capitalizing on all of this. We have been to Disney and we went in October with pixie dustslive. We went in January just for a day with the pixie dusts live intensive. And in October, when all of us had first launched, they were really struggling with the supply chain of having all of these things in stock. So they built up all of this demand and did not have the supply, which is not a great not a great way to handle anything. They ran out of the light up ears. I think they still don’t have those in stock. And it’s February, March now. So it’s great to make things sticky, but make sure you can deliver on it.

Yasmine (06:25):
So Nicole, why don’t we talk a little bit about how everyone at home can make things in their business a little bit more sticky? Well, one way right off the bat is Disney’s theme across the board is consistent. So they’re delivering what I just said, a consistent brand identity. So everywhere you go, if you see the air quotes, iridescence color palette, you know, it’s 50th related and you kind of want some of that consistency with your brand. I mean, the products that you create, if you’re a product maker, are they uniquely, you does your brand or your aesthetic come through and everything that you put out there, the content and marketing that you put out again, does it align with your brand aesthetic or are you kind of all over the place when you’re not recognizable? It makes it harder for people to find you again. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scrolling for through saw like a pair of ears or something that I like from a small shop or even a service provider. And if their brand or something unique about them, didn’t stick out to me. Sometimes. I just forget when I wanna go back and well, they potentially lost me as a customer, so right.

Nicole (07:36):
You start digging through the section you spoke that says ads you clicked on. Yes. I’m hoping, trying to find it. You can find it. Yeah. But I hate that feeling when you’re like, I know that case I wanted, I don’t remember the maker. How did I find her before? Yeah, it’s really important to be consistent. And the look at Disney Disney has so many things that can be promoting. They have a new cruise ship. They have the gala Dick star cruiser, which we previously talked about. There are so many things they could be promoting, but above all of that, there one message is the 50th, the 50th, the 50th, you hear it over and over again. And so when you think about the fact that you have subbrands or multiple products, it’s still, what’s the overarching thing above that, that P people will remember you for. What’s the tagline, what’s the slogan. What’s, you know what, what’s that one thing, because they’re gonna remember that when they need the product, they remember you talking about and they’ll be like, oh, who’s that person that says, you know, humans first business, second, who’s that person

Yasmine (08:36):
Who says you need a uniquely new business, Nicole. That is that us? I think so. Yeah. So the other way that you can be stickies is through the customer experience that you deliver, when you create a lasting impression on people, they come back and we’ve experienced it in our businesses. We’ve had clients refer us out time and time again. I mean, I don’t think Nicole, you and I haven’t actually like sought out clients in the past couple years. Everyone has come through referrals essentially. Right?

Nicole (09:07):
Yeah. And I mean, my longest clients I’ve been with for four or five years and we can do some amazing things together because we know the business so well that it’s okay. We’re not like starting from the ground up. We know what works, we know what doesn’t. We have processes in place to revisit the goods, the bads, the inspirations, the dreams and goals every year. So it feels easier and easier to redo the things that work or relaunch the products that do well and go from there. So, you know, when you keep getting good results and you’re really consistent, you get the referrals and then you build another relationship with another client that goes on. And I mean, that’s part of the reason why we love pixie dust and the party membership that we have because we get to build relationships with people in a different four. That’s not necessarily us implementing these huge strategies, but it is informing people directly knowing what their business is, knowing their audiences. We can give them much better information than possibly following a course somewhere that probably costs the same amount as the party.

Yasmine (10:13):
Yeah. Other ways that you can deliver that really positive experience for your customers is in the after purchase experience. So we talked about having a great post purchase sequence when someone buys a product, whether if it’s a service from you or like a digital product, and if you’re a product maker creating that really great experience when they open up their package, when you mails something that’s super duper important, too. For example, I have started a product based business recently I’ll share the details at some point in the future, what it works within an episode, but I’ve had one customer literally buy from me 10 times in the past, like two and a half months. And it’s because she loves the experience. She, how I work with her when she comes to me for recommendations, I’ve given her an amazing customer experience in her words. And that I put thought and care into everything that I deliver to her.

Yasmine (11:07):
And she just loves opening up the packages. And to me, that’s literally the greatest compliment that I could get, because that’s the experience that I want people to have and to get some, to buy 10 times in like two and a half months, that’s a huge win for any product based businesses. So I look to the feedback that she’s given me and try to think, okay, how can I really build and extrapolate this across the board for every single customer that purchases for my business. And you know, it’s not always easy, but paying attention to the things have impact is so key in every business, because that’s how you can scale more effectively or like increase the, I wanna say the impact, but like not the impact, like the, should I say the return? Yeah, yeah. Increase the return that you have in your business based on the effort that you put into it,

Nicole (11:57):
We can have, we probably already have another episode entirely on that, those relationships and, and treating each customer like they’re your only customer and the difference that that makes, and it does leave a lasting impression. When you think about Disney, you’re thinking about a scale of how do they leave a lasting impression on the thousands of people that come every day and they can’t do that personalized experience really. And it’s little things like you, you guys know how many trips we have taken, but you know, just going to see VECO and the sphere is glowing into different colors that match the 50th. That’s a completely different experience. It’s lasting to me like that looks different than the last trip. This is special. The new firework shows all of those things make it special and every trip is completely different. So it’s leaving those lasting impressions. Even something as simple as the art festival that we went to, the dishes are different. So they’re different from when I went to the art festival last year, we enjoyed some of our old favorites, but we brought in new things and there were things themed for the 50th. It’s, it’s a lot of fun and that’s how they continually impressed.

Yasmine (13:09):
But like the other interesting thing that Disney does is there are so many unique experiences to the 50th that it makes you want to try it all because once it’s gone, it’s gone. So there’s a scarcity as well that they’re able to push through this, which I mean, it’s worked on us.

Nicole (13:30):
All right. So in your business, the one thing that you can do is a takeaway from this is to talk about your stuff five times more than you think you should put it inside your planner. Talk about one of my products or my overarching tagline this week, like Tuesday what’s today is Tuesday. So pick Thursday, you know, go and put that in your planner, put it on your Asana, wherever you keep yourself on track. Talk about one of your products, your services, your overarching, like philosophy around things. And then do it again on Monday. And then do it again on Wednesday. Talk about your stuff, because we don’t talk about it enough. We are guilty of this as well. We’re telling you this and we it’s something that we’re working on. So talk about your things.

Yasmine (14:18):
Speaking of not talking about our stuff we have something really cool coming up.

Nicole (14:27):
All right. You’ve probably heard that you can create more impact by doing less, but how exactly do you do that? We’ll let you know. We have a masterclass coming up on March 24th, and we want you to join us for it. We’ll help you stop spinning your wheels and find some focus so you can decide on your next right move.

Yasmine (14:48):
So if you wanna join us live, sign up at pixiedustandprofits.com/masterclass.

Nicole (14:55):
Can’t wait to see you there.

Nicole (14:59):
All right. So make sure you join that masterclass. If you’re looking for support and focus. Now, this is the last episode of this season, which I don’t know how it’s come that quickly, but it, you can keep in touch with us on Patreon. And that’s where you’re gonna get some behind-the-scenes content. Even when the season is over, you can find us at pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon. They’ll also be in the show notes. We will do a summer series, which will have fast tidbits for you for your business, just to make sure you’re keeping up with everything as your business goes through the summer, which sometimes can be slower, but for other audiences maybe a little bit busier. So thank you so much for joining us. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @pixiedustandprofits. We’ll see you real soon.

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 59: Small Shop Safety with Misty Henry (Transcript)

Mar 1, 2022

Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & 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, why these big scale concepts to your own business.

Yasmine (00:26):
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Pixie Dust & Profits. I’m Yasmine.

Nicole (00:30):
And I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:31):
And today we actually have a really, really special guest in the studio. So Misty Henry from the Maker’s Resource Shop is joining us today. Misty, why don’t you introduce yourself to our audience and say, hello?

Misty (00:46):
Sure. Hey everyone. So as ya said, my shop is the Maker’s Resource Shop, and I basically help people build their passions by following the regulations that they don’t even know about make sure that they get to where they need to it be. So they reduce their risk in their business and don’t have to worry about the things they don’t know coming back and nipping them in the, but

Nicole (01:09):
Who would you say are the people who tend to find you or follow you? Like what do they sell

Misty (01:15):
Right now? It’s actually mostly teethers and pacifier leashes and that sort of thing, but really it’s oh man, I have people that make children’s clothing, people that make children’s accessories, necklaces, hair accessories. I have people that make hats and bags. And while most of the regulations focus on children’s products, there are a few for adult items too. I do have a couple people that poke in and say, Hey, what do I need about this? And I love when I’m able to say, actually, all you need to do is make sure you have a little bit of labeling and you’re good. And then the people that come in saying, I’m making a children’s item, I get to say, oh, well you have some labeling. What else do you make? Let’s see what else you have to do for that because the government does have a little bit extra to keep our kids safer. But yeah, so most of it is children’s products and just a little dabble here and there of adult items.

Nicole (02:17):
So that’s super helpful, especially if we have any Disney, small shops listening and you make products for chill, you need to go check out Misty and the maker’s resource shop, cuz you don’t know what you don’t know

Yasmine (02:27):
Exactly. And you know, the reason why I love Misty’s businesses, Nicole, I kind of feel like it’s similar to ours in the sense that we kind of deal with like the less sexy side of operations and business, but things that are so important that you can’t really grow without. And like one of the things that I love about Misty’s business is just by helping her customers follow regulations and make things safer that improves their sales because their customers feel peace of mind when they purchase those products. So

Misty (02:59):
Absolutely as I actually have a number of people in the last me personally in the last three years, I have noticed an uptick in consumers paying more attention to compliance. They’re not quite sure what that word means, but they search it. And I have a lot of makers who are telling me, man Misty. My, my search keywords right now are like spot on with safety and compliance and P S I a. And those are what my customers are specifically searching for. So absolutely it is definitely increasing their sales.

Nicole (03:33):
Okay. So if you have a business, especially business that creates products, Misty just gave you the tip to go make some content or put something in your product description that talks about your compliance. And if you don’t have anything to say about that, you might want to go check out our job

Yasmine (03:50):
And we’ll include the show notes.

Nicole (03:52):
Yeah, absolutely.

Yasmine (03:53):
So Misty, we’re gonna have you talk to our audience a little bit about like, more about what they can do to become compliant and to make sure that they’re you know, checking off all the boxes. But before we do one of the reasons why we’re really lucky and excited to have a Misty on the show today is she is a member of our profitable and productive party membership. But not only that Misty joined us for pixie dust and profits live back in October where we spent, you know, a couple glorious days under the hot Florida sun, just going, like, I wanna say wild at Disney, but we were preta. Like let’s be real. And she was also with us just a couple weeks ago, back in Florida for our Pixie Dust & Profits intensive and Misty. One of the things that I would just love to hear your TA is how has getting more focus helped you grow your business?

Misty (04:44):
Oh my gosh. So actually before this, I was looking at my financials as I do. And I was blown away. I have literally doubled my profit every year since I’ve known you all. Oh my gosh. And it, yeah, it starts with it’s honestly, it started with that, that squirrel syndrome download that you guys have. And I fo I, I read that, took it to heart, working with you all, you all helped explain more in depth, what that really looks like. And then the next step was okay. Start asking why, why, why? And I do that now. So I see this beautiful, shiny thing that doesn’t pertain to anything that I’m working on right in this moment. And so I put it on that parking lot that you gave us, and I love that parking lot cause it’s laminated. So I can either dry a erase on it or wet erase on it or sticky note on it.

Misty (05:44):
And I write down the idea, if it’s something that is like a FOMO purchase, I will write it down and set it to the side with the date that it’s ending. And before I hit that buy button, I ask, why do I need this? Why do I need to start it right now? Why is this going to benefit me? How is this gonna benefit my, my clients and my customers and the people that I help? Is this actually something I need right now? Or am I just in the FOMO? Because the marketing is really good and I have been able to save honestly, oh, I hate to say this number, but honestly I’ve probably saved myself over $10,000. Wow. Minimum

Nicole (06:30):
With one exercise. That’s amazing

Misty (06:32):
With one exercise, well, two exercises and scroll syndrome and your focus information. So yeah, it’s, it has been absolutely amazing. My, my expenses have gone down at the same time as my income has. The, the profit portion has definitely doubled. Like I said, every year, since I’ve, I’ve met you guys, which was in what, 2000, I was 19 when we were with Christina,

Nicole (07:01):
Like yep. Yep. We met in person. I spoke at Christina scalier had an in-person event and it was, it was in Florida, but not Disney related. I was

Misty (07:12):
So sad.

Nicole (07:13):
I was there on a family vacation and she had asked, Hey, can you stop by after your family vacation and teach your genius of getting focused to everyone and did and met Misty. And it really went from there. And I just wanna say like, those are amazing exercises. Do you feel like this is top of mind because every month we ask everyone to complete an accountability report, we just kind of did that in the last week or so. And Misty’s always Misty, I think has the goal of filling out the accountability report before I ask for the update. So I

Misty (07:48):
Do

Nicole (07:50):
So, so that accountability, like, is that another piece of, you know, you said I went back and looked at my numbers and I think there’s a lot of people out there who either are afraid of their numbers or don’t even track them to begin with. And so being part of the party, it’s just part of the monthly ecosystem of go back, look at things like, how has that been helpful?

Misty (08:09):
Oh my gosh. To be very blunt, I don’t want to disappoint you guys. I honestly feel like if I disappoint you guys, then I’m probably gonna end up disappointing myself and my customers. And it’s not so much that I fear the rejection. Well, I kind of do, but I, it, it’s more of I’ve said that I’m gonna do something now I have to keep that promise. And because I said it out loud to someone else that I really care about, I, and I now have to have to have to do it. It’s like top priority. And if I get that squirrel brain and start looking at something else and move on because I have that tendency to go, oh, I like that. Let me do it right now. I have to do it right now. You know, it doesn’t allow me to come back to that project that I was supposed to be working on that will move my business forward and having those accountabilities every single month where you ask all these questions that I wouldn’t even have thought to ask myself that are extremely helpful.

Misty (09:11):
And I don’t have the answer every month for all of the questions. Sometimes it’s just, everything’s stable. We’re good. We’re just surviving. It definitely has made life more breathable. It has given me a lot more peace and just really, it has helped me stay on track. Like right now you guys are I’m working on revamping my website to make it more clear for people who have never met or spoken with me before. Because I actually created the website when like people would, I created the website when people would talk to me first and I’d find out about them and they, I go to this, you need this piece right here. That’s, I’ve grown past that. Now I’ve getting people that are coming in, who have never talked to me before going straight to my website from other people, telling them to go to the website. So you guys are helping me with that. And if I veer off from that, because something else super shiny in and in my brain wants to do this other thing, I won’t come back and finish that, which means I won’t be able to help the people that I really wanna help.

Nicole (10:26):
The people that are coming in that don’t know much about you. I, and this is a classic case where the products came before the business almost. Absolutely. I think many of us stumble into that. I know I did. I’ve had my business for, I dunno, six or seven years now and my first jobs were Hey, yeah, I’ll write that for you. Or yeah, I can figure that out. And to the point where it is today, like I have the skills that I have today, even in the corporate world, but I didn’t know that there was like a need or a want or an industry for it here. And so you kind of have been flow. And so for you, it was maybe someone discovered that you knew about product safety and then another person discovered from the word of mouth. And so it was just about here. Here’s how I can help you. And now it’s turned into, you’re known for that. Your business name is known for that and you need to be able to help everyone. And so the nice thing with this is, yes, we have the accountability report it’s in the party, but we also have a coaching call with ya and a coaching call with me and working sessions where you can just like stop for an hour and work and so on

Misty (11:27):
Your

Nicole (11:27):
Business. Right. And so if Misty said in her February report or her March report, I am going to do this. We use that as the guiding document of like, okay, so, so you said you were going to be working on this. How is that going? What roadblocks are you facing? And then we talk through that and try to come up with like how we can move past that. And so if she said it at the beginning of the month, we’re keeping her accountable throughout the entire month. So like she said, she can come to that meeting knowing like, Hey, I saw this really cool thing and I’m really considering it. And I did my why’s or my house or what’s, and it still seems like it’s a good idea, but I know that I’m supposed to be working on this. Like, what do you think? And so we can talk about, well, if you go toward that, what’s gonna suffer. What’s gonna pull back. And what, where, where is the biggest struggle in your business right now? And like you said, you have people coming in who don’t know who you are and they need that instant. I understand who you are and what you have and how I can work with you in 23 seconds before I scroll past. So I think that that’s a great point of everything that we have.

Yasmine (12:30):
Awesome. So we talked a little bit about the party and how that really changed Misty’s business. And every time I just hear the, you know, leaps that she’s made over the past couple years, my heart just, I don’t know, it gets fuzzy and warm and it just makes me so happy, cuz this is what we wanna see. We wanna see progress. We wanna see growth in everyone who joins us.

Nicole (12:51):
And I’ll just add that. That’s because we’re have a uniquely you business. You know who many people are, you knew who your people were. You made your products. Now, you know who the people who are coming are, and you’re adjusting for them. This isn’t anything. We are not sitting here saying, Misty, you need to do this. We talk to Misty and we know her business and we understand her audience and we get a feel for what struggles are happening. And we kind of guide to the decision making and the accountability. And so I think that’s the other important point. It’s not about follow this and your growth like this growth is because Misty had this growth potential, and we are just helping her on that path. And being a sounding board, being a sounding board is very important. You don’t always have that when you’re an entrepreneur who’s working alone at home. May do you have your spouse or a best friend? And you try to talk to them about, I’m thinking about doing this. And they just don’t understand because they’re not in that world. And so this is what that is.

Misty (13:44):
That is very true. My husband’s always, yeah. And I do it to him too. You know, he’s got his thing. I got my thing. This is, this is literally my passion. So I get, I get off on tangents sometimes and he is, he just nods and he supports me as best as he knows how. And it’s, it’s wonderful, but yes, like having you two ya and Nicole like it, there, there are really are no words. You guys really are my favorite God parent. It’s like, this is, this is the thing that I needed. I’ve been through other coaches. It’s been the same, follow this, do this, make sure you’re, you’ve got this, you know, type of a checklist. Whereas you guys have given me the tools to make things clearer in the way that I work in the way that seems like I can use it for almost any business that I ever wanted to create.

Misty (14:45):
And I do think about it in terms of like, my husband wants to start his own thing wi instead of, of working for someone else. And I like, my brain just starts going and clicking and going, oh yeah, Jasmine and Nicole shared this with me. I think this would help him here. And so like, I’ve got all these ideas for him for when he’s ready and you know, it’s, it’s fantastic to have you guys as that sounding board. Cause like I said earlier, I will jump to something else pretty darn quickly. And now I have like a full parking lot of things that I know I can get back to later.

Nicole (15:19):
That’s amazing. That’s awesome. My husband also wanders into my office sometimes and he is like, do you have a tool for this? And he, he is gonna be at the more opposite career path than I am so

Yasmine (15:31):
Awesome. So Misty, we talked a little bit about how we know each other and how we work together. Let’s dig into a little bit about your business. So Disney, you know, we can say it’s for children, but as Disney adults here, we know it’s for us too. Okay. Don’t come at us. But they create pros for children and they’ve basically spawned this like Disney, small shop industry. There are so many craters and makers who are also making Disney themed items or Disney inspired items. And a lot of them are targeted at children. Like I know that there’s this one dress maker that I have literally bought. I don’t wanna say how many dresses, but like be 30 for my daughter. And one of the things that I noticed on her, like labels and stuff is like for the sleepwear, there’s very specific standards that she sticks to.

Yasmine (16:22):
If it’s like loose it’s non-flammable, if it’s fitted it’s cotton and there’s little things like that, that as a mother buying for my daughter, like that’s super important to me cuz I wanna make sure anything that I have aware is safe and comfortable and I’m sure a lot of your clients are coming to you trying to figure out like where to start. So can you maybe dig a little bit more into the process of, you know, if someone is creating, let’s say clothing for children or because yeah, we buy a lot of like Disney clothes for our kids. What are the steps that they need to take Misty?

Nicole (16:56):
What’s the first step. Yeah. First

Yasmine (16:58):
Step. Yeah.

Misty (16:59):
So before I jump into that part, I do wanna say that what I have available also helps consumers know what the heck to even look for. Very cool. So you’re not a seller and you’re just a consumer of amazing Disney E products and doesn’t have to be Disney license necessarily just Disney in general. I can help you find just what you need to know to make sure you’re looking at the right things. And honestly, it’s just tags to, to make sure things are going well. But so as a seller of products, you wanna make sure at the bare minimum that if it’s for children, you know, about anything regarding lead content and you have your proper labeling and the labeling is super important because it’s actually that point of contact between you and the actual consumer, the one that’s actually using the product. So I know there’s a lot of aunties out there.

Misty (17:56):
There’s a lot of grandparents out there, a lot of adopted grandparents and aunties who love to purchase for children and give us gifts. And so we can, can’t face everything off of the shopper necessarily. We have to focus on who that actual user is and that tag helps make that connection, not just with the branding, cuz that is very important, but also with the information that you’re giving them. So on that label, you should be seeing your name. You should be seeing the fiber content either on a permanent tag or a, a removable tag. You should be seeing things like where it’s made from so that consumers can make the right decision on their own morals. So, you know, we still have people who they don’t care where they, where things are made. We have people who still care you much about where things are made and wanna make sure that they’re in that sphere of what they’re comfortable with.

Misty (18:58):
The fiber contents are important for sensitivities and allergens or even just moral moral thoughts, you know? And then we have what it’s called a date of manufacturer in a batch code and I’ve been doing this enough. I’ve been doing this for since 2010 that I know what the weird numbers and codes are on. Like a lot of products. I can usually pick out where the date is, what the code actually for sometimes like what the letters and numbers mean. And it’s, it’s very geeky that I can do this, but you’ll start to see that too. You’ll go, okay. I know what to do. If there’s an issue I can contact this person that’s labeled right there on the tag. I can let them know that I have this. I can send them a photo or I can read off that number for them.

Misty (19:55):
And they can tell me exactly what I need to know about the components in it. They can tell me about the item itself. And if there’s a recall, which is really what these are supposed to be for, you can go to cpsc.gov/recalls and you can see all of the recalls that have ever been done and forced by the CPSC and Canada health. Canada is a collaborative on it. And they’ll give you a photo of the product. They’ll give a description of the product and then they’ll give you codes. They’ll give you the data manufacturer, give you maybe the model number, skew number, just random batch number. They’ll give you that information so that you can look at those tags and go, oh, okay. I know what to do. I know I need to contact this, this company. I know what my remedy is, whether it’s a refund or a fix or what have you, that tag is super important.

Misty (20:52):
And then in the case of sleepwear, it tells you, okay, is this a tight fitting item? If it is awesome, I don’t have to worry about much of anything else just to make sure that it’s actually tight fitting. And then if it’s loose fitting, they should have a statement that says, you know, this is been treated with a flame retardant or this is naturally flame resistance and they’ve had the testing done to make those statements. So you know that, okay, this really truly is the safest for my child. Now I want to also say that compliant with the product safety rules does not necessitate actual safety. So I do go further and give all of my customers, all of my clients, that information to help them improve the actual safety to help reduce that risk on their businesses and the risk on their consumers. Cause we don’t want those sweet little consumers to be harmed.

Nicole (21:51):
And this kind of goes into some of the things that we talk about often on the podcast like that post purchase sequence, like what happens after the product is in their hands. What do you do to give the best experience possible with your product in Misty’s cases? What do you do to make the safest experience possible in using your product? Very important work that I can’t say everyone who just starts an Etsy shop, especially when you start thinking about how people started making masks, you know, and selling them on Etsy. And you know, that isn’t something that crossed your mind. You’re just doing something that, you know, people need and people are willing to buy. I’m gonna put it up there. It’s, it’s not necessarily the first thing our brain go to unless you’re a lawyer or have worked in this world or unfortunately had to deal with a lawsuit or anything else in this realm. So if you have not thought about this in your business, do not, do not get upset, just go to the maker’s resource shop, get all the resources you need. I’m sure that Missy has a resource right on the homepage for, you know, to figure out more about what you know and what you need to know.

Yasmine (22:54):
And one other thing that I’ll add is that I know that a lot of retailers are also requiring those compliance certificates and to make sure that everything is up to par before they’ll list something. So if you are looking to scale and grow your business or get on the like Amazon, for example, if I recall correctly, Missy, that was like a huge thing for you where you had a surge of Amazon sellers, making sure that everything was super compliant.

Misty (23:19):
Yes. So there are some disagreements I should say between Amazon and CPSC right now. And it’s been going on for a few years and it’s under, because Amazon is a worldwide business. They have sellers and buyers worldwide. So it’s very important that they are paying attention to who is selling and what they’re selling. And so what happens is the CPSE will come to them and say, Hey, we need you to do a sweep of this product cuz we’re seeing that it’s being recalled more often. So we need to make sure that, you know, what products are actually safe right now. It’s sleepwear. Sleepwear is at the top of their list right now. So they’re going through all that sleepwear stuff. And P if we’re coming to me and saying, Hey, I got this listing deactivated on Amazon, they’re asking for this information. I don’t know what these letters mean.

Misty (24:13):
Can you help me? And I do. And I want to add that I do actually have a client who has a licensing deal with a special mouse and they do require, you know, full statements, full lab test reports for the very basics, as well as some of the above and beyond things that we don’t normally think about because we focus so much on federal requirements that, and, and what is absolutely necessary. It has been a growing process for me too, to learn all that they require. And then my client expanded into Canada and they don’t have the same exemptions for certain testing as us has. And so Disney requires them to go back and say, okay, we need this additional testing. And we need the lab reports from that testing. And we need this other statement to make sure that everything is going according to plan.

Misty (25:17):
And they check up on every time they add a new product and add a new print to their line. I have to go back and make sure all of the testing is correct. All of the paperwork is correct. They go, and that’s gonna be not just our lovely mouse, Disney, but is also many, many, many large retailers follow that same exact process Amazon’s going, having to follow that process actually Etsy too, is starting to have to look into that cause Amazon’s putting some pressure there on CPSC to make sure Etsy’s doing the same things since there a marketplace. And there was a lawsuit regarding an Amber TV necklace and a child unfortunate circumstance a few years ago. And it’s, it’s coming up again. It’s et sea’s changing their policies. Everyone’s getting that. Actually another email came out yesterday about their update and policy regarding Amber specifically, but a lot of makers are going through this and going, I just got kicked off of Etsy because they’re requiring, or they’re not allowing this. And so I said, you know, Hey, how about you guys go to Etsy, send them your, your lab reports and certificates and see what they can do. And Etsy actually contacted some of them back and said, you know what? We’ll look into it right now. We can’t do it, but we’ll look into it and see what we can do so we can make change in the hand, make community to make things safer for our consumers, safer for us and allow ourselves to be able to sell literally anywhere we want to grow into.

Nicole (27:02):
If you’re a Disney, small shop and you are looking at expansion into, I don’t know, places like target or licensing deals with the mouse himself, these are things you should be paying attention, attention to because they’re gonna go above and beyond the federal requirements because safety is so integral to their brand and, and they don’t want any risks whatsoever. So if that is a goal for you, whether that’s a goal for this year or for five years from now, look into these things, they’re important. And if you already have them done, it makes it that much easier for the yes to happen.

Misty (27:39):
Absolutely. I have a lot of people who have come to me going, oh my gosh, Misty, I’ve been doing this for so long. What do I do? Where do I start? How do I go back and fix everything? And I’m able, I love that. I’m able to reassure them that it’ll be okay. It, we can pick up where we left off because most of your products, they’re not that dangerous. They don’t have an inherent, immediate safety risk. So it’s literally the bureaucracy, but it’s good to make sure that we have that to make sure we’re covering all of those bases, doting, those eyes, crossing, those Ts, you know, so forth. And so I just, I that’s the first step I do is I make sure that they’re reassured the first step when they drop on that. Well website, the maker’s resource shop.com is I have a link for about, and it will, it jumps into what exactly is compliance.

Misty (28:33):
Like what the heck does it mean? And then I also have a button for I’m new here. What do I do? Where do I start? And so you can, it’s kind of a choose your own journey of sorts, where you can find out what safety compliance actually means, what it is, what it means to you. And then jump into if you’re a reader, I have digital books. If you’re someone that needs to watch the process up close, I have modules that are video based and then I have testing services as well because I have a collaboration with a an ISO accredited CPSC accepted lab here in the us and all that. All those letters mean that they are one of the top accepted labs. So wherever you go, whoever you’re doing a licensing deal with, if you get to that, that that stage, you’re ready for them. It’s so much easier to start from the beginning than trying to meet their needs after the fact.

Nicole (29:34):
Well, thank you so much Misty for joining us. This has been so enlightening, so much information that our audiences really need. So whether they aspire to have Disney, licensed gear or just, you know, sell a couple things on the side, there are resources. They need to check out if they don’t have a business and they’re a consumer, it’s still helpful to be an informed parent, especially when you’re buying things for your child. So take a look at Misty’s work. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate all of your time. We love having you in the party. We love seeing you grow and just really focusing in on what’s my next right step and stepping into that every single month. And we know 20, 22 is gonna be awesome for you. So maybe we’ll do this again next year and hear about another doubling. Thank you so much. Thanks everyone. We’ll see you real soon.

Yasmine (30:24):
Bye.

Nicole (30:29):
All right. You’ve probably heard that you can create more impact by doing less, but how exactly do you do that? We’ll let you know. We have a masterclass coming up on March 24th, and we want you to us for it. We’ll help you stop spinning your wheels and find some focus so you can decide on your next right move.

Yasmine (30:50):
So if you wanna join us live, sign up at pixiedustandprofits.com/masterclass.

Nicole (30:56):
Can’t wait to see you there.

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 58: Do the Pre-Work (Transcript)

Feb 15, 2022

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 (00:26):
Hey Nicole, I have what might be an unpopular opinion here. So I wanna say that if you’re an annual passholder, this might not apply, but I truly truly believe that you cannot have a good time at Disney. If you don’t plan your trip before you go, and I’m not talking about your hotel room, I’m not talking about like your flights and all of those, like mandatory to physically get to Disney. But like, if you show up to Disney with your family thinking you’re gonna have an incredible vacation and you haven’t done all of what frankly is pre-work before your trip, it’s probably not gonna be the magical experience that you’re hoping for. What do you Think, Nicole?

Nicole (01:05):
It’s certainly not going to be easy or breezy. like, it’s not going to be easy and breezy. You know, there’s a lot of things about Disney. We’ve talked in so many episodes about having to have your food reservations well beforehand, but even if you’re not doing reservations for your dining, which Yasin and I don’t always do because we visit enough that we don’t need to. We know that there’s a mobile order system in which restaurants allow for mobile ordering and what time you should order your food to get it at the 12 o’clock slot, which is, you know, prime time. And everyone’s trying to get their food at the same, same time. Those are all tips and tricks that we’ve learned going there so much. And if you’re taking your one and only trip you, you don’t know, you don’t have that knowledge. And it’s a lot of work to go discover it all. And so today’s episode is all about doing the pre-work yes. On your Disney trips, but also in the different projects, your business.

Yasmine (02:04):
Yeah. I think like very frequently we have this incredible idea and we’re like, okay, we’re gonna work on it, then we’re gonna launch it. And then people will come. And unless you have like an established audience, sometimes there’s crickets, you know, you, you might even have done some pre-work. You might have start teasing things on social media, but if you don’t map out all of, not just the operational touch points of your project, but the marketing touch points, it’s gonna impact your launch. And similar to showing up to Disney without a plan, it’s not gonna be a magical experience.

Nicole (02:37):
Yeah. So, you know, before we get into like the business stuff, I just wanna like go into, like, how do you go about goal editing for your Disney trips? Yaman

Yasmine (02:46):
Ooh. Okay. So I feel like my answer might be similar to people who don’t go to Disney as often, simply because I’ve just been held back because of the pandemic a little bit. But first of all, I look at like, what’s new, there’s always something new at Disney, whether it’s like a new attraction, a new restaurant, or sometimes just even new and seasonal snack offerings that they have or food offerings at the various places. There’s always something to check out. So right off the bat, I like to figure out what do I want to see? What’s important to me, the second thing, and maybe this should be the first, but who am I going with? If I’m going with someone who is attending for the first time, I’m not going to take them on like a Yasin Disney trip. I’m gonna take them on a first time or Disney, triple requires even more planning cuz you wanna make sure that they are like getting on all of the key rides in each park. They’re going to all the re experiences. And you know, you’re doing like the full Disney trip. If I’m going with you, Nicole, maybe be a little bit more relaxed. You know, we, we know when to roll up to whole bur up to Loha aisle to get her doll whips, which Nicole isn’t, I think as big of a fan of, but she goes along with it just because I’m obsessed and the

Nicole (03:58):
Idea of doll whips, but I just don’t like ice cream. So you can have your doll whip and I’ll get my Mickey shaped pretzel. All good.

Yasmine (04:05):
Yeah. That’s how we, that’s how we do it. So like who I’m going with is another like huge factor. And the third thing is like, just time again, if you’re there for a short period, you might wanna hit up like the key parks. If you are going with someone like match a I’m like that’s a must do, but if I’m going like by myself or like with Nicole, I’m gonna go to Hollywood studios and just go on all of like the amazing new rides, because that’s the experience that I want to have. So there’s different parameters around goal setting. But those are like the three things that I definitely consider when I’m planning my goals. What about you?

Nicole (04:40):
I’d say it’s pretty similar. It does start with who’s coming. So for example, we took a really big family trip in December of 2018. I think it was with people who were probably on their one and only Disney trip. And so we packed magic kingdom, all of the traditional rides and as much fun as we could have into that on the flip, know that when we went for the star wars 10 K, we didn’t wanna buy park tickets. We wanted to do the 10 K and then just kind of relax otherwise. So we did a backstage tour and had a blast. It was so much fun. I would highly recommend doing that whenever it reopens. And as of this recording, I will be in Disney next week for just two days with my family. We’re actually going to, okay, I’m gonna, like, I know this is a Disney podcast, but we’re actually gonna be going to universal for the rest of the week to try that out.

Nicole (05:32):
And I haven’t been to universal in 12 years. So maybe that will be some material when I come back. But you know, since we only have two park days next week, we’ve been talking about this in our house. Like what a rides that we feel like we have to do, or is this more of a, we just wanna get away from home and look at a different four walls. We are in Maine it’s winter. I am ready to be above zero for a few days. So our goals are completely different. It’s maybe we can get to the heated pool and maybe we can see the firework show at upcot and that’s about it. Hollywood studios. I would love to get an, every single ride, but realistically with my kid there, we’re probably going to try and ride to Romania as many times as possible. So we just make the goals about what we’re doing there.

Yasmine (06:16):
Okay. So let’s recap how we plan our Disney trip. We figure out who we’re with. We figure out how much time we have. And again, what are those overarching like, goals that we wanna hit? And I think that applies to your business, right? So every time

Nicole (06:31):
We lost, you’re saying that and I’m like, oh my gosh. Yes. That’s exactly it for Disney trips and your business.

Yasmine (06:37):
Yeah. So, well, again, let let’s recap it and look at this from a business standpoint. So first of all, what are your goals? Do you want to hit a certain revenue goal? Do you wanna hit a certain unit goal? Those are things that are important to you and that’s sort of the first step in determining, okay. Where do you want this to land? The second piece is who you’re with or your case probably who you’re talking to. Who’s your audience? What is their willingness to purchase? What is the maximum sort of amount that they’re willing to pay? How often are they willing to like purchase from you? That could be another consideration. Like if you’re doing like launch after launch, after launch, you might be tapping out your hot audience, you know

Nicole (07:18):
How hot or warm or cold your audience is right now. Like how much value you’ve been giving them in between. Those are all factors to consider. Exactly.

Yasmine (07:26):
And

Nicole (07:27):
Kind of like, have they been to Disney before or do they go weekly?

Yasmine (07:30):
exactly. And you know, if they have gone very frequently, you know you might need to, I either offer them more value or go after a colder audience because they might just be a little bit disced out, so to speak, you know, that can happen, believe it or not. And then the final piece is time. Like how long are you going to be pushing this product, this launch in terms of both marketing period, but also availability. What does that look like? And how much time do you have to in this whole thing? So it’s really important to map out these goals before you can go into it, cuz no matter how excited you get, you need a strategy in order to make something successful. Enthusiasm can work, you know, once, twice, maybe three times to get something off the ground. But if you want it’s stay exactly. I was gonna say, if you want a sustainable business, if you want some, a business that can scale and grow, you’re gonna have to put some planning into it.

Nicole (08:29):
Well, and, and not just from the standpoint of your customers and what they’re willing to buy and how much sales they’re willing to tolerate. It’s also in the, in context of your team. And so I’d say one of the pitfalls, I see entrepreneurs, digital business owners, even eCommerce, if they have a team is they think of these launches and these new products and they, you know, go all in to pursue that without a realistic picture of what it takes to make something happen. So even if you’re just tweaking an already existing product, it’s oh, that’s just an email tweak, but it’s not. There’s a lot of automations that go behind it. There’s rebuilding carts. There’s making sure that your customer service person knows how to answer all the questions that are about to come in. There’s a whole runway that needs to happen when a product is launched.

Nicole (09:22):
Even if it’s an existing product, especially if it’s a new one. And so thinking about things upfront, doing the pre-work so that way you can have a successful, but also I don’t wanna say stress free. I don’t think I’ve ever gone through any stress free launches. There’s always something, but just a little more palatable. You know, something that you can handle with being able to pivot, make, make good decisions when you need to pivot because you are in arrested state because you had enough runway you’ve thought. And ahead enough. So, you know, in the case of Disney planning, if you’ve never been, I’d highly recommend you check out some of the resources from wish upon a planner, and then you can go ahead and get all of the information you need about having a successful Disney trip. Well ahead of the trip. So when you arrive, you are not paralyzed by the sign that says mobile orders. And wait, I thought we just walked up to the front and ordered our food. You can’t do that. And you’re trying to learn in the app on the fly while 10 other families around you are doing the same thing and everyone’s hangry, that’s not the experience you want. So do the pre-work

Yasmine (10:31):
A hundred percent Nicole, what other thing I think we forgot to mention that you sort of touch Japan is the capacity of you and your team when making these decisions. So, you know, a great example of this is I’ve started a new e-commerce project and I have so many ideas for things that I want to launch, but I also have a hundred outstanding orders that I need to ship. And as much as I want to like push out new things and bring in the revenue, it’s just not a good customer experience. If my customers have to have like a longer turnaround time, just cause I’m pushing out so many things. So as much as I’d love to move forward with it. And you know, a lot of you product based shops probably go through the same thing. Sometimes you just wanna catch up on all the outstanding orders that you have. So you can go into a launch stress free and not worrying about, oh gosh, I have to like pack all these other orders before I even get into these ones. So think about the capacity that you have and your team has, if they’re juggling a bunch of different other projects at once, whether execution or planning wise, you don’t wanna throw something else on your shoulders and theirs, because like Nicole said, it’s gonna be stressful and you’re not gonna be in a clear state of mind to make good decisions to pivot. I mean,

Nicole (11:44):
And that just brings it back to what we talked about in, I dunno if it was the last episode or the one before, but with the pillars, right? Goals don’t necessarily have to be, I want to make eggs dollars this year, or I want to sell this many widgets a month. They can be about your systems about your customer experience, like the example that ya gave about outstanding orders that need to be fulfilled before we start selling to new people your product development, your team development, your team dynamics, your growth in general, of all the different channels you have buying more inventory is growth. And then your reach and visibility, all of your marketing. So goals can fall under any of these categories. And if you are interested in joining us to understand more about those categories and find your focus, make sure you join us for our upcoming masterclass. It will help you to decipher all of this with visuals and magic and Yas. And I so definitely join us for that. It’s happening really soon. You can go to pixiedustandprofits.com/masterclass to get there.

Yasmine (12:45):
And just so you know, I saved all of my good Disney puns for that masterclass.

Nicole (12:50):
she’s really good at the Disney puns. If you to Disney pun in one of our emails, that’s Yasmine all right. Well, this was a short and sweet episode. We hope it got you thinking about why it’s so important to do the pre-work no matter what projects you’re looking at, no matter what goals you’re looking at, make sure you join us for that upcoming master class. And one thing I just realized we forgot to talk about was best practices with the pre-work and launching and making sure that your project is ready to go. We’re gonna talk about that over in our Patreon, which you can find pixiedustandprofits.Com/Patreon. And if you join it’s as little as $5 a month, you can get bonuses like this all the time. Ooh,

Yasmine (13:29):
I can’t wait to talk about that, Nicole. All right. Thank you again for joining us for another episode of Pixie Dust and Profits. If you’re not following us on Instagram, we are @pixiedustandprofits, and we’d love to hear what you think about this episode. Make sure you comment on the post where we share it. Thanks again. And we’ll see you real soon. Bye.

subscribe on

subscribe on

even more pixie dust!

bonus BUSINESs builders

get access

We're magically breaking down big-business strategies for your small business in this pack of 3 mini-workbooks and 2 bonus audio files!