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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.

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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.

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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.

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Episode 57: The Endless EPCOT Construction (Transcript)

Feb 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):
Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. I’m Nicole and I’m Yasmine. And today we’re talking a little bit about the endless construction at Disney World, more specifically at caught. And I don’t think that there’s a better time of year to talk about having too many projects on your plate than the beginning of a new year, where everyone is energized to maybe try something new or create new products, or, you know, do marketing in a different way. And so today we’re going to like wheel that in a little bit and talk about the chaos that can happen when you were in construction mode. So first up, let’s talk a little bit about all of the construction to happen at Disney World. So we went in October with pixie dust live. I visited again in November for a conference, and so the 50th anniversaries and full swing, and because of the closures during COVID, a lot of these projects were slated to be completed before the 50th anniversary started, but that is not reality.

Nicole (01:28):
So there is always construction at Disney world. No matter when you’re going, you’ll see cranes, you’ll see construction trucks flying around, going to all different parts of the whole resort campus. So that could be a new hotel being created, like the Riviera that recently opened. But right now I have never seen the parks in such a state of construction, as I did with Epcot. These last few visits. So magic kingdom has some things going on. The Tron rollercoaster, the train has been closed for years because the Tron coast is being created. But for the most part, you don’t really notice it’s going on because it is on the outskirts of, of the park. It’s, you know, behind space, mountain behind the Tomorrowland Speedway. So, you know, it’s there, but it doesn’t impact your whole visit, complete opposite experience at upcot. You walk in and they have redone the front entrance and it looks beautiful. They moved a couple of the stone statues that were in the front and moved them elsewhere. And I think they’re going to relocate them again, but it looks great when you’re walking into Epcot, but once you pass spaceship earth, you are just, I feel like I’m in a mouse maze, didn’t it feel that way?

Yasmine (02:41):
Yeah. And it honestly feels like they’re is more barricades that are blocking the view than actually like things to look at at Epcot. It’s insane. Everywhere you go. There’s like these big signs stating that something’s coming

Nicole (02:55):
Soon. Yeah. And even while you’re walking through those signs, the buildings you can see, or the buildings that seem like you could maybe walk in the doors, if they were, you know, open and active, those buildings are empty because they’re being repurposed or redesigned. There’s like complete restaurants that don’t exist right now. So it’s really jarring, especially if you enter from the main entrance, FCO has two entrances. The other one is over near the world showcase. And I think it’s just before France. So now that Reta TUI is done, that area is open to be able to walk from. So if you have to go to the park, he soon that might be the entrance you would like to choose. You can typically only get there from resorts. So like Riviera or boardwalk, any of the boardwalk resorts can get there. So you could, you could actually park at Hollywood studios and take a boat over to upcot if you’re so inclined.

Nicole (03:51):
And so that could be a much more fun experience to walk in from that side of things. But some of the projects they’ve going on, they have the guard at the galaxy coaster, they just opened the space two 20 restaurant. They’re overhauling the living with the land and sea area of the park to have like Moana’s journey of water. They’re trying to make this like play pavilion with shops and kind of trying to be like a trade fair. And so these are all little projects thing going on, but they’re all happening at the same time. So the entire front half of the park is under construction. And so we wanna talk about today is when it feels like your business is entirely under construction and how you can maybe avoid some of the customer pain points or the ugliness of seeing scaffolding everywhere you look. So do you feel that way today? Cause if you do we have a resource that can help you? Yeah.

Yasmine (04:50):
Why don’t we talk a little bit about the squirrel syndrome workbook. Nicole, are you tired of throwing spaghetti at the wall or chasing every shiny new trend in the business world? Because you think it’s gonna completely overhaul your business, but ends up going

Nicole (05:09):
If you are, or if you’re trying to be more focused in 2022 as one of your goals this year, and you wanna stop squirrel syndrome from good, then go to pixiedustandprofits.com/squirrel, where we’ll teach you all about how you can get more focus in your business by focusing on six areas that are all completely different and you can focus on them one at a time, we walk you through what they are, how to check in with where you are right now, how to brainstorm the things that you should be working on. And also we hold you accountable to it with a little Hmm. Pledge. So if that sounds good to you go download our squirrel syndrome workbook pixiedustandprofits.com/squirrel.

Yasmine (05:54):
Okay. So I hope you download our squirrel syndrome workbook. It’s full of great resources and information on how to prioritize your projects because shiny object syndrome is no joke. I’ll be honest. Even I fall susceptible to it sometimes, and I really have to take a step back and be like, okay, asthma, slow your role. There’s too much going on. You gotta pick your, because that experience that we had at Disney, not really magical and Epcot, isn’t like the most magical park given that it is kind of geared a little bit more towards adults. Let’s be real. But that Disney magic is why we go back to the parks year after year, sometimes multiple times a year. And when you take that magic away, it kind kind of feels a little sad and you don’t want that for your business. You don’t want that sort of luster and shine that has your customers in love with you and have them coming back over and over again, to feel kind of messy and half finished. And that’s what happens when we, as entrepreneurs try to take on too many projects and launch them all at one, because when you don’t do things in sequence, by prioritizing, what’s gonna have the biggest impact based on what your goal is. At the time you end up trying to do a bunch of things, throw a spaghetti at the wall launch a lot of half finished, or frankly I’m gonna say at half-ass products and your customers can tell, be, cuz it’s not consistent with the experience that they

Nicole (07:21):
Know you for your most loyal customers will forgive you. Like we are forgiving that Disney and EB cup look this way. But even for us, it’s a little much, they can put as many butterflies on those, those walls as they want. So we can take selfies, but , it’s still not for the fact that I cannot see. I cannot get to living with the land from test track without walking an extra, you know, half a mile to get there. So we still notice those things. And I can’t imagine what people like this is their first and maybe only experience. And then they walk in and I three things under construction everywhere. Now mind you, I don’t think that Disney had trouble prioritizing what projects they wanted. I think they went through that process, decided these were the projects we wanted to do. They knew F cot really needed a lot of love.

Nicole (08:11):
It was looking dated for park, especially the front of the park, which is supposed to be futuristic themed. It was looking very dated, needed some updates and obviously a COVID at the park closures, not being able to work safely before vaccinations made them decide, okay, well we’ve gotta change these timelines. So, you know, in this way, the environment changed that they had to do all of these things at the same time that you know, it’s 20, 22 now. And if you are still feeling, you have a lot of construction going on, let’s prioritize, let’s simplify. What are the things you need to work on? What org does that need to happen in? Yeah.

Yasmine (08:47):
And like one of the best things you can do is figure out what phase of business are you in right now, Nicole, you talk about like the six phases quite a bit. Do you wanna recap

Nicole (08:56):
What they are? Yeah, sure. So you have typically like six different realms of projects that you could be working on in your business. So first one is I think the one that everyone thinks of it’s reach and visibility. So this is all of the marketing you do to get in front of people. And so a lot of people spend a lot of effort here and the thing is without all of the other pillars done the reach and visibility phase, you might not actually be ready to be doing that phase because you can bring people in and then what, what are you bringing them into? What is ready for them? And so that’s when we start getting into some of the other phases, we have systems and work or flow. So if you work one to one with people you need to have, how do I send a contract to them?

Nicole (09:41):
How do I get their first retainer? Or what is the onboarding experience? What questionnaires do I need to send to them? This whole process of onboarding someone. So they feel cared for and taken care of. And if you don’t have that process yet, if you’re doing region without doing that part of things, that could be a recipe for a mass, because you could be bringing in more people than you’re capable of handling. And they all have a really jarring onboarding experience. This isn’t just for one to one service providers, it can also be for product sellers, digital products, physical products. If you don’t have systems in place and you suddenly get 2040 orders and in who’s going to the post office, how are you packing them? Do you have enough materials to have them packed properly? Do you have the inventory? If you haven’t been keeping accurate inventory?

Nicole (10:25):
So this is why systems are so important before you get to that scaling phase, which is where reach and visibility is. The next one is customer experience. And this is probably the one we talk about the most on exceed Dustin profits, because you know, Disney world is all about creating a magical experience for their guests and customer experiences. The top of that, right? You want people to walk away, being satisfied, trusting you more and being willing to come back or to share with a friend. So anything you can do to improve that experience is going to be important. It’s so typically you need to have your systems and workflows or your products already made before you get to improving the customer experience. So you might be in the phase of product development or product innovation. So there’s two phases to that. You could be creating something new or you could be innovating something you already have by making it better.

Nicole (11:14):
Maybe, maybe it is improving the customer experience. And then the last two I’d say are really when you, when you have your baselines done, you know, when you have your products, you have your systems and you start your reach and visibility to your marketing. The next phase of your business is thinking about growth. So that’s growth and scaling that could be hiring team members that could be getting ready to order more inventory, you know, having a bigger warehouse, getting all of that stuff sorted. So that way you can be ready for the big influx of orders, especially around things like black Friday and then the last one’s personal development and team development. So personal development could be you investing in your own coaching programs or just investing in being a better leader for team culture. That’s also really important. If you have a team underneath you, even if it’s a team of three, that’s still a team and there are dynamics at play and you need to make sure that you’re leading them to doing the tasks that they’re best at and guiding them along the way of how they can best serve your business.

Nicole (12:15):
So those are the six phases. You can learn more about that in the squirrels, into a workbook we talked about earlier, but thinking about which of those you fit under right now, because they all naturally flow together. You can have a hand in multiple ones, but you don’t want to be in every single one at the same time.

Yasmine (12:34):
Yeah. I think one of the things that Nicole says often is that big major corporations pick one of these a quarter and they have like hundreds of thousands of people on a team executing a project. So why do you as a small business owner who may be working solo or has, you know, a small team or contractors working under, underneath you? Like, why do we put pressure on ourselves to try to do six of these things all at once? So, you know, slow your roll, give yourself a break, pick the one area that’s your core priority and look at the projects that you have on your plate right now that you’re super just about and pick the one that supports that goal and finish it, finish it properly and launch it again. I know we do say like done is better than perfect. We’re not saying that it has to be like, you know, Finese and to the point where like you don’t launch it because you’re worried about it not being perfect.

Yasmine (13:26):
No, that’s not what we’re getting at. But what we are saying is make sure, you know, you’re crossing your eyes and doting your tees before you hit launch, because that’s gonna a better customer experience. It’s going to better support your brand and your image online. And it’s going to help people come back because what you don’t want is someone to invest three or $4,000 on a family trip to Disney, go there, be, you know, a little disappointed at the experience. Cause it wasn’t as magical as they want. And this family that might, might have, you know, budgeted to come back in a couple years besides Disney’s not worth it. It never comes back. So really think about that before you do a million things and it also takes pressure off of you as a business owner. I know that with like TikTok and Instagram, we see what like businesses that seem to blow up like literally all overnight. And we think that’s what small business success looks like. The thing is, is a lot of those businesses have been planning probably for weeks months have been working on their products for ages before that happened. And that’s the combination of their efforts, not the start. I

Nicole (14:33):
Think that’s such a good point because it is so easy to see what other people are, are doing. And even just the simple messages out there I think are so harmful when they say we had this many people sign up for our webinar and we had this dollar amount launch and it said, well, what did you do before that? Where were, where was your business before that? What did you do to set yourself up for that? You don’t just wake up one morning and say, I’m going to do this business. And then that happens, yes. There’s probably like 0.5% that that does happen to, but for the rest of us, like you said, it’s a culmination of, it could be months of having this, it percolating in the back of your mind, formulating it. And we’re not saying it’s not okay to pre-sell new product ideas or anything like that, but go into it with the plan and knowing what you plan to do.

Nicole (15:22):
So for example, pixie dust live was something that we said, you know, I think that we should do this in person. It would be really impactful. And of course we’re pixie dust profits. It needs to be at Disney World. What, what can we do here? And we outlined what it would look like what day one day, two day three would look like. So we knew what the product was before we built the sales page before we built, you know, the intake questionnaire. Because you do have to apply to go to pixie, that’s live the application, things like that. And we reached out to certain people and said, you know, I think your business is in the right space for this. So yes, pre-launching without the entire product already built, but with a plan. So don’t hold yourself back because you’re waiting to have everything perfectly done because you can, when you have the audience and the other offer and the trust built, do things like that. And we were in that phase of product development and innovation right now, we are in the phase of reach and visibility because we have our products built and we don’t really need to worry about them so much. We will constantly improve them, but it’s not going to be major overhaul so we can focus on our reach and visibility.

Yasmine (16:30):
Awesome. Well, thank you again for joining us for another episode of pixie dust and profits. If you are not following us on Instagram, please do we’re @pixiedustandprofits on there. Make sure to comment and let us know what you thought about this episode and what projects you’re working on. We’re super curious. Thanks again. We so appreciate you listening. We so appreciate the support and we’ll see you real soon. Bye

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Episode 56: Take Advantage of Your Existing Technology (Transcript)

Jan 18, 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):
Hello, and welcome to another episode of pixie dust and profits. I’m Yasmine and I’m Nicole and we are two business strategists who love business planning and love Disney. So every week on our podcast, we talk to you about something cool that we learn from Disney and break down how you can apply those same lessons to your small business. So today we’re gonna be talking about something from our most recent Disney experience at pixie dust and profits live. And that is that both Nicole and I went on TUI rise of the resistance, and I’m gonna throw in Mickey and mini’s runaway railway in there. Now Nicole’s been on rise of the assistant and Mickey and minis run away. Really. These three were a brand new experience for me because I had been held back from crossing the border because I’m Canadian. So we finally got to go to Disney and I finally got to reconnect with Nicole in person after like two years.

Yasmine (01:19):
And we went on those rides and what was really, really, really cool is that all three of these rides use Disney’s brand new. Mm. I shouldn’t say brand new cause it’s been around for a while actually, but they use Disney’s newer trackless ride system where they basically use cars and magnets to move you around in all sorts of direct and create this like incredible experience. And when we went to go to RTU, so that was the first time Nicole and I both wrote that, cuz it just opened, we got off the ride and I was like, that was brilliant. That blew my mind. I hadn’t experience anything like that at Disney before. And Nicole was like, I was all right. And I’m like, are you crazy? Did you, did we go on the same ride? Did we experience the same thing? Like with the heat and the feet and everything. And Nicole’s like, well go on rise with the resistance and then tell me what you think. So we did that. We went on rise with the resistance and I’m like, okay, I get it. That is an insane experience and completely different. But what was interesting is like bright two was great. Don’t get me wrong. 10 of 10 would go on it again. Rise of the resistance was like 20 out of 10. And like when we got off we a whole episode

Nicole (02:33):
About that, that I went off about how I was a 20 out of a 10 and you hadn’t even been on it. So I’m glad you agree

Yasmine (02:39):
Whole hardly. And like that was just, I still think, think about that ride and I can’t wait to go back and go on it, but what’s really cool is that Disney actually created that sort of trackless ride system for TUI in Disneyland Paris and brought that ride over to Disney World. So the ride that we went on, even though it was new at the park, it wasn’t new technology or a brand new experience from Disney. But what Disney did was they took sort of the mechanics and what they built for rat and enhanced it for the rise of the resistance experience, which is like a 20 minute long experience. That’s fricking incredible like moment you get in line. You’re like

Nicole (03:19):
You’re in it. Well, I just looked it up and TUI opened a Disneyland Paris in 2014, which wow was seven years ago. And I didn’t even realize it was seven years ago. So when we went on RA TUI, it was a new ride just opened at Epcot and Disney world, not a new ride because it was done seven years ago in Disneyland Paris. So we are on this ride, like Aspen said enjoyable. She was so excited after, I don’t know that I had high hopes for the ride, but I, I definitely had some, oh this screen is really big and it feels like it’s in my face. And you know, the more modern rides the Mickey minis run away and it rides with the resistance, do a much better job with like the perspective while you’re in this motion, the trackless car. And so it was hard when I got off the ride, cause I was like, that’s a new ride.

Nicole (04:08):
I’m supposed to love new rides. So I had all these mixed feelings of like, I liked it, but I would not wait for that. I’d rather spend the three hours waiting for ride the resistance, which I wouldn’t wait, cuz I would get to the really early to not wait three hours. But it was just a very, very clear example in us being operations business people like we went from like the ride being enjoyable as an experience in the movie. And do we like the movie or not? We were talking about it throughout the line to, well, Hey look like this is seven years old and rise of the resistance is, you know, they’ve probably been planning it for a really long time, but opening wise it’s one year old. And so you could very clearly see that they used one of these technologies to create the other and it, they didn’t stop there.

Nicole (04:56):
I mean, if you’ve seen the behind the scenes special on star wars and rise of the resistance and how they created it, they kind of reveal like all the bits and pieces that Disney imagine years have learned over the years with all of the inventions they’ve made and how they used all of those things in, in building rise. But it was rare. It was just one of those things that I knew that they built on old technologies to make new technologies, but you could see it because you’re like, oh, the screen is really big. You are right in front of it. And you’re supposed to be a little mouse. It makes sense in a lot of ways. but when you go on rise, there’s a part where you’re actually in this chamber that is derived from something from tower of terror, you know, the elevator from tower of terror.

Nicole (05:38):
Like, you know, there’s other things in that ride that are influenced by. So what we really wanna talk about today is using things you already have to influence your next decisions, right? Building on things and making them better instead of starting brand new with something that you haven’t done before. If you have a proven audience, a trusted product and you were like, what do I do next? It could be what’s the next best experience using the technology or content or process or system you already have if Jasmine and I never adjusted our strategic frameworks or the way that wet each people to think about their business, when they do their yearly planning every year they wouldn’t evolve. And if they don’t evolve, then are they really good tools? So mm-hmm, look at the things that you’re putting out there. And we actually have a workbook. It’s the squirrel syndrome workbook. It talks about our six pillars in there. It talks about how product development is one of them. So if you are looking at like, what are my goals for 2022, you might wanna take a look at that book so it can help you think about, okay, what focus areas do I want to have before you start thinking about all the projects you could do, product development is one of them. There’s five others you can choose from. You can find that@pixiedustandprofits.com slash core. So use that to inform your 20, 22 goals.

Yasmine (07:01):
Yeah. And like this, isn’t something new that we’re talking about. We’ve brought up the concept of looking at what you have to create something new multiple times before. But the reason why we keep honing in on this is, and you’ll find that when you go through our squirrel syndrome workbook is that I as entrepreneurs, we’re almost like trained to chase something new and shiny and ignore what we have that’s working or that could be improved to work even better. And like, don’t get me wrong. Shiny new is fun. Those things are exciting, but shiny and new take so much more work. And if you are a times strapped entrepreneur, if you are a solo business owner, doing all the things or have a small team, we think you need to use your time wisely to grow your business. And of course you can carve out time for shining in new, but don’t overlook what you have that you can build upon that can improve your business. And it doesn’t

Nicole (07:58):
It’s for all our clients and mean it doesn’t just come to like the products either. So for example, we have a community, the profitable and protective party, and inside someone was recently asking you about if they should change email service providers, if they should move everything from whatever system they were on. I think it was convert kit to flow desk, which is a different email management system. And so they’re evaluating these pros and, and cons. It’s like, well, what’s not working about what you have. How can you improve upon what you already have? Do you need to take on a project where you’re uplifting your entire email system to something else because you think it’s better or because you’re not using what you have to it’s fullest potential. So it’s, it doesn’t mean right or wrong. Always stay with the thing you have. There are instances where we would tell you to move, but it’s not just about the content and the product creation.

Nicole (08:42):
It also comes into play in your operations, in any other part of your business. Mm-Hmm are you using all of the features? Are you using them to their fullest potential? When I think about rise of the resistance, I can’t even imagine what the next level of potential is for this technology that they’ve created. But when I ride read too I know what it is because I’ve been on rise and it’s like, okay, wow. In seven years they developed that and it’s one of those things that I think it, it doesn’t just have to be your content. Another example where they’ve done this at Disney world is with tower of terror at Disney world it’s terror of terror at Disneyland, it’s actually guardians of the galaxy. And when they looked at how terror of terror operates, they couldn’t change the ride inside the building.

Nicole (09:28):
They, they couldn’t change what the ride was or how it functioned, but what they could change was the pull system that pulls the elevator up and down from the free fall. So Disney world, it’s a scary terror ride where you drop in free fall Disneyland. It’s a funny ride with upbeat music to the tuna guardians of the galaxy. And you’re kind of bouncing and hopping around same exact internal mechanics, same exact stuff. You just change the tension rods or what ever it is. I am not a mechanical engineer to make the, the drop sequence different. And now it’s a funny ride. It’s a fun ride. People are laughing. They’re not screaming with terror. Same exact.

Yasmine (10:07):
I have fun on tower of terror. Speak for yourself.

Nicole (10:09):
I love terror terror. I, I don’t know what my favorite ride is at Disney World, but that it’s one of them because I get scared

Yasmine (10:16):
Oh, I just it’s it’s the best.

Nicole (10:18):
Oh, the last time I was on, there were two little kids next to me and I was like, okay, I can’t scream. Like I normally do, cuz I don’t wanna frighten those little kids. That’s sweet. Oh my God. And I ended up getting the one that bounces up and down. If you don’t know, Tara, Tara has different drop sequences. Mm-Hmm so the one I got with the one that kind of bounces a bit and I was sad cuz I really one of that one that just like drops you all 13 stories

Yasmine (10:39):
Yeah. It’s super fun. Yeah. So I lost my train of thought. I was thinking about tower of terror that happens it’s it’s it’s a joyful thrill that’s for sure. All right. So now that we’re back on track, I want you to do one thing and one thing only really there’s gonna be two things, but I’m gonna start off with the most important one. And that is looking at what you have and see where there’s opportunities for improvement. Do you have a product that’s doing well that you can enhance in some way? Or do you have a product that, you know, you put a lot of time and effort into and it’s, it’s not quite there. How can you optimize it to turn it into something that really wows your audience? You know, we’re so quick to give up and like scrap things when the potential is there. So look at it from that lens, what’s the potential of this product and what can you do

Nicole (11:27):
To get it there? It’s also a good reminder to go look at your Instagram insights. What posts are people actually commenting on? Do more of those, what posts are reaching new audiences do of those? I know we’re kind of getting into using metrics to inform your decisions, but it’s along the same lines of amplify. The things that are working, bring new technology to those things that you have that are doing great on their own.

Yasmine (11:53):
Awesome. And I’m gonna go into the second thing that I want you to do and that’s to follow us on Instagram. We are @pixiedustandprofits and we would love to know what are you gonna look at in your business and prove upon you can just send us a DM. We’d love to chat with you about that kind of thing.

Nicole (12:10):
If you didn’t already. I mentioned it earlier in this episode to go download our pixiedustandprofits.com/Squirrel. That’s our kick squirrel syndrome to the curb workbook that has all those different pillars and places that you can work on in your business in 2022.

Yasmine (12:26):
Thanks so much for joining us again and we’ll see you real soon.

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Episode 55: Making Your Offers Fool-Proof (Transcript)

Jan 4, 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 these big scale concepts to your own business.

Nicole (00:26):
Hey everyone, happy new year and welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. Today, we’re talking a little bit about the steep learning curve that it is to go on a Disney vacation. So we recently had on our pixie dust and profits live event where we hosted six women and masterminded with them while we were waiting in line for rides and just had an overall really good time when we talked about our business, but also had a little bit of pixie dust on the personal side too. So one thing about that is that we have a whole variety of women on this trip. We had a couple women who had ever been to Disney world before, and we had women who had annual passes to Disney world. So we had every type of Disney fan with us and it really made for a unique experience because we wanted them to have a really awesome time.

Nicole (01:14):
So my personal highlight is that we went to Hollywood studios and we got on rise of the resistance, millennium, Falcon toy story, mania, slinky, dog, tower of tower rock and roller coaster. We, we did almost every headliner and I think we still ended up back at our room by two 30 in the afternoon. It was in all of my wildest dreams of knowing how to plan a Disney trip. I wouldn’t have anticipated that. We actually nailed what we really wanted to do. So a lot of that has to do with ya. So I’m just gonna like send it over to ya because she was the master planner of making sure that we had every time we needed for everything. So ya, can you to share some of the really long hold times and other things that you went through to make this magic happen? Of

Yasmine (02:02):
Course, of course. So that, that’s an interesting thing about a Disney trip. It doesn’t come together magically, and if you use a Disney vacation planner, you gotta appreciate those women and men because they will spend hours on the phone trying to create that magic for you. Like Nicole said and I put on my Disney vacation planner hat for this trip. So it, it part a couple things. One was we ended up gang tickets to boob Ash, which was

Nicole (02:29):
It wasn’t originally planned when we planned this event. It wasn’t something that was happening.

Yasmine (02:34):
No, it was just that Disney announced it. And we realized the dates overlapped with our trip. And it’s an after hours party, which means that there’s limited access. You pay a premium for it, which we talked about in previous episodes, but the park is pretty empty. Like I unfortunately ended up bailing a little bit early cuz I had the worst blisters known to man and just couldn’t walk anymore. But I know Nicole and the rest of the ladies stayed and they pretty much hit up like every ride and some of like the headliner rides twice. Like how many times did you guys go on mine train?

Nicole (03:04):
I think we only went on mine train once because we did have to wait a whole 10 minutes for that, but space. It was just, it took longer to walk from the entrance to space mountain, to the seat that it took to get on because it was just walk on, which is amazing. And we really appreciated that. We went on rides that we had waited for the day before. So after our events pricey, but if you wanna ride rides, it’s a great time to get around.

Yasmine (03:32):
especially if you have like older kids because they do start late and run until midnight. So I think official hours were nine to midnight, but you could get in at seven. But everyone else is still in the park. So that was one of the reasons why we had such a great time with you know, crossing off all of the headliners at magic kingdom. Then the other thing that happened was genie came out and Disney genie plus specific came out. So we knew that this was coming, we knew it was gonna happen the fall. And it just so happened to start on the very first day that we were there. So Nicole and I flew in a day early. And if you’re planning some sort of like Disney event or even just going, like give yourself some time to settle before you really start day because Disney trips are intense and being able to sort of ease into things was super helpful for us. So we got there the day before and we got to like test it out and, you know, came across some little glitches because they had just launched it. We had actually like gotten, oh, sorry, what was it? Not lightning past virtual queue. I,

Nicole (04:40):
I think there was a virtual pass for rat.

Yasmine (04:42):
Yeah. Yeah. So we got a free like virtual pass for rati. I was gonna try to buy the lightning password, but then I realized, oh, Hey, it’s like the virtual pass just released at the same time. So I got that for Nicole and I, and it somehow disappeared from our, my Disney experience app. Thankfully the cat members got assorted, they have access to everything. It got deleted somehow. So the next day before everyone came to join us, Nicole and I went to animal kingdom for just the morning. We were only there for a few hours, but it really let us try out the lightning lane feature, which is Disney’s paid fast pass edition. It applies to two rides in each park and at animal kingdom, avatar was one of them and we thought it was worth paying the $15 or so to you know, jump in front of the line and get access. So Nicole thankfully got us the passes because my Disney experience app was just like not working the entire,

Nicole (05:38):
Your phone just didn’t

Yasmine (05:40):
Yeah, I could upgrade anything. Yeah. I couldn’t upgrade to anything. So Nicole ended up taking over that piece, but we were able to, you know, cross off a few of our favorite rides in animal kingdom pretty quickly. And then when it came to the ladies who joined us on the retreat arriving, we were able to basically secure the key rides that we wanted to every day. So for magic kingdom, we decided not to invest in lightning lane. We just got genie plus because we knew we were gonna come back for Boash and we would get access to all of those rides anyway. But for a Hollywood studios, we ended up getting lightning passes for both rise of the resistance and Mickey and mini’s runaway railway and so worth it. We didn’t have to wait super long in line. It allowed us to

Nicole (06:31):
It made us plan to the rest of our day, right? Because so in testing everything earlier, we discovered you have to sign up for it at midnight mm-hmm and at 7:00 AM, you need to do the purchase thing. So there was a whole strategy to this, right? We were standing in the kitchen making tea or something at 7:00 AM. I said, okay, I have to buy rise of the resistance first for everybody and then buy Mickey and minis because one of these is gonna go before the other. And so the nice thing about it was that we had a time slot. Once we had a time slot for those two rides, we knew what path we needed to run to get to the other rides. Now Yamen and I have a lot of experience with Disney world. And I have been very often in the last few years. I know while the border was closed, Yasin couldn’t come quite as often to see some of the new Hollywood studio stuff, but we keep up to date on it. We’re reading articles all the time. We’re messaging each other saying, Hey, did you hear about this? And into this trip, we were like, okay, we have a group of eight. So how do we make sure we get on everything we wanna get on with a large party where, you know, people have different walking speeds, we, which is important at Disney world to know ,

Yasmine (07:41):
I’m a slow Walker. Nicole’s fast,

Nicole (07:43):
I’m a super fast Walker. And I tried really, really hard to stay behind. And I’m sorry if I stepped on anyone’s feet doing that.

Yasmine (07:50):
No, no, not at all. I had terrible blisters though. So that added to my slowness

Yasmine (07:56):
Be careful shoes. Yeah, go ahead.

Nicole (07:58):
Sorry. The thing is we know all of those things going in because we have a learned history of it, right? Mm-Hmm we have experience with Disney world. We knew going in that we were going to have to have a park strategy side note. If you do not know these things and do not wanna spend hours and hours at rating websites and blogs and all of that, go see wish upon a planner.com. They have everything that you need to learn all of these things. So that plug aside, basically what we’re getting at here is that the learning curve from someone who has not been to Disney, I’d say in the last four years, because I mean, in the last two years, a lot has changed. And someone who doesn’t even know about the fast pass system that used exist is going to have a really different experience at the parks than someone who does have that research done.

Nicole (08:47):
Because if you don’t know you’re gonna come into the park and you’re going to act like it’s like six flags or Cedar point or something like that, where you walk in, you’re like, okay, which rollercoaster are we going on first? And then you kind of just decide based on the one that’s tallest in your area or your field of view or what you’re closest to you can’t do that at Disney world, the very popular rides, the low capacity rides, they fill up really fast. There’s a whole strategy around getting to the, a park before it opens. And we’re not talking about like 10 minutes before it opens. I went to magic kingdom alone a few weeks ago. And the posted opening time was nine o’clock, but eight 30 was the time if you’re staying at the resort. So I got there at 7 45. I was in the first like five rides of the mine train because I had got on there so early. And I was ahead of the whole pack. That is not something that someone who has never been to Disney before is going to know that the park actually starts walking guests through it before the official opening time. So how, you know,

Yasmine (09:47):
That’s the thing, Nicole, like, there’s so much about planning a Disney vacation that you have to actually seek out yourself. Like we had another, I don’t wanna say it was an issue, but something that we discovered, which was a good thing, which was our room reservation. So when we had planned out the trip, obviously like we booked the rooms months and months in advance before we even knew who was coming. So I had everything in my name. I had a, I had a call with someone from member services, from Disney vacation clubs, our service team. And they were like, oh, like you’re on all these retreats or you’re on all these reservations. You know, it’s a good thing that we’re chatting because it, our system will occasionally go through and delete duplicate reservations if you have them for the same time and same date, basically, and the same person on the lead reservations.

Yasmine (10:35):
So they, thankfully at that point we knew who was coming and I was planning on updating the reservations anyway. So I did it at that time, but we could have potentially lost our reservations. And I would’ve had no idea because I was just holding rooms for an upcoming trip. So there’s like so many things that like aren’t published and out there, which can create like a frustrating customer service experience. It doesn’t really does try to onboard you with, I would say the basics, like they start using their language. As soon as you sign up for a vacation, they send you emails and stuff. But if you want to Disney, like we Disney or like most, you know, diehard, Disney fans of Disney, you gotta do a lot of digging on your own.

Nicole (11:14):
We actually ran into that situation with canceled two rooms in the same name issue. We thought we ran into it with the group event I went to in November where room just disappeared and we couldn’t find it. And my client was on one room and they thought maybe she canceled the other one because her name was on two rooms and ended up being fine. But if we hadn’t have had that situation earlier, I wouldn’t have known that I should add my name to it immediately to have a second name on the reservation. And I’m glad I did because they might have canceled. So really what we’re getting at is when you book a Disney vacation, you get your order confirmation email, maybe like, I wanna say, two, three weeks later, you might get something in the mail that kind of walks you through like, oh, here’s all the pretty like Disney pixie dust things.

Nicole (12:04):
But in that guide, it’s more about like, here are things you can do. And it te it tells you about certain rides and it is customized to the ages of people, your group. So it, it does show different things in the book based on who you’re traveling with, but it doesn’t give you this information about parks open a little bit early. Here are the rides you should run to first. It doesn’t give you that. And so the difference in customer experience between someone who’s getting the marketing materials from Disney who say, buy this to upgrade your trip. That’s what a lot of the, an emails come to be versus someone who’s like, Hey, if you really wanna make this vacation magical, you need to think about, you know, make a plan for your favorite rides. Like they don’t need to come out and advertise things that they do for crowd control, like the parks opening earlier or anything, but they could suggest for people who plan their days, right?

Nicole (12:55):
Which part of the park do you wanna go in first, if you’re an adventurer, you might wanna go do these things. And so what we’re really getting at is that you, as a business owner, as a digital business owner, as a service provider, as a product seller, when someone purchases from you the most open email is their order confirmation. In that order confirmation, you should have something that helps them use the thing they just bought. It helps reduce buyers remorse. It helps them get right into using whatever it is. If it’s a product, maybe it’s a, Hey, we know you don’t have this in your hands yet, but you know, here’s a video of how to use it when you do have it in your hand. So just thinking about these things, because the better the experience is the less likely they will be unhappy with their purchase. The more likely they’ll know how to use it when they get it. And the more likely they are to share it with somebody else, like, Hey, this was actually really useful because they know how to use that thing. And you can’t make assumptions about how, how much people know.

Yasmine (13:56):
Yes. And I have great examples of that. So I have one client whose audience tends to like, err on like a little older side. And, you know, when we set up a lot of her programs, I made sure to pick, you know, the most user friendly layouts for things made sure that everything was re really easy to follow yet. Early on, I still got questions about, you know, where to find downloads or where to find certain things. And it made me realize that just because like, I can look at this, someone who grew up with the internet and technology, like I was, I was coding websites and HTML when I was 17, I thought it was so cool. Those days, my back year boys

Nicole (14:36):
For and pages on, oh my gosh,

Yasmine (14:37):
I did end sync I did sync. Yeah. Are you tired of throwing spaghetti at the wall or chasing every shiny new trend in the business world because you think it’s gonna completely overhaul your business, but ends up going

Nicole (14:55):
If you are, or if you’re trying to be more focused in 2022 as one of your goals this year, and you wanna stop squirrel syndrome from good then and go to pixiedustinandprofits.com/squirrel, where we’ll teach you all about how you can get more focused in your business, but focusing on six areas that are all completely different and you can focus on them one at a time, we walk you through what they are, how to check in with where you are right now, how to brainstorm the things that you should be working on. And also we hold you accountable to it with a little Hmm. Pledge . And so if that sounds good to you go download our squirrel syndrome workbook at pixiedustinandprofits.com/squirrel

Yasmine (15:38):
Yeah. So like we had we had like, I have the skillset and it’s really dumb. And frankly, ignorant to me to assume that like everyone else views, you know, the internet the same way that I do. So what we ended doing was creating a little like welcome video. And it’s me like Yasin because I’m the person who you know, is in the inbox, answering all the emails and helping them out, walking them through how to use their program. And we’ve gotten few requests in the inbox. In fact, I think like the last time I got a request was like one, a couple months ago, but people are just able to navigate it. You, cause I just created a two minute, little tutorial video about where they can find everything and those little things help people use a product more. And the more that they use it, a the more satisfied they’re gonna be and B the more likely that they’re gonna purchase more from you. So the things that you can do to help facilitate use of your product with your customer are definitely backend business operation items that you should invest time in.

Nicole (16:39):
Yeah. The difference between someone who arrives at Disney world with a magic band already on their arm, able to get right into their room without having to navigate the app, to figure out how to open the door and the person who’s at the front desk saying, I got a text that my room is pretty, but I don’t know how this works. Mm-Hmm, completely different experiences. Someone who walks into the park and knows to hit that magic band on the turn style mm-hmm versus the one who, you know, has a carded ticket or has to go to the guest experience building to turn in their piece of paper, to convert their tickets into things they can use. Time is experience at Disney. If you are waiting in line for customer service, you are not on a ride. So just thinking about that in terms of your products, your purchase sequence, your welcome sequence, how can you help people use your things easier?

Nicole (17:37):
Can you look at maybe your lead magnets and think reread them? How long ago did you put them up and set them up, reread them, see if they make sense, see if someone can actually put pen to paper and do the thing you’ve explained to them. I can give an example of, I think the best way to do this when you have a really complicated product or a very expensive product is to have a whole sequence of emails that go to them after purchase. So the, and my goal is always in every email you teach one thing, don’t put everything in one email, or it’s a super long chain. Yes. You can do that at the end. After you have explained each individual piece, and you can say, Hey, here’s a recap of all four things we’ve already taught. You just keep this one email.

Nicole (18:20):
So you have them all handy. You can do that, that at the end, but don’t do it at the beginning because you’re gonna completely overwhelm them one thing at a time. The first thing it’s just like, think about it in kindergarten when you’re teaching kids how to do their papers, right? What’s the first thing. Write your name at the top. That’s one email. The next one is, oh, you need to draw a picture that you want to just share in your story. We’re just drawing the picture. We’re not writing the words. That’s the second email. Draw your picture. 30 email. Okay. Let’s think about what we wanna write. Fourth email, write it. Fifth, email typo, edit it. You know, so think about breaking things down in that kindergarten level. And it’s not because your audience is just doesn’t understand or they’re stupid or anything like that.

Nicole (19:07):
They’re encountering a new product. They’re in a different brain space. They just spent money. There’s different parts of our brains working when we’re in these transaction modes. So talk to them one thing at a time, teach someone one thing. Don’t try to throw everything at them at once. And you’ll see like Yasmine said, the customers inboxing for you start going down. We actually get emails saying, wow, I thought I was just buying this. And you guys taught me so much more. Your onboarding experience is amazing. I’ve recommended you to my friend because now they know how to do, like, I know how to do this. I can help them with it. And I know that I don’t even have to because you’ve already done the work for me. So those things matter. They’re not things that are sexy. They are not Instagram posts. They’re not, you know, another sale coming in. People don’t buy something. And then sometimes they do go buy something else immediately after if you have like a coupon code in your order confirmation. But you know, those things matter. They build brand loyalty. They build confidence. You want someone feel confident after they buy your product from you, right? Because that confidence, they feel internally translates into how they feel about your product. So this is a no-brainer to us. Make sure that you walk your people through the experience of using your service or your product. Well,

Yasmine (20:27):
We hope you learn from our sort of crazy experience with planning a Disney vacation and about what you can do with your business to really ease the onboarding experience for your customer and really create a positive impact. So they keep coming back. If you don’t follow us on Instagram, we’re @pixiedustandprofits and send us a DM and let us know what you thought about today’s episode. We’d love to hear your feedback, and we’d just love to know what you are doing in your business to improve your onboarding experience.

Nicole (20:59):
And if you want even more insightful tips, or even maybe an outline of what your onboard experience should be like, you should join us on Patreon. You can join us for as little as $5 a month and you get some stickers that are really, really cool. So like that is pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon we’ll link to it on our website. So you should be able to get there. No problem. Thanks so much for joining us and we’ll see you real soon.

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Episode 54: Disney+ & Expanding Your Revenue Potential (Transcript)

Dec 21, 2021

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 these big-scale concepts to your own business. And I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:28):
And today we are here to talk to you about how Disney plus leverage home viewings to distribute their theatrical releases and what you can learn from it. So this topic comes up because as of our recording day Scarlett Johannson has actually settled the lawsuit that she had with Disney back in July. If you’re not familiar, let me fill you in on the T so to speak. So Scarlett Johannson sued Disney because Black Widow didn’t actually stay in theaters. As long as I think they initially planned it to pre-pandemic when they shot everything. And as a result, her royalties that would have come from the theatrical release were reduced. So she sued Disney because basically, you know, she didn’t make like the revenue that she was expecting because they distributed it through Disney plus. And she said that that cannibalize, what you could have made from the theater now Disney shot back and essentially said, you know, that’s really uncool because we had to do this to distribute the film because of the pandemic and it wasn’t safe for people to go into theater.

Yasmine (01:30):
So the fact that she’s not taking this into consideration is really sad, which, you know, she came back and said, or her people came back and said like, you know, you’re, you’re twisting this. It’s not about the pandemic, but it’s about you not sticking to the deal. Well, it turns out that they came to a settlement and everything is hunky Dory. She’s still gonna be Black Widow. She’s still going to be working with Disney on upcoming features. And we don’t know what the terms of the settlement are. And we’re not here to speculate about that right now. But what we do want to talk about is how Disney essentially, you know, had all of these movies that were coming up in theaters and the pandemic happened and you know, you couldn’t actually go out and see these movies. They tried postponing them. But when it turned out that, you know, coronavirus was kind of like here to stay back in like 20, 20, 20, 21, they really needed to change something up because their parks were closed.

Yasmine (02:24):
They weren’t bringing in revenue there. Now their fear division and or their movie division is like bringing in like basically $0 from all these blockbusters that were due to come out and they needed to pivot. So they did that with Milan. And we actually talked about this a while back about how, you know, Disney had really great success with offering Mulan on Disney plus as a home premiere. And it, for those of you who don’t have Disney plus, and who’ve not invested in the home premiere, basically you pay Nicole, let me know how much it is in the states, but in Canada it’s like 30 bucks and you get to, Yeah. So it’s about the same. And so you get to watch the movie in the comfort of your own home, which has some benefits. Nicole, why don’t we talk about some of the benefits that came from?

Nicole (03:10):
Yeah. I mean, there’s so many angles to this, between the lawsuit, the pandemic, the whole existence of Disney plus, I mean, come on. I mean, Disney was working on this for years, obviously because they were acquiring things like star wars and Marvel and Nat geo, and they were kind of leading up to this Disney plus, you know, streaming software and how fortuitous of them to have launched it two, three months before the pandemic. So they even had this option. So there’s just so many different facets. We can take this from. So, you know, the lawsuit, she lost revenue because her agreement, it sounds like from what we can get from reports is that she had, you know, a set fee that they paid and then she would get royalties off of the box office numbers in theaters. And because of the way contracts were written, it didn’t include box office releases as the Disney plus release.

Nicole (04:08):
So everyone’s spending $30 to watch Black Widow through Disney plus didn’t necessarily get in her hands. And, you know, there are definitely people who were concerned about the pandemic, or maybe we didn’t have vaccines yet. I don’t know quite the timeframe of when Black Widow came out. I think it was just after people were starting to get vaccinated, at least in the US and state chose to stay home, instead of going to the movies to see this. And she didn’t get a cut that she might’ve gotten have they gone. So that’s, you know, one argument, but on the other side of the table, as someone who doesn’t go to the movies very often, even before COVID because it’s $20 a person and you’ve got to eat a meal beforehand. And if it’s something like Marvel that you can’t bring your kids to, you have to hire a babysitter.

Nicole (04:52):
And it just turns out to be so expensive that I don’t watch the movies until they come out in some other fashion to be able to be rented from Redbox or anything like that. And so there’s revenue coming in from people who wouldn’t have gone to the movies too. So there’s all sorts of ways to look at this. And I think what’s important from a business perspective is making sure your contracts have some wiggle room for how things need to be applied later, but also to not be afraid that if you do break your contract, that that means it’s the end of the world. Clearly they’ve come to a settlement together. They’ve recognized that there were issues on both sides of the table with this, and it’s amicable enough that they’re going to continue working together. I mean, they even mentioned a project for the haunted mansion movie. So they’re, don’t be afraid of contracts. Don’t be afraid of having to change your contracts. They exist. So terms are clear and then there’s mediation when something has to happen. So I think there’s some something to be learned about, like taking a few risks to outside of the comfort zone,

Yasmine (05:59):
For sure. And then the other angle that we want to talk about is you know, a lot of us had to pivot in our businesses. Over the past two years, I can speak to like our experience with pixie dust and profits. I mean, we had our first live scheduled in August actually, no, we had it scheduled in February, but we had to postpone it. And like, frankly it’s because I was a dumb person and thought that, you know, three months after having a baby, I’d be okay to travel and isolate needed to recover from my C-section and everything that went on. So we ended up postponing it to August and that was right smack dab in the middle of the pandemic. And we just, in March, we called them, we didn’t feel safe. We were concerned and sure enough, Disney ended up closing and by August they would have opened up, but it wouldn’t have been the experience. So you want to deliver nor do we necessarily feel comfortable, you know, making everyone come out in the middle of a pandemic, to a house where we all would’ve stayed together

Nicole (06:58):
At that point, vaccines were not even like that. It wasn’t on the horizon. No one knew how long anything would take. I mean, hindsight, maybe I would’ve gone. And if we had masks and we knew how to handle it, but there’s definitely a certain level of comfort that came with hosting an event like this after vaccination happened. And so you have that first, that first pixie dust live, we had to immediately pivot and figure out a new way of,

Yasmine (07:26):
Yeah. And not only did it end up resulting in a different product and a new product, it changed how we ended up doing future pixie dust and profit lives, including the one that’s happening in October will have happened by the time you hear this. So first thing we did was we took the curriculum online. The first retreat was really focused on walking you through a set curriculum that Nicole and I designed, it’s the exact same one that we go through with, you know, our six and seven figure clients. When we have these like focus VIP sessions with them. And it’s really intended to help you work through the current, you know, blocks in your business, get focused and then come up with a plan to actually action, the things that you want to achieve upon. Right? So we delivered that online and ended up being a four week experience instead of like, you know, a three or four day experience.

Yasmine (08:16):
And when it came to actually doing the next VC that’s in profits live, you know, we realized that that was a lot of material to go through short period of time. And you know, it works well maybe when there’s like two of us and one person over a weekend, and we have a ton of follow-up afterwards because part of our existing relationship with our clients. But when, you know, you’re there for like a three or four day period, you’re going to want some support afterwards. So we actually turn that content into a program and pixels and profits live is now focused on community connection and masterminding. So we don’t necessarily follow a set curriculum because in fact, a lot of the ladies attending have already gone through the program. And this way we’re able to really customize what we’re talking about to the challenges are facing in their business right then and there, and work through it together with like Nicole and I, but also as a group. And we get to take advantage of all the fun there is to have the parks and basically have Nicole and IB or tour guides dropping all this Disney knowledge as we walk about magic kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood studios, and animal kingdom. Yeah.

Nicole (09:21):
Yeah. I would say that the first pixie dust lab that we had planned was very curriculum-based and we had it loose. So that way, you know, if it took longer to go over the first few sections, fine, the last sections could be distributed later. But I would say that the pixie dust experience part of that was in the after hours, it wasn’t necessarily incorporated in, it was very much envisioned that we would be together and working together during the day and we’d go have fun at night. And what this has done is it’s brought the program online. And so we can give out pieces of it as needed to these mastermind clients. If they’re in a spot that they need those resources and materials, but the real focus of pixie dust live now has shifted. And it’s the magic is throughout the entire event.

Nicole (10:09):
It’s not just like on the fringes of the event and it’s going to be amazing by the time this ears we’ll have done it. And you’ll probably have a recap episode and you’ll probably have followed along with us on Instagram at pixie Destin profits. But I also want to share a little bit about behind the scenes, just talking about like the contract stuff we talked about earlier. So when we initially sold pixie dust live the pen demic didn’t exist as we knew it when those tickets were sold. And so our terms and conditions stated that we in the event that the event cannot be held to like a similar or related level product would be offered. And so it was already built into the terms and conditions to cover us for a similar level of service. And, you know, three or four days with us with the curriculum we had planned, we did four weeks, lots of coaching.

Nicole (11:00):
We even had one-on-ones with a couple people which weren’t all things that were originally planned, but we really wanted to make sure we brought a magical event to everyone, even though it had to be digital. So we had gifts sent like every other week there was something sent in the mail to everybody because they would’ve gotten gifts in person. And we already had a lot of things ordered at that point. And so, you know, we shifted, even though the contract was in place and something different was the original intent. Everyone was very understanding. And it’s just the lesson that like things can shift and sometimes they have to, and you just get creative and magical.

Yasmine (11:40):
So one other thing that I want to talk about is, as you’re looking at your business and these changes that you made, what’s going to stick around in the future. So I’m gonna pull up an example. That’s very like, [inaudible], I think

Nicole (11:52):
It’s a little related, you’ve got to take an

Yasmine (11:53):
Airplane to get to. Yeah. So back in 2008, when we had the recession, a lot of airlines were underwater because people weren’t traveling as much. And in order to sort of like make back their money, once things picked up, they started like upcharging for everything. And, you know, we’ve actually talked about this in a previous episode, there’s been a bit of nickel and diming at Disney too. So maybe it is a little Disney ish, but essentially what these airports did is like, you know, the extra fees that you pay on some airlines to check your luggage for seat, selection, food, all these things that used to be included in the cost of your fare. Well, it’s all that they are still struggling for profits. When they’re charging you, she stopped people got used to paying for them. So they’re like, well, okay, let’s just continue charging.

Yasmine (12:37):
So, you know, they’re in a position where they needed the money back then and people just stopped objecting and complaining, so they never stopped charging for it. So we don’t necessarily want to be like airlines and like take advantage of our customers. But as you pivot, if you see like the value in an adopted service offering or product, because of the changes you have to make during the pandemic, like taking something virtual you know, even maybe changing up like how you produce your product, because you had issue with sourcing like your goods, because of all the shipping delays and stuff that were happening all over the world, or like closures of factories, w let’s focus on the good that sort of came with it and how we were able to repackage that value to our customers and see how we can implement it in our businesses on an ongoing basis to provide an alternate offer.

Yasmine (13:26):
So example, Disney’s going to continue doing home premiers. Like it’s a no brainer for them. It serves an audience and a market that they probably wouldn’t have reached with theatrical releases in the like historically. And, you know, like Nicole said, parents, for example, being able to like watch it at home and not have to stress about babysitters, my kid crying, or having to go to the stars and strollers showing in the middle of the day where I have to like block off time for work, because that’s the only sort of like social acceptable time to take your baby to a theater because all the kids are crying there. It’s exclusively for parents and small kids. Like that’s a game changer for us. We can just like, watch it at home. And once we have it, we can watch it as many times as we want.

Yasmine (14:06):
And Disney plus, as long as their subscription is still active, but it just, it’s a different offering and they’re tapping into new markets. So what market are you tapping into by bringing your services to a virtual experience or by, you know, changing up how you’re producing things because of having to go through alternate suppliers, let’s investigate that and see what we can stick with moving forward, because, you know, you might be able to bring back like the in-person experience or how you originally delivered your service in the future. Maybe you’re doing it now, but there’s probably going to be an audience for that virtual experience moving forward, because we just got so used to doing everything online.

Nicole (14:45):
I think we can all think of something that we hope doesn’t go away. You know, for me there there’s big things. My child’s getting more outdoor time during the school day that I don’t ever want to see going away. But then there’s also little things like curbside pickup. And not necessarily I don’t use the curbside pickup as much, but I think that just like order ahead for even like mom and pop restaurants and stuff like that, I love it. It also forces me to leave the house to go get my food, but I think it’s really important to keep everything Yasmine set in mind while you’re thinking about the strategies of your product placement of your product development, how you’re going to market these things going forward, because you might, you might keep this in the back of your head while you’re developing products.

Nicole (15:30):
So I’m sure Disney, at some point when things are more back to normal than they already are, they’re probably not going to early release the, you know, rated R or on the borderline titles for the Disney plus early viewing, right? They’re not going to make these choices in a vacuum. They’re going to know in the back of the head hula audiences that ops into the $30 Alexis pass and who the audiences that goes to the movie theater. And so kids titles, I fully anticipate that those are going to be the ones that come out early on Disney plus rather than the theater, right. Families just are a different audience entirely. And maybe they started charging more. I mean, $30 is the price point where it’s about a family of three, right? That’s how much it’ll cost all three of us to go to a matinee showing of the kids’ movie.

Nicole (16:17):
So it’s kind of a postcard, no popcorn, no snacks sneak it in or whatever you need to do. Personally speaking, I love the at-home option because my child gets really anxious about movies. And if I don’t know the movie going in, I can’t really give him a heads up of what might happen, or we can’t really have those discussions until after the movie because something might happen and we can pause it at home and immediately discuss how he’s feeling or anything like that. And at the movie theater, we just don’t have that option. And I think we’ve probably only seen a handful of movies at the theater with him. And so there’s an audience for it and they are going to keep it in mind for every single title. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a line item now that’s like, well, this be an early release. Yes. Now, and they’ll have that discussion early on. And so take the things you’ve learned over the last two years. I can’t believe I’m saying that over the last almost two years, I keep the things that work and keep the things in the back of your head while you were making strategies for your 2022 plans.

Yasmine (17:20):
Well, thanks again for joining us for another episode. You know, we’d love to hear what you change during the pandemic and what you’re keeping in your business as we move forward into 2022. So you can tag us on Instagram, we’re at pixie dust and profits. You can also send us an email, hello at big sales and profits. If you just want to share, or you can send us a text message at 207-203-6769. Yes, it is us your fairy business godmothers on the other line answering any business question, you have a great way to, you know, pick her brains. Even though I kind of hate that phrase. So lastly, if you liked this episode and you want to support us, check out our Patreon, it’s https://pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon. There are multiple ways that you can show your support and even some ways where you can get access to, you know, live Q and A’s with us. So if you want to dig into a topic and a little bit more detail, that’s the best way to do it. Thanks again. And we’ll see you real soon.

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Episode 53: Disney Rule-Breakers and Business Boundaries (Transcript)

Dec 8, 2021

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 these big scale concepts to your own.

Nicole (00:25):
Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust in profits. I’m Nicole and I’m joined by Yasmine. Hi, and today we’re going to be talking about bad situations and people who break the rules, so, and ruin it for everyone else. Yeah, we might get a little ranty. So here’s the, here’s the situation, the DL or the T I don’t know. I feel really old when I go on Tik TOK and Instagram and you know, anytime now, so I don’t know what we’re calling it now, but basically Disney has policies in place to help people with disabilities to help parents who have young kids and to be able to get on rides. So each person can get on the ride and where there’s a will. There’s a way, and people will abuse some of these policies that are put in place really to protect the company and also to protect the experience for customers.

Nicole (01:17):
So one of the ones, I mean, I’ve used both of these extensively, so I might talk a bit about both of them, but Ryder swab is a program that’s available for people who are traveling with children, usually young children, but it doesn’t have to necessarily be young children who you know, there are long lines at Disney World. So I’ve used, writer’s swap a handful of times. And basically what it is is one person waits in line, and you’re all kind of connected together through your magic bands. And after they ride the ride, while the other parent stays with the child, you can then swap. And the parent who had stayed with the child while the other was waiting in line, can then go on the ride by using the fast pass land, which is now lightning lane. So hopefully rider swap is still the same, but the system is great because we’re a family of three.

Nicole (02:08):
We have a child who doesn’t really want to go on big rides and we still want to do some of the headliners like flights of passage or the seven doors mind train. And so we just kind of do this, this swap, and it even worked for Rise of the Resistance, which was amazing because we were really worried. We, we did get our boarding group and we weren’t sure if we’d both be able to ride and or if we both have to wait that hour, wait, when you get in. And it was really nice. I let him come in through like the lightning lane, because I mean, we could have been waiting two hours between the two of us trying to get on one ride. So it’s a great program. And then there are people who abuse it because the way the program is set up, you can have a certain amount of people.

Nicole (02:46):
So let’s say you have a teenager and a young child and the young child doesn’t want to go on. Dad goes on with the teenager and then mom or other dad goes on with the teenager again, when they get to go on, because someone had to stay with the younger child and you could have, I think it was up to four people that you could do that with. And so that sounds great until people start abusing it and making paid systems, you know, going into probably Facebook groups or any other sort of like underground knowledge network of finding people to connect with. So they could like kind of skip through all the lions by, you know, being this group together. And so, because it was getting so abused, Disney has now brought it down to, I think, two or three people max allowed on the rider swap program and, you know, necessary evils that, you know, hurt families that do have, you know, 5%, 6% families all because some people were abusing the system. So

Yasmine (03:45):
Another offering of Disney that gets abused quite often is the Disney accessibility service, which is essentially a pass that you get. If you have some sort of like neuro disorder or you know, disability that inhibits you from waiting in line for a really long time. So in the past, it was frequently offered to people who are in wheelchairs before things were a little bit more wheelchair accessible and what ended up happening where these, you know people in wheelchairs would basically hire themselves out to families who just didn’t want to wait. So they would join their party. The family would pay a fee and they would just then get FastPass access to every line. Essentially. In fact, I think that there’s even like a separate there’s a separate line for people who were in wheelchairs.

Nicole (04:38):
So again, I have experience with this. I have, I’m a disabled mom who has come with me on many trips and I do want to profess and say that Disney, can’t ask you what your disability is when you’re asking for this. So the people who were abusing this, maybe they were in a wheelchair maybe they didn’t actually need a wheelchair. Maybe they were, you know, I don’t want to say this is like hugely prevalent, but there was enough of a problem that Disney had to do something. It’s also for people who aren’t in a wheelchair. So in my mom’s case, in particular, she has usher syndrome, which is reduced hearing and vision. And especially the bigger problem for us when we’re at Disney World, is that she can not see in dim lighting. And if you’ve ever been to Disney, most of the lines are in the dark or inside to keep you cool because it’s Florida and dimly lit.

Nicole (05:30):
So she can’t actually see in the lines. And then when you add that to crowds and cue lines that are snaked around, zig-zaggy, it can just get really difficult for her to navigate. And then of course, people behind you get frustrated that you’re taking a while. And so that’s why in our case, we, we get the disability pass and they can’t ask you what is wrong with you? So she wouldn’t say I have usher syndrome them. We basically just have to tell them what kind of accommodations we need and why we need it. So it’s not necessarily why we need it, but we have to tell them like, well, we can’t navigate dark lines or dark situations that are dark. So, you know, the fantastic show for example, happens in the dark. We need to be able to use the disability line to be able to safely get to a seat. So she’s not tripping over things. Or, I mean, there have been times where we’ve bumped into people and small children are everywhere at Disney world. So it’s her biggest fear that she’s going to end up hurting somebody because she can’t see them. And so that’s why we need that pass. So people, whether they actually had disabilities or not were, you know, offering these services for up to, you know, eight people to be able to go through the disability line of the rides. So they changed the system entirely.

Yasmine (06:49):
Yeah. So it, first of all, they made sure that more rides were accessible via like wheelchairs and stuff. So by default being in a wheelchair no longer makes you eligible for the Disney access pass. Unless there are other things at play, but now it’s actually incorporated into the Disney genie service. So you no longer have to go wait in line, talk to a cast member and get a pass. There’s actually you know, it’s incorporated into the app right now. We’re still not a hundred percent clear on like what the process is because they haven’t launched it yet, but you will be able to request your Disney accessibility service through the genie app in the future, which probably streamlined things for a lot of families, because you’ll know in advance, if everything is like sorted and ready to go, and you can just go in and enjoy the parks,

Nicole (07:46):
I’m sure because the way that it was for a while after they made the first changes to the program where that you would have to go to guest services before you enter the park on your first day. And so you’re, you know, arriving at the park and then waiting at guest services, which isn’t a very fun experience and your entire party needed to be there. So that way they could link your magic bands together to be able to use the service. And so you know, at the end of the day, it really helps. So we are willing to wait the hour in line at guest services to make sure that this happens, but it does like put a damper on your first day, especially if you’re a rope drop person, but it also utilize the fast pass system previously. So what they would do is you’d have to go walk up to the fast past cast member and say, you know, I have the access pass and here are the two people that are, you know, gonna wait with me.

Nicole (08:39):
And so they would give you a return time and you could only have one access pass at a time. So what that did was really cut down the people who were, you know, jumping from one ride to the next ride, to the next ride, to the next ride and getting past this for everything kind of, you know, walking right on. And I won’t say that it is walking right on. There are, there’s a different queue sometimes, and you do have to wait and sometimes you have to ride in a certain car. So you have to wait for the cars to come around or the last scooter to get out. But basically they gave you a return time. So if you wanted to go on slinky dog, you still had to wait 45 minutes to an hour. You just, weren’t waiting in the line, you were waiting in the area or getting something to eat or something like that, which is still a convenience.

Nicole (09:22):
Being the daughter of two disabled parents, it, I know how much longer it can take to navigate a park when you have someone in a scooter and so on with a walking cane. And so there are trade-offs yes, we can sit and eat while we wait for our access paths to come up. But it also takes us a lot longer to get from the resort to the ride than an able-bodied person. And so I just like to say that just for awareness, for others who may look at someone in a scooter and think, oh, it must be nice that you just didn’t get to walk into the line. There’s a lot of work that goes into the other stages of it.

Yasmine (10:01):
So what can we take away from this, for our own businesses and even business? Well, it looks like the key thing that Disney did was they put rules or in other words, boundaries around how their offerings can be used. So one thing we want to ensure is with every service that you’re putting out, or even expectations around customer service with product based businesses, do you have boundaries and are you managing expectations upfront? The thing is, is not, everyone’s going to be super happy about it, but people can get mad at you over having boundaries if you state them upfront. You know what I mean? Like, cause if you save these boundaries and rules upfront, so might not be happy with it, but they can’t fault you for it because you’ve warned them, how things are going to go. So doing things like setting boundaries on when you’ll respond to emails, when you’ll be available in office you know, how long people have access to certain programs, services, and offerings with your products, setting expectations around how many of a certain thing they can order.

Yasmine (11:02):
You know, if you’re worried about people buying things up and reselling it, there’s many ways that you can put these like rules and boundaries in place. Another way that you can put some rules and boundaries in place is with respect to like refunds and your policies around that. You know, it’s with digital product sellers or people who sell info products in particular, you know, the concept of refunds can be a little bit challenging. Cause like once someone has that knowledge, it’s not like a product that they’re returning that you can take back. Like they can read through something and then come to you and request a refund. And well, that kind of sucks because they took that knowledge probably to do something about it, but you’re not being compensated for it. Oh,

Nicole (11:42):
We’ve actually worked with someone who has a digital download product shop. It’s the contract shop. We’ve mentioned Christina before she was a guest on the podcast. And if you listened closely is also the intro audio for the podcast. So she sells digital templates and has a 14 day, any reason refund policy, which means if you download a legal template and you feel like, oh, this just doesn’t fit my business, no questions asked, just fill out the refund form and they’ll work with you to make sure you get refunded, but then 14 days. And you know, that’s kind of unheard of with digital products. Most people are like, no refunds. You’ve, you’ve downloaded it, that’s it you’re done. I’d really encourage you if you have that mindset to think about it in terms of it’s about your customers and what makes them feel more comfortable and telling them upfront, we have this 14 day, any reason refund policy actually makes me more comfortable with you and more trustworthy of you and knowing that, okay, if I download this, it’ll be okay is a really powerful motivator for a sale.

Nicole (12:47):
And also if they buy the wrong thing, they’re not worried about it. Cause they can just say, I think that this was the wrong one. Can you point me to the right one? And there’s some great conversations that come out of that. So if you are a digital product seller, that could be courses that could be templates that could be info products or anything like that. I highly encourage you to go to go to refund recogn.com that is Christina and the contract shops product helping you set up your own type of 14 day. Any reason refund policy in a way that protects you as the business owner, but also sets things up really well for your customers as well. So refund policies are a huge area to put boundaries in place, but there are also other things you can do. Well,

Yasmine (13:32):
One thing we didn’t mention Nicole is how Christina still protects her business while offering such a great refund policy. And that is that she requests that anyone who wants a refund signs, an affidavit saying that they won’t use the product. So once they get, before they get their money back, they have to send back a form stating that they will not use the contract in question. And the team does run audits to ensure that people are, you know, are adhering to their affidavits. And then they refund their money. So the other way you can also go about things is if you are hesitant to offer refunds as sometimes like a product, just like isn’t a fit for someone it’s not what they expected or it’s not what they necessarily needed and that’s not necessarily a reflection of what you’re offering.

Yasmine (14:18):
It’s just, sometimes there’s a disconnect there I’ve seen, like where refund policies do exist is, you know, you require someone to at least do some work and show some work. In order to show that they attempted to implement at least like a module or something and it just didn’t work out for them. And at least that point, you know, they’ve given it the good old college try and it’s just not working out for them and Elise, you know that they’re not just like signing up for the course for the sake of like taking everything and then like walking away just wasn’t a fit. That’s another way that you can offer a refund. And one or two of my clients actually do implement that for their courses will give the 21 day refund guarantee. They just need to show that they attempted to do the work and it just wasn’t a fit for them.

Nicole (15:06):
The other thing you can do for putting boundaries in places, especially with like service providers, is to see your hours, your working hours and your open office hours, because as a service provider or coach or anything like that, you may work outside of your stated working hours or your office hours. But that does not mean you are available to notifications and emails and responding to clients and all of that noise, right? So you can have working hours and you can have office hours and they are different. They’re as simple as in Gmail, you can schedule your emails in Gmail. So if you are working on the weekend, schedule that email to go out Monday morning. So that way you’re not sending the message that, Hey, I work weekends and it’s okay to contact me on the weekend because you know, you know, I’m here.

Nicole (16:00):
So there are things you can do to put better boundaries in place for your own mental health, but also to train clients because you know, as service providers, we can often teach your clients bad habits by, you know, responding immediately to their needs and concerns and you know, not giving them enough time to think through what their request was or to find a solution on their own. And also to help them run businesses that are meant to be long-term businesses. Hopefully at some point grow with employees because you’re not available 24 7. And that’s what happens when you scale it. You need to build systems that, you know, take care of things when people aren’t available. So these are a couple ways that you can put boundaries in your business.

Yasmine (16:43):
And just to add to that, like legally as a contractor, you get to set your own hours. A client can not tell you when to work. If they do that, tactically makes you an employee. And there is a whole bunch of like IRS paperwork that comes with that. So if that helps and like gives you the permission to set boundaries and places you set your hours. And the thing is, is I think we tend to stress about the fact that like, oh, if they don’t think I’m available, they don’t think I’m committed. But I would say like, I don’t want to say all, but most clients are pretty reasonable people. You tell them like, Hey, this is what I’m available. You can’t get to this because you know, I have to pick up my kid or I have this other commitment or an existing meeting. They’re going to understand, because again, they understand they hired a contractor, not employee, and there is a limit to like what they’re paying you for.

Nicole (17:36):
Yeah. And I would say in this industry, especially women owned businesses, more understanding than other in, because I’ve been a contractor for corporations before and for nonprofits. And while they’re understanding, they definitely have their working hours. So they kind of expect consultants to be available during those working hours too. But for this women owned industry of small businesses I feel totally comfortable on an intro call or in the middle of the day, just saying to a client, thanks, read your message. I will be able to get to that later this week, as a reminder, I pick up my child at X time and then we spend two hours together before I come back to my computer, you know? And for the most part, people are really understanding of it because that’s why they built their business for flexibility and to live by their own schedule.

Nicole (18:26):
So, you know, if they’re too rigid and don’t want their contractors to also live by the same lifestyle, then maybe it’s not a value of their business, or maybe they need employees, you know, and that’s perfectly understandable too. We’re not trying to say that if you don’t honor that people have different working times that, you know, you have an inflexible business or anything, it just might mean you need more employees. And also I want to say like, yes, as an independent contractor, you should be able to choose your own hours. There’s a variety of things that the IRS looks at to see if someone is technically an employee or not. And that is one of the factors and it is, you know, autonomy over a schedule is a really big factor of it. So having like you must answer the inbox between nine and 3:00 PM.

Nicole (19:12):
Doesn’t mean, you’re saying you must be at your inbox at nine to 3:00 PM working specifically only for me, there, there are different layers to that. So I don’t want you to think, oh no, I have someone on my team that, you know, I expect them to be available between these hours. So are they an employee? Am I going to get in trouble, please? Don’t think that there’s a whole list of questions that you need to go through to see if someone, if the IRS would consider someone possibly an employee. So just want to not make you worry about it. If you, if you heard that in, you were worried. Yeah. So we’d love to hear from you send us a message on Instagram, pixie, dust, and profits. How do you put boundaries in your business? Have you had trouble enforcing those boundaries either because of yourself or because you’ve had some pushy clients cause it happens and yeah, just let us know how our boundaries working for you.

Yasmine (20:03):
So thanks again for joining us for another episode. I’m like Nicole said, in DMs, we’re @pixiedustandprofits, or just check out our Instagram. If you haven’t already to follow us, we share a lot of interesting tips. And a lot of like fun Disney facts. So you don’t want to miss out. You can also join our mailing list, where if you love Disney gifts, we have them in spades. And that’s magic.pixiedustandprofits.com. And lastly, if you enjoyed this episode and you’d want to support us, please check out our Patreon. We have a few to show surprises and behind the scenes bonuses there for our loyal listeners and we’re at pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon, All these links will be in the show notes below. Thank you again. And we’ll see real soon.

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Episode 52: Jungle Cruise & The Quest for Continuous Improvement (Transcript)

Nov 23, 2021

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 these big scale concepts to your own.

Yasmine (00:25):
Hello and welcome to another episode of pixie dust and profits. I’m Yasmine. And I’m Nicole today. We’re going to be talking about what has been like a controversial update over at both Disneyland and Disney World. And that is the updates to the classic ride jungle cruise. Now I’m a big fan of jungle cruise. I’ve been on it like dozens of times, both at Disneyland and Disney world, and I never tire of the jokes. So what about you, Nicole? I’ve been

Nicole (00:54):
A few times that I will admit if the line is too long. It is something that all skip, but not now because it’s been redone. So I need to see

Yasmine (01:02):
Exactly. So they have updated the jungle cruise ride and Disney really overhauled it to make the ride a little bit less controversial. What do we mean by that? There were a few perhaps like inappropriate racial depictions in the ride. So they went through, gave it an overhaul brought it up to modern times, add a little bit more diversity. That’s reflective of, you know, the world we live in today and we’re going to dive into some of the changes they made there and what you can learn from that to apply to your own small business. So Nicole, why don’t you start off with a couple of changes that we saw on the ride?

Nicole (01:40):
Sure. So some of the updates that have been made are, you know, because of cultural insensitivity, these rides are made 40, 50 years ago and don’t necessarily age well. And so Disney is very aware of this and they are slowly changing all of their rights. They’ve also naps changes to splash mountain that should be happening in the next few years. So there were other changes made throughout the ride that had nothing to do with cultural or racism or social justice issues. There were changes just, you know, adding a couple more animals or, you know, changing the name of a few things. They did change the story. It’s about the grandchildren now and not necessarily about the original storyline. So there were other things that they did to the ride, but,

Yasmine (02:22):
And more specifically, the person who now runs jungle navigation, co is Alberta falls. Who’s a woman. We also see more women throughout the scenes as well. So they’re also adding in a little bit of gender diversity that didn’t exist before.

Nicole (02:37):
Right. And I mean the new movie that just came out based on the ride loosely, I think like the location and some of the stories based on the ride and the rest of it is just storytelling and creative imagination. I mean the main character is a woman who is the Explorer, who is the fearless one who is continuing to go through all of these adventurous scenes to get to her end goal. And, you know, that’s something that didn’t exist on the read before the main characters weren’t women and they weren’t, you know, architects or explorers or anything like that. So there’s definitely changing the story and changing what the times. And it’s something that I am proud to say, I love Disney. And I’m proud to say that they’re doing these things because I’m a woman. I want to see more women in things. I think,

Yasmine (03:25):
I think it’s going to call like, you’re right. Like it’s good to see, you know, more representation throughout Disney and they are really working hard to make sure that it is an inclusive place for all.

Nicole (03:37):
They’re not doing it totally right in every area. I mean, if you’ve seen jungle cruise, the movie, for example, there’s kind of a token gay relationship in there, or at least a gay man in the story, as, you know, a side character, not a main character and the scenes where it’s obvious are kind of those scenes where you can tell they cut away and then did the, you know, funny scene with the gay guy or the gay joke. And it, it really was jarring knowing that they had just made these changes to the ride. And now you’re putting in a token gay joke or character or whatever it may be. And they were obviously done in a way that they could cut those scenes out later for different markets. So that wouldn’t appreciate having that type of representation in that movie. And so things like that are, you know, they’re not doing everything how they probably should be doing it, but we recognize that they are taking steps to correct some of the things that just haven’t aged well and, you know, should have been thought about 50 years ago, honestly. So,

Yasmine (04:41):
So what can we learn from this, for your business? Now, I’m going to hazard a guess and say that a bunch of the people listening to this podcast probably haven’t been in business for 50 years. So you don’t have policies that are like that outdated, but things evolve really quickly especially in the digital age. So what can we learn from Disney? Well, we need to frequently look at our own policies and how we run our business to make sure that we are updating things in order to be more inclusive in order to keep up with the times like, heck even marketing strategies and like product offerings, like customer preferences change. Are you making sure that you’re evolving your business to keep up with your target audience? And what’s that saying, Nicole it’s we’ve always done things that way. It’s the worst way to grow a business? Like if you don’t change, you don’t evolve. You’re going to be like blockbuster. I mean, we know, we know the story pretty well. Netflix offered their services to blockbuster and are pitching for it to be bought by blockbuster and blockbuster was like, we’re good. And I think there’s like one store left in this.

Nicole (05:46):
I don’t even know what a DVD player does. Does anybody, any player?

Yasmine (05:50):
And the only reason I have a DVD players, because we have like a zillion and PlayStations and takes DVDs, but I can’t,

Nicole (05:58):
I do have a DB station. See, I don’t even remember that it has that feature.

Yasmine (06:02):
We’re streaming everything these days. So what are you doing to evolve your business to keep up with the times? In fact, on the last investor called Bob JPEG commented on the fact that distribution deals with talent can’t like exist as they did before. They’re now relying on Disney plus to bring theatrical releases to market. And with a lot of like existing talent deals, they drive a lot of revenue from like basically the theater theatrical run like movies, actually in the theater that determines how much money they get paid out in addition to their contract. And by like there’s lawsuits. Recently we heard about Scarlett Johannson where she sued Disney because they released black widow on Disney plus, and that ate into theater sales. So, you know, is that fair? We’re not here to debate that, but like at Disney, as a company is keeping up with the times of pandemic change, how movies are distributed and things need to evolve

Nicole (07:03):
Lucky for them. They had to sneak class in place before all of those. Right. Because I mean, it could have been so much worse. And I think in terms of like Yasmin mentioned, your business might not be 50 years old. It might be two years old or half a year old. But I think if you start thinking about things in terms, especially if you’re a digital or an online based business, like what’s happening around you and how can you be different from that? So for example, if you are a coach or you are a service provider, like how can, what you do be different from everybody else. And I think, you know, we can get a little controversial about it, but there are people out there teaching other people to do things that they did four years ago that worked one time and they’ve never done it since, or replicated it since.

Nicole (07:48):
And they’re trying to teach this formula or methodology to others, and maybe that’s not how you want to do business. And maybe people are kind of sick of that happening over and over and over again. So you need to evolve. If you have a product like that, I’m not saying that you did a wrong thing or you’re bad, or your business isn’t going to work or anything like that. I’m just saying like, stop and reflect like that might’ve worked last year or two years ago, that might’ve been a great offer for you, but today our audience is still connecting with that or are they kind of tired of it? And how can you refresh or think about, you know, what wasn’t working about this and what do I need to improve? And with that said, we have a guide for you. It’s called the three areas.

Nicole (08:32):
You can always improve in your business, even if you don’t have a dime to spend. So even if you’re not willing to make big investments, there are places in your business that you can make incremental small improvements that can lead to big picture results. When you do those improvements all the time in, in little steps, they all add up. And so that is on our website. You can find that at pixiedustandprofits.com/shop and you’ll find it there. And the thing about it is it gives you prompts and ideas about these three different areas of your business or your products, your customers, your processes, your systems, all of those things. So that way you can start thinking about, Ooh, wow. Yeah, I could do a project there and I could do a project there and I can make these little improvements just like Disney does, but there, there are attractions or jungle cruise, right? Yours are, you know, I have five different t-shirts in my shop and I need to look at what they say and you know, what the cut is and how they actually fit people. And maybe I need to update my sizing guide or anything like that. So get that guy.

Yasmine (09:33):
Yeah. Or maybe you have like a digital product that tracks metrics on Instagram, but have you included like reels in there and stats related to that as the platform has evolved, it’s little things like that are little tweaks that you can make to make sure that your product is more relevant to your audience. And more helpful in the long run

Nicole (09:51):
At the bottom line has really listening to feedback. Whether that feedback is coming from your customers, the industry, as a whole just trends you’re seeing where things will be going in the future, your own feelings about the offers and products that you have out there. We grow as people every single day. And when you started your business or started your offer, you’re a different person today than you were. Then you’ve learned more, you’ve done more. Maybe that means that things need to evolve in your business. So think about it as you have a new jungle cruise, and then there’s going to be a jungle cruise to at some point. And it’s like the 2.0 version of whatever you’ve already put out there.

Yasmine (10:30):
Well, we hope that you took away some helpful tips. A reminder that we do have our guide available in our shop. If you want to check it out and if you’re not following us on Instagram, yet, we highly encourage you to do that. We share a lot of additional tips behind the scenes and yeah, so many more surprises. So you don’t want to miss that we @pixiedustandprofits. You’ll also want to get on our mailing list. It’s magic.pixiedustandprofits.com. And don’t forget to check us out on Patreon. If you enjoy this episode and you found it helpful, there are multiple ways that you can support us. That’s at pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon. And we’ll also link it in the show notes below. Thank you again for joining us and we’ll see you real soon.

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Episode 51: Galactic Starcruiser: Pricing Out Your Audience (Transcript)

Nov 9, 2021

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 these big-scale concepts to your own.

Nicole (00:26):
Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. Last week, we talked about pricing, pricing, audiences out nickel and diming what the new annual pass changes. And we’re going to continue that conversation a little bit right now with the galactic star cruiser, which is Disney’s latest hotel. It’s opening this spring, cross your fingers. And who knows if that timeline will stay intact, but it is a Star Wars-themed hotel where you arrive. It’s kind of like a cruise ship. It’s like a two-night excursion. Everyone arrives at the same time you get on the star cruiser together. And when you’re in the star cruiser, you were in a composed elite experience. You are a part of a star wars mission. There are rebel spies. There are you look out the windows and you’re actually looking into space because they have the windows framed with technology.

Nicole (01:24):
It sounds really, really cool. They’ve also teased stuff like lightsabers that actually open like the lightsabers in the movies. It sounds amazing. We knew that this would be a pretty penny, right? We’ll get to the pennies in a few minutes, but man, this is something that we wanted to do, but us both being introverts. I think we were kind of along the lines of, we would do this together. We’d get our spouses and we would come together. Like this sounds like something that would be really fun to do as a group. I don’t know that this is something I would do solo. My husband really wants to do this cause he’s into anything star wars. It includes experiences like landing and going into Galaxy’s edge and getting rides on rise. The resistance in the millennium Falcon also like building your own drawings and things like that.

Nicole (02:19):
So I’m going to come to that in a little bit, but let me reveal the price and remind you, this is two nights. This is like half a day at night, a full day, a half a day. And then get out on your way because we have another galactic star crew that needs to take off $5,000 starting. So for two people in a cabin it’s price like a cruise, right? Two people in a cabin, it is like $4,800, which comes to like $1,200 a night per person. If you’re going, you know, just you and your spouse, if you have, you know, three guests, it’s like $5,300. So the price goes up, but it goes up a little bit less with more people because you’re essentially only adding food, but you know, just for simplicity sake, once you add in the tax, the cheapest, this is going to be as $5,000 for two nights, no Yasmin and I both own Disney vacation club.

Nicole (03:18):
And I will say that I started with the vacation club contract. We sold that we bought a bigger contract so we could stay in bigger rooms and for longer stays, there’s all sorts of strategies when it comes to Disney vacation club and $5,000 for two nights is insane to me. When I bought into a program that, you know, my first contract, I think we spent about $12,000 for a hundred points that let us stay at a deluxe resort for, you know, five, six nights a year or so. And for 50 years, you know? So it’s like, I can’t even wrap my mind around two nights for $5,000. Even if every single drink and meal is included. And if you don’t drink that, when they say like, oh, drugs included, like that really just makes me feel like I’m paying for something I’m not getting, but wow. I’m just going to let $5,000 sit in your head. What could you do with $5,000 over two days

Yasmine (04:19):
Just to speaking about drinks, like it’s only one alcoholic beverage per meal that’s included where available. So it’s not even like unlimited

Nicole (04:27):
And then like a cruise ship that it’s just like, you get some

Yasmine (04:30):
That’s how Disney rolls. Yeah. Like if you want additional drinks, you could allow us that’s like extra, but yeah,

Nicole (04:36):
My seven-year-old says you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

Yasmine (04:41):
I love that. I’m going to steal that. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s kind of like we knew it would be this expensive, but it didn’t really sink in until they announced the pricing. And again, keep in mind, this is during the low season, so it’s going to get even pricier. They say like, this is for voyage departure dates, most weeknights from August 20th, 2022 to September 17th, 2022. So this is,

Nicole (05:04):
That’s such a good catch. I didn’t even see that in the, in the little disclaimer text, because if you know, Orlando at all the off season is August 20th to mid September because kids are in school is hurricane season. Yeah. So it started, there we go. It starts at $5,000. And I think, okay. The thing that I think that made me most frustrated with this is that we had considered it, especially with the huge star wars fan in the house before we saw the pricing. But then when you start looking at the inclusions or like the, basically it’s like a cruise itinerary, but it’s all star wars themed. We started looking at it and it was like, you know, have a meal in the Cantina and all sorts of things, you know, Jedi academy and all that. They’re all things that already existed at Disney parks.

Nicole (05:52):
It felt like they were kind of disjointed a lot of them at Hollywood Studios. Like I can go a droid, I can go build a lightsaber Hollywood Studios. I think the thing that, like, there wasn’t anything that felt new and special in that itinerary because it was just experiences that they’ve already had in the last however many years. And they’ve just kind of mushed them together to happen here. And maybe they won’t happen anymore where they did before. Maybe they’re exclusive to the galactic star cruiser now, but when you’ve gone to Disney long enough that, you know, what a star wars weekend is, it’s like, what did you do? Just take star wars weekend and put it inside the galactic dark cruiser and try to sell it to me again for $5,000. So some of those things really played into how I felt about the pricing, but we know people are gonna buy it.

Yasmine (06:38):
Yeah. And like the things that make this experience unique and a little bit different from a cruise ship is like, you actually get to participate in a story there’s a storyline. So like the cast members that you interact with their actors and characters in the story, you know there are even like baked in story moments in your experience where something’s going to happen. Maybe you have to smuggle something or go on an adventure to retrieves something special. So they’re trying to make it unique and you’re really role-playing during that weekend. So I think to consider as like, if you are going to go with kids, like you kind of want them to be old enough to like really get the most out of the experience. Nicole and I talked about like, you know, going with our husbands and leaving the kiddos at home because you know, your son might be like that old enough age to participate. But like my daughter is like not even two yet, so

Nicole (07:27):
Yeah. Yeah. He would probably be able to participate, but he’s also very like, he just be overwhelmed in that situation. You know, he might be tall enough to go on space mountain, but to get them on the teacups is a challenge in and of itself. So, you know, it definitely plays into the temperament of your family and the age ranges. And for that much money, I’d want to make sure everyone was going to have the best time of their life. Because when you start converting that into two zeros or a couple of nights at the Disney, the Grand Floridian, you know, it’s like, okay, I could spend $5,000 for, I say two nights, but it’s like half a day, day, half a day. You know, it’s, it’s not even like three full days. It’s two nights, two days and you could stay at, you could stay at any resort at Disney for much longer than two days because that’s the other part of this too.

Nicole (08:22):
It’s like, you’re not going just for this. If you were traveling from Canada from New England and you’re trying to come down to Orlando, you are not taking a flight staying for two nights and then taking a flight home, you were staying for at least five days. I’d say to get the most out of like the travel time it takes to get there. So not only is this $5,000 for just one part of your trip, then you’re going to plan the other part. You got to buy the park tickets. So you got to buy the, I don’t know, it’s just, it, it easily turns what was probably like a $5,000 week long trip into something that would be like 12, $13,000. And gosh, that’s a vacation, but you know, we’re, I’m kind of harping on it a little bit, but there are people who will buy this.

Nicole (09:07):
And you know, when you think about your business, you need to think about your value ladder. You know, you start with the low tier offer, usually it’s free or entry-level, our podcast is a great example. You can access this for free. If you want some extra time with us, then you can be one of our Patreon subscribers and you can get a little bit more from us, right? And that’s at a low there’s different price points there. It’s at a low, you know, it’s the first level of the ladder and it goes up and up and up until you reach pixie dust live, where you get unlimited one-on-one time with us for days, and also get some fun Disney experiences out of it. Right? So Disney knows that this is probably going to be in high demand. You know, it’s going to be the dual income. Child-Free, it’s going to be the lifelong star wars fans who have been waiting for this forever. And maybe the price will come down in a few years after demand dies down. But right now they’re going to find people who are up at that top tier level of wanting an offer like this.

Yasmine (10:09):
Yeah. And it’s, it seems like a one and done experience too. Like it’s not something that you probably do more than once, which is probably something else they factor into the price point. But what’s interesting. It looks like it’s just the same story over and over again. So at some point they’re probably going to refresh the story and the experience to get people to come back. So yeah, it’s, it’s an interesting product. Like, are we going to do it? I want to say no, I might have to try to like talk Nicole into it in like a year and say, we need to do it for a research for the podcast. And do like a couples trip or something, but it’s definitely not like something that’s like an easy, yes.

Nicole (10:55):
I’ve never been a person who wanted to do a cruise, but you know, we’ve had a lot of interactions with people who have made me realize, okay, the cruises might be better than they sound like. The idea of being trapped around the water has never been my cup of tea. So I’ve been warming up to the idea of a Disney cruise and this is even more expensive than that. So you might have to really sweet talk me. I don’t know if there’s enough market research, maybe it’s just, I’m not a big enough star wars fan. I enjoy star wars. I, I will, you know, blast for me say, I really liked the new trilogy better than the original trilogy. But yeah, I may, maybe

Yasmine (11:38):
It’s like, it’s sort of like one of those experiences, like in Disneyland you can actually like eat at Baltz apartment above what does the parts of the Caribbean? And it’s like a thousand dollars per person and you need at least like people or something to partake in it. So it’s like, one of those is like once in a lifetime sort of like Disney experiences where you’re probably not going to do that again. But like for the sake of like being able to hang out in this exclusive place that not a lot of people really get to go to and have like an incredible like meal, you know? Yeah. You figure out a way to make it work again. Not for everybody. Definitely not for a lot of families. Like this is, this is like a birthday, Christmas and like a Persian. So Persian new year trip for like three years wrapped into one, you know, and this is huge. So it’ll be interesting to see like what the uptake is like reservations haven’t opened yet. You can’t really book it just now as far as we can tell. And I’m curious to see,

Nicole (12:36):
I don’t know if they’ll have any assets either. They might be anchoring us here in, in this realm. That’s tourist price anchoring us and the most off season off season that can be, maybe they’re just trying to get their feet wet to show us what the real numbers are going to be. If you wanted to say, go in the middle of summer vacation or spring break. I also think, you know, I understand the pricing, we are business people, like you mentioned earlier, this, the cast members need a level of training and acting experience that’s on a different level than the ones that are, you know, helping throughout the parks. I also know crucial. Yeah. And I also know it’s probably quite an expensive operations to turn this over every three days, you know, to, I mean, that’s not a lot of time, so I understand why they like kick you out at 11 o’clock and they need to clean everything to make sure the next group can come in.

Nicole (13:42):
So I do understand like operationally how big of a deal this is, but the pricing is really, really high. It also makes me wonder, like, where are deluxe resorts going? And the pricing schedule little known secret. Maybe if you are staying at the Grand Floridian, the contemporary, any of those big resorts, they do offer discounts all the time call and see if there’s a cash discount. So when you’re on that website and it’s like compared to $600 a night, that is not the price that most people are paying for those rooms. So again like that gets into the promotions here and maybe their pricing anchoring us on these, on these price points, but they’re going to be having some sort of promo once it does release of, you know, book your next trip and get three-day park passes free for, you know, your post trip experience, who knows what they’re going to do.

Nicole (14:37):
I think about that when it comes to pricing your own things, you know if you have something coming soon, getting people ready ahead of time to know what that might be. So they can start planning. I mean, they announced this in like July and the first cruises probably aren’t happening until May, June, possibly, which means, you know, booking, it might not open until February. So you’re telling us in July, we might not be able to book until January or February. You giving us that time to save all this money and to think about it. So if you do have some sort of product or offer that you have coming out soon, or you’re thinking about, and it’s a high ticket offer, leak it as early as possible. So you can get people ready to make that payment to understand what your payment plan system might be. And just go from there.

Yasmine (15:27):
Well, we’re curious to know you go on the Star Wars, Galactic Star Cruiser. If so, you know, hit us up comment at comment on Instagram, we’re @pixiedustandprofits, or if you kind of just want to have a conversation about this text us, I swear, it’s us, your fairy. Godmother’s wait, hold. Is that what it costs your business fairground. Okay. It’s us your business fairy godmothers on the other end. And you can give us a text of 2 0 7-2 0 3-6 7 6 9. And let’s talk about whether this is ridiculous or like absolutely genius. I’m like I’m here for that conversation. You can also sign up at magic.pixiedustandprofits.com to get all of our fun newsletters and emails. Thank you again for joining us for this episode and we’ll see you real soon.

Speaker 4 (16:28):
[Inaudible].

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