Pixie Dust & Profits | Small Business Podcast for Disney Lovers

Episode 46: Safety & Risk Tolerance in Your Business

Jun 15, 2021

Have you ever made a decision in your small business but thought to yourself afterwards, “was that really a good idea?” In this episode, we’re here to help you navigate safety and risks in your small business, and why you be conscious of both.

Download Episode 46 transcript right here

Not sure if you should pivot or tweak? Text us! 207-203-6769 🪄

Episode 35: Copyrights & Creativity with Christina Scalera

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Small Business Tools You Can Borrow from Disney

Jun 10, 2021

After listening to the Walt Disney Company’s Q1 FY20 Earnings Call for about an hour, we were inspired to break down some of the stats they shared, as well as go back to our MBA roots and geek out over stuff like quarterly reports. There are tons of other small business tools you can co opt from Disney and use for your own biz, too.

The star of the Q1 show and what you can learn from it

Unsurprisingly, the star of Disney’s Q1 report was Disney+, which launched in November 2019. As of December 31 when Q1 ended, their streaming platform had 26.5 million users, exceeding analyst expectations of 20 to 25 million users. To put it in other terms, Disney+ gained 25 million subscribers in three months…which took other streaming service giant Netflix six years to attain. 

Yes, these numbers are phenomenal. Maybe that’ll inspire you to strive for a certain goal in your own business. One thing we suggest you avoid? Comparing yourself to someone else in your industry and thinking, “wow, I’ll never get to their level.” 

You can be a latecomer to the market and still do really well! Instead, look at what other people are doing in your space and figure out how to do the same thing, but better. Be inspired by your competitors. And remember that some established brands take years and years to get to where they are today. If you don’t find success overnight, don’t fret.

Reaching new audiences and diversifying your brand

The success of Disney+ can also teach you the importance of diversifying where your product lives. About half of Disney+ subscribers came from the Disney website, but that means the other half came from elsewhere, like brand partnerships or other subscription services. Imagine how different Disney’s subscriber numbers would be if they only promoted to one audience.

Don’t limit yourself to your email list or your professional network. You may be surprised at where you can reach new customers when you try something new. Team up with someone in your industry who complements your brand. Join a summit and get more exposure for your business. Use all the social media platforms and tools at your disposal.

Speaking of diversifying, think about diversifying your actual brand as well. Disney is the ultimate expert of this. Not only do they have a huge range of merch, theme parks, movies, and TV shows, but they also have other properties like Star Wars and Marvel and National Geographic under their umbrella. They have something for everyone. 

We don’t mean you have to try and appeal to every demographic out there, but if there’s a target audience you can reel in by tweaking your brand, why not give it a try?

Reducing churn rate

A great medium for diversifying is using a product bundle. For example, you bring in a product from another creator who’s in a complementary industry to you. Bundle your products or services with theirs, and you’ve tapped into a whole new audience and broadened your reach.

Bundling can boost your income and brand reach, but it can also reduce your churn rate. That’s something we learned from the Disney Q1 call: bundling Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN actually helped to reduce their churn rate. 

Churn rate is an important metric for subscribers, sure, but Disney used other metrics to make sure that people were sticking around. How long until someone unsubscribed? What content enticed people to stay? What content brought new subscribers to the platform? 

For example, Disney noted that 65% of the people who watched the Mandalorian continued to watch ten other things on Disney+. The stat itself is interesting, but it’s also worth noting that Disney had a system in place to measure it. You can do the same for your biz. Plan the metrics you want to use in advance and shore up your systems before you launch a new offer. It’ll make things easier for yourself after the fact, especially if you’re not a numbers kind of person.  

Have a backup plan for when things go awry

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the success of Disney+ in this blog, but it wasn’t all sunshine and roses in the Disney Q1 call. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Disney suffered about $200 million in losses minimum because they needed to close their international theme parks. It’s a good thing they had Disney+ to balance that out.

When things don’t go quite the way you think they will, have a backup plan in place. This is a super important skill to have as a CEO or small business owner. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to scramble to take care of yourself, your employees, your clients, and your business operations.

Training your team thoroughly, having resources and guides on hand, and keeping contractors or freelancers in mind in case you need extra hands will help. So will being financially prepared for downturns in your business. Make sure you’re setting aside savings for quiet periods or when something unexpected—like a global pandemic happens. We suggest setting aside at least 10 to 20% in a business savings account.

Manage your own expectations

One last thing we recommend you do as a small business owner is to manage your own expectations. We’re constantly chasing growth, and it’s easy to focus on our goals. But managing your own expectations is incredibly important. You can celebrate your achievements and small wins, but be practical and plan for the bad times, too.

We hope that breaking down Disney’s Q1 call inspired you to use some of their own tools for your own small business. Reaching new audiences, diversifying your brand, reducing churn rate, and having a backup plan in place can help you run your business more smoothly and efficiently.

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Pricing Strategy for Maximum Profit

Jun 3, 2021

Right now, a 1-day ticket to one theme park at Disney World starts at $109. Prices vary if you choose to visit more than one park on the same day (Park Hopper upgrade option), visit a water park or golf course (Water Park and Sports upgrade option) or choose both upgrades (Park Hopper Plus). 

Prices will also change based on when you go; tickets may be more expensive the closer you get to Christmas, or less expensive in early September when summer vacation ends and the kids are back in school. If you’re a Disney park newbie, you might find playing around with ticket prices frustrating. How do you know if you’re getting the most bang for your buck? 

As a business owner though, keep in mind that Disney’s ticket prices fluctuate on purpose. During quiet periods, Disney wants to incentivize people to come visit. And during busy times of the year like spring break and summer, tickets can get pretty dang expensive in order to manage the number of people in the park, but also make operational decisions.

You can learn from and apply Disney’s pricing strategy to your own small business. For tips on forecasting revenue, creating discounts, raising your prices, and more, read on. 

Use your pricing strategy to plan business operations

Using a pricing strategy doesn’t just help you forecast your revenue. It can also help you make important business operation decisions. Like hiring more employees or contractors when you need more hands during your busy seasons. Or picking the best time to give out special promotions so you can increase your revenue.

Disney does this during their quiet periods when the parks aren’t at their max capacity. To bring in more revenue, they may offer discounts to get people in the doors. Or, if people just aren’t flying in for extended vacations, they’ll create special offers to annual pass holders or Florida residents to get them to stay at their hotels. There are other promotions Disney offers too, like special dining plans or food credits that can be used during their Food and Wine Festival.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, consistent Disney ticket prices would lead to miserable guest experiences. If Disney tickets were always in high demand, every park and hotel and event would be crowded year-round. Imagine the same happening for your business. You’d spend 12 to 14 hours a day hustling, and the quality of your work will probably suffer. Not to mention your energy and mental health!

How to raise your prices in your business

Remember that it’s okay to play around with your pricing if the demand is there. You don’t necessarily have to make huge pricing changes since that may scare off your audience, but you should increase your prices to keep up with demand.

Let’s talk about a few different ways you can raise your prices:

  • Increase your prices annually. Your existing clients are not only paying for your time, but your experience and skills. If they’ve been with you for a year, they’re getting a lot of value out of working with you. Don’t be afraid to increase your prices to reflect that! Just be sure to give them plenty of notice. We like to give a minimum of 60 days notice.
  • Set up a waitlist if you’re at capacity. Demand is high and you’re totally booked. It’s perfectly fine to ask prospective clients to join a waitlist and let them know when you’re accepting new clients. Adjust your prices to meet that demand.
  • Offer discounts to different clients. This may seem a little weird, but if you have strong relationships with certain clients, why not reward them with a discount? It shows them that you value them.

If you’re not used to raising your prices or asking for more money, don’t be discouraged. It takes practice and confidence. Keep in mind that, if you’re working with a team, you need to make enough to cover those hidden costs, like managing, training, or onboarding them. 

What if you run a program or are getting ready to launch one? We strongly recommend determining a starting price point while beta testing. That way when you launch, you can price your program at its true value. Listen to the feedback you get from your customers.

“We’re going to Disney World!” …in 40 years

Fun fact: if you (or your parents, or your grandparents) bought a Disney World ticket way back in the day and it was never used, Disney will still honor that ticket today, as long as you bought it with the No Expiration Option. 

Before they got rid of the No Expiration option, people could pre-buy their park tickets years in advance of their trip. Of course, if you buy tickets in the dead of winter for your summer vacation, they’re going to be much cheaper. You just have to pay the difference in ticket prices if your travel plans change.

Why does Disney do this? Theme park tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable, but Disney still wants to provide excellent customer service to their guests. You can do something similar in your business. This is an example of offering special promotions or discounts to your clients, rewarding them for choosing you…and choosing to stick with you.

Maximize your capacity and your profits

One of the most important skills you’ll hone as a business owner is managing your time and resources. Your time is not infinite. And you yourself are a resource to your own business, thanks to your skills and experience and training. 

Your pricing strategy will help you make the most out of your resources. And it’ll ensure a good customer experience for your clients, a manageable workload for you, and more insight into the revenue you’ll bring in and business decisions you’ll need to make in the future.

Another great way to map out your pricing strategy? Creating a Customer Ascension Model. This shows you how clients/customers move through your business — from awareness to your top-tier product or service. It can also show you gaps in your offerings that could help with your pricing strategies. You never know: maybe your customer or client wants a mid-range offer you hadn’t thought of before!

Map out your Customer Ascension Model using our FREE template, inside our Biz Bundle!

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Episode 45: Diversity & Inclusion at Disney

Jun 1, 2021

More than 200,000 people are employed by Disney, and it’s their mission to make each of them feel like they truly belong. Listen now to hear about how they’re paving the way in inclusion and how you can use these ideas in your own small business to represent, educate, and empower. 

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Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

May 27, 2021

Quick question: how many employees does Disney World have in Central Florida? Take a wild guess. We’ll wait.

Got that number in your head? If you guessed about 73,000 cast members, then you win! Disney World’s payroll is over $2 billion, and they have thousands of different jobs and job titles across the entire property. 

Take the bus drivers at Disney World, for example. They’re the first smiling faces that guests see when they arrive. They may work early and late hours, but in our experience, they’re always joyful and pleasant to customers. 

Disney is committed to providing a good show for their guests. Every step of a guest’s adventure should be pleasant and worthwhile. A huge part of creating that experience is exceptional customer service. And that stems from being a good boss to your team. 

How does this relate to your small business? You too can have employees that are as devoted and happy in their roles as Disney cast members. But it starts with your hiring strategy, wages, and the expectations you set for your team.

Have a plan when hiring someone new

When you’re trying to hire someone for your team, it can be really difficult to do without setting a purpose and a plan first. You may just say, “I want to hire someone who’s within my budget,” and not think about other important factors like quality of work or turnaround time. You hire someone you’re not happy with, let them go, and start your employee search all over again.

Not only is that a waste of time, it can leave you feeling really jaded and stressed about the entire hiring process.

That’s why we recommend having a plan before you start your search. There are three things at play when looking for a new employee: your time, your money, and your quality level. Hire someone who is cheap and works on tight deadlines, and the quality of their work may not be as good. Hire someone who produces high-quality work, and it may take more time and money. 

It’s tough finding someone who can balance all three. You have to decide which one you can sacrifice, or at least settle for less. Our advice? Make quality the top priority, and look for other ways to cut costs or make your processes run a little faster. Sometimes it’s worth paying more for someone you can trust to do a great job.

Where to find new employees

Where can you find high-quality employees to add to your team? We always recommend two places to start your employee search. The first is referrals from other business owners in your network. They don’t necessarily have to be in your industry, but maybe you know them through someone else or you’ve talked to them briefly.

Look for those hidden gems in your network and ask if they know anyone who’s a good fit for the role you’re trying to fill, or if they have someone they can recommend. Keep in mind that it’s good manners to do the same if a person in your network asks the same of you. That’s what networking is for, after all.

The second place you may find a new employee is not something that everyone has at the beginning, but it’s easy to start one: an email list. Whether it’s a small list of fans you’ve DMed on Instagram or Facebook, or a larger email list you’ve compiled, it comes in handy because the email recipients already know you and your brand. 

They’ve bought your products or services and follow you on social media. They’re familiar with your brand voice and offers. You have a good chance of finding someone who is passionate about what you do and excited to join your team.

Tips for training and onboarding new team members

A strong training and onboarding system is key for setting your new employees up for success. Without it, you’ll have a tough time setting expectations and getting the quality of work that you want from them. An easy way to train new hires in their new tasks? Do them yourself and record the process.

One of our favorite tools for doing this is Loom, which will let you record and share videos of your desktop with others. If you love to write, you can write out step-by-step instructions on how to do things as well, but trust us, videos of you showing your new employee exactly what to do, where, and how will make things a lot easier for them.

What should you put in your Loom videos and written instructions? Write out a list of what you expect them to do daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. It doesn’t have to be a long list, but be thorough. Basically, make it easy for them to do their job well without waiting on instructions from you first. 

Success starts with you

Putting together a team of happy employees, contractors, and freelancers takes work on your part. Before starting your search for a new team member, take some time to figure out exactly what you’re looking for within your budget. You’ll more easily find someone who meets your needs.

Get creative with your job search, too. Put your network and networking skills to use! Tap into the connections you’ve made in your small business circles and industry. Worthwhile connections will be happy to help you out. (Just remember to do the same for others in the future.)

Finally, set your new employees up for success by outlining your expectations for their role and giving them the tools they need to do their job. It’ll require some effort from you up front, but when you have a happy and dedicated employee on your team, you’ll thank yourself later. 

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Surprise and Delight with Your Customer Experience

May 20, 2021

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t ridden the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride at Galaxy’s Edge in Disney World, turn back before it’s too late. In this blog, we talk about the importance of customer experience and how it can help your business. We use Rise of the Resistance as an example of how Disney crafted a unique and memorable experience for their customers.

If you haven’t ridden Rise of the Resistance yet, skip ahead to the heading “Getting creative with customer events” so you can still learn about creating a fantastic experience for your customers. 

Ready? Punch it, Chewie! 

A truly unique Star Wars experience

It’s hard to describe Rise of the Resistance as a “ride.” It really is a one-of-a-kind Disney experience that you won’t forget. If you’re not bothered by spoilers or you’re curious what it’s like, keep reading! Otherwise, skip to the next section. It’s your last chance.

As you can expect with any Disney ride, you move through a long outdoors/indoors line to get to the first room. Adorable droid BB-8 is on a pedestal next to a hologram of Rey, who tells you about the mission you’re about to go on. A hologram. It looks so cool.

You leave the room and enter a giant ship waiting outside. After it launches, the Empire begins attacking. Suddenly, the doors that you used to enter open again, and you realize the Empire has boarded your ship. That means the ship has actually moved, and you’re in a totally different place to continue the experience. 

Stormtroopers escort you to the next location, all the while interrogating you and treating you as a rebel spy. You really feel like a character in the story. We won’t completely spoil how the ride ends, but suffice it to say that the Resistance helps you escape in a small ship with an amazing Tower of Terror-esque free fall.

If you get the opportunity to try Rise of the Resistance safely at Disney World, we highly recommend it. It’s so worth your time, even if you’re a casual Star Wars fan or not one at all! The immersive experience and attention to detail can make you think differently about the experience you create for your own customers through your business.

Getting creative with customer events

As you all know by now, we changed our Pixie Dust & Profits live experience in August 2020 to an online event because of the pandemic. We wanted to make sure all of our attendees felt safe. 

Every detail, from the course curriculum to custom gifts to in person events, had to be rethought or shelved after almost two years of planning. When you put that much detail in a face-to-face event and bring it online, you have to consider how to shift the experience so you can still surprise and delight your customers. You can still give them their money’s worth.

First, we ditched the traditional Facebook group mastermind model that’s so popular now and instead used a platform called Mighty Networks to gather attendees. Mighty Networks has a lot of great features, like live chat rooms and open office hours and transcripts of discussions. It was a more personable platform that created the close-knit community feel that we wanted.

Next, we extended the program from four days to the entire month of August. We knew that many of our attendees, like us, were juggling a lot of responsibilities at home already. Four days wasn’t going to cut it. By stretching the program over a month, we allowed people time and space to dive deeper into their work without feeling rushed.

Lastly, we thought of ways we could mail our attendees gifts and items that we had planned on giving them in person. Keeping those “surprise and delight” moments for our attendees was really important to us.  

Think of ways to spruce up customer touch points

Even if you don’t have a big in person or online event coming up, there are lots of ways you can make the customer experience special. Look at a customer’s entire journey with your business and find various touch points that you can spruce up.

For example, if someone just bought a product from you, you know that they’ll be on the lookout for an email confirming their order. What does your email say? Is it the standard “thanks for buying” message with all the basic details? Or do you have a creative, on-brand message that goes the extra mile to make your customer feel special? What about the confirmation page they see immediately after their order is placed?

You can do the same when you ship orders to your customers, too. We’re not suggesting you buy extra gifts or spend too much time customizing every order, because that can take a lot of energy and resources. But think of a way to make their order special, maybe with a handwritten thank you card, confetti, a fun sticker…you get the idea.

Take the extra steps to surprise and delight customers 

Making the customer experience feel special doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Behind-the-scenes or production photos are a great way to keep your customers excited about their order. And it builds trust between them and your brand.

What can you do as a service-based business and you’re not sending customers tangible items? Lots of things! Get creative with your communication. Send a welcome video or message to new customers. Thank them for their business and let them know that they made the right choice supporting you. Share links to your social media or other services that they may like.

Whether you’re a product-based business or service-based business, you can and should find ways to go the extra mile for the customer experience. You’ll build up your brand and your brand reputation. Take a page out of Disney’s book and try to jazz up the customer experience wherever you can, because your efforts will pay off. 

Not sure where your customer touchpoints are? Our Customer Ascension Model can help — and you can get it totally for free inside our magical Biz Bundle!

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Episode 44: Musings on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

May 18, 2021

In this episode, we’re geeking out over the brand new experience for Star Wars lovers, the Galactic Starcruiser. Even if you don’t consider yourself a Star Wars mega-fan, the innovation employed in the overall experience will be jaw-dropping. Listen now to learn more about the brand-new resort and how they’re using innovation and upsells to delight their customers. 

Download Episode 44 transcript right here

✨ Send your Fairy Godmothers a text to: 207-203-6769 ✨

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Investing in Innovation (and Why You Can’t Afford Not To!)

May 13, 2021

Let’s take you ALL the way back to the summer of 1955. Disneyland opened its doors on July 17th, 1955 and it was not a smooth sail! In fact, we discuss how badly it really did go in previous episodes. Walt Disney founded Disneyland with the intention that it would never be completed. He wanted people to push past what is comfortable and continue to grow and reimagine things. If you are intrigued as we are at how Disneyland came to be, check out Imagineering Story. Disney is always under construction, creating something new or renovating something that’s been loved by all. 

We want to share with you how innovation has been the bread and butter of Disney’s success, and how you can practically innovate in your own business with some of their methods. 

Incremental Innovations

First, let’s discuss the smaller, less risky ways in which Disney innovates. More often than not, it’s the incremental changes that bring about the magic. Think about the IPhone. The IPhone 12 is really not that much different than the 11. But it’s new and edgy and their audience is bought in. 

You can guess when Disney is the slowest. Yep, winter and fall when school is in session! So the Imagineers took that slow season and created the Arts Festival at Epcot in the spring and the Food and Wine Festival in the fall to bring us “older kids” into the parks on the weekends. They frequently close down sections of their resorts and parks to give it a good refresh and create a new experience for their guests. In the winter, they alternate closing down one of their water parks for refurbishing and updates. 

How does this apply to your business? Think about ways you can innovate during your slow seasons. What are ways in which you can make a small edit or refresh to your product, website, or service? Maybe changing up the photos you have on your home page. Or even a refresh to the packaging your product is shipped in. Incremental changes are extremely powerful ways to innovate.

Taking Huge Risks

Walt Disney was in full support of taking big risks to push past the envelope of the imagination. The opening of Disneyland Japan and Paris were two monumental risks— in fact, Disneyland Paris almost hit bankruptcy! The Imagineers team was approached by partners in the East who wanted to create a Disneyland experience in Tokyo. They got out the original blueprints from the 50s and started to build the replica, and then followed this same process later in Paris. 

However, the Imagineers team missed one important step in their process of expansion… They did not evaluate their audience. They built the American version of Disney in Tokyo and Paris rather than adapting the Disney vision for a Japanese and European audience. In Europe, Disneyland was priced in accordance to what Americans would pay for the Disney experience state bound. They quickly realized that Europeans had a different approach to what they were willing to pay when their Paris hotels were at 60% capacity — unheard of in the US! 

Years later, when Shanghai Disney and China were opened, they carefully evaluated their audience after learning from mistakes. For example, they recreated the Haunted Mansion ride to reflect Chinese beliefs of the afterlife. Can you imagine what would have happened if they put the American replica of the Haunted Mansion there?? 

Understanding your audience is key when innovating. Asking the question, “What do they want?” will help you narrow in on exactly what your audience truly wants. Sounds great, but how exactly do you do it?

One of the best ways to really engage with your audience is to take them on the innovation journey with you. Pull back the curtains and let them take a front row sneak peek into what you are working on next. Disney does an incredible job at teasing new rides, giving sneak peeks into refurbished resorts, and announcing the next big project that will undergo construction. 

Again, let’s apply this to your business. How can you draw your audience in? Maybe with a countdown to your next launch date. Share behind the scenes footage of your next project. Tease photos of what the next product is going to be. These are some of the best ways to really keep your customers engaged.

Experimenting with New Ideas

You may have heard about the time Disney decided to cover Cinderella’s castle in pink frosting for their 25th Anniversary and made it look like a birthday cake. Or most recently, when they did a complete refinish of the castle. Talk about some controversy! It can be really scary to do any changes to your original, signature product or brand, but sometimes it can be so beneficial to experiment with new ideas. The great thing about this experiment is that they could have always turned it back to the original. 

Thinking about making a change to your original product or service may feel way too risky, but it will absolutely create new excitement and conversation about your business. And remember:  you can always go back to what you started with. Nothing has to be permanent! Maybe you do a fun release for a holiday or anniversary with a limited edition version of your product or service. It’s something to think about when it comes to innovation.

Get to it!

Truly, we could write (and talk) all day about innovating like Disney. This is why we have created an entire workshop experience where you will have the opportunity to sit down with us and apply these principles of innovation to your own business. We break down everything from changing your mindset around innovation, to identifying what innovation means to your unique individual business, and looking at how investing works for you. 
We are bringing you years and years of our own experience of using these tools and strategies in our own businesses with workshops, masterclasses, and even the Profitable & Productive Party.  We know what it’s like to buy all the books and expensive courses and training modules. We wanted this workshop to be very affordable and very accessible as we know many business owners invest a lot of capital into programs and training, yet still leave them unsure of what to do next. Our goal is for you to be thriving in your business and to take these strategies with you to implement immediately. Sign up here to be notified of our next upcoming workshop or masterclass! 

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Growth by Collaboration

May 6, 2021

Do you thrive on competition? Do you love being the best, winning by a nose, or that rush of adrenaline when you reach a goal?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with being competitive, and in fact, it can make life fun and more interesting! However, we have a suggestion for a different way of growing and scaling your business: collaboration. Instead of fighting it out with your competitors, find complementary brands that will lift up your business and support you. You can cross the finish line together.   

That’s just what Disney did when they partnered with Lyft and Target. Let’s talk about how the “collaboration, not competition” mindset is a healthy one for your business.

Lyft partnership enhances the Disney experience

In the summer of 2019, Disney partnered with rideshare company Lyft to create “Disney’s Minnie Van™ Service Connected by Lyft,” as they’re officially called. If you haven’t seen them in person, Disney’s Minnie Vans are Honda CRVs decked out in Minnie’s signature style: red with white polka dots. 

What’s even cooler is that through this partnership, Disney guests can enjoy convenient pickups and drop-offs around the parks and resorts. The Minnie Vans have set hours that they operate only on Disney property. They’re often much faster than using the complimentary bus system or the gondola system. And okay, they’re just super fun and cute.

Disney and Lyft’s partnership is a great example of Disney addressing a need for their customers by teaming up with a third party — but also maintaining the Disney brand and unique experience. And rather than spend more time and resources building their own rideshare service from scratch, they found an existing company that would also benefit from collaborating.

If you come from a small town where Lyft and Uber aren’t commonly used, you may not trust or be used to rideshare services. But try the Minnie Vans, and you may feel more safe and comfortable using a rideshare service because it’s backed by Disney. That’s where Lyft benefits.

Finding a partner that’s good for your business

You may not be able to partner with Lyft or another big corporation out there, but think of brands that would complement your business. How can you forge a partnership with another brand that would benefit both of you? 

Something that’s worked really well for a lot of our clients is joint venture webinars, or JV webinars. Through a JV webinar, you partner up with someone else who has a similar audience for their business. You leverage each other’s audience and credibility to increase your reach and sales.

There are so many types of joint partnerships, and you’ll probably find a lot of potential partners out there. When choosing the right partner for you, try to find a brand that aligns with your brand! Consider what they’re bringing to the table for your business and for your audience. You don’t want to start a joint partnership only to find that you’re not right for each other.

And if they don’t mesh well with you? Don’t be afraid to say no. It’s not selfish, it’s smart business. You can and will find someone better for you.

Target partnership brings the parks to shoppers

Disney was pretty busy in 2019, because not long after they announced their Lyft partnership, they announced another partnership with Target! Twenty-five Target stores across the U.S. opened Disney store “shop-in-shop” locations in October. They also launched a new Disney digital experience on Target’s website.

These mini Disney shops carried exclusive products only available in Disney stores. This was a brilliant move to bring Disney products to people who weren’t able to shop at the parks, or who couldn’t visit a standalone Disney store at the mall. 

Again, Disney addressed a customer need and kept costs down by partnering with a third party retailer, rather than launching their own locations, handling distribution, worrying about inventory, and so on. Through this partnership, they also don’t have to hire new employees. 

Leverage other platforms and networks

In essence, Disney leveraged Target’s infrastructure and assets to sell their products. You can do the same by using large platforms to sell your products or services. Like selling your handmade wares on Etsy, putting your own designs on Minted, or selling your self-published book on Amazon.

It takes a lot of work to get noticed on the internet these days. Getting someone to your own website or online store takes a good amount of advertising, social media hype, SEO, and positive word of mouth, for starters. Using a bigger platform can help you get your business in front of more people and build a loyal customer base more easily. Plus, you can move away from that platform in the future and primarily use your own website or shop when you’re ready.

Think collaboration, not competition

What can collaboration, not competition, do for your business? Let’s recap real quick:

  • Enhance your customer experience
  • Keep marketing costs down
  • Keep operating costs down
  • Build trust in your audience
  • Boost your brand’s credibility
  • Increase your brand reach

That sounds like a win to us! Remember that it’s really important to find the right partner to collaborate with, however. 

Someone whose business and values align with yours. Someone who can share resources and bring something unique to the table. Someone whose partnership will uplift your brand and create an awesome experience for both your audiences. Once you find the right partner for your joint venture, magical things can happen!

Pitch ‘em, partner.

If you’re wondering how you can collaborate with people, or how you’d even start the conversation… start pitching! In our Biz Bundle, we have pitch templates you can customize for anything, from podcasts to collaborations and more.

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Episode 43: Creating New Products With What You Already Have

May 4, 2021

In this episode, we’re sitting down with our guest, Diane Barrowsmith of SixCastleCompany, to discuss Disney’s innovative new offer—Disney Cruise Lines are famous for enhancing the high seas, but recently they have launched a brand new U.K. Staycations with Disney’s Magic at Sea. Listen now for inspiration on creating new revenue streams out of existing resources. 

Download Episode 43 transcript right here

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