I’ve obviously been having some sort of sabbatical from blogging, strangely enough I’ve had a bit of writers block then add that with a bit of jet-lag I’ve been not on form for quite some time. We have also been really busy with new installs, meetings with all sorts of good stuff going on which I can only feel quite pleased about. I’ve also had the pleasure of visiting a couple of businesses this week that are moving or have moved to bigger premises and are nothing other than on the up. It’s almost making me feel quite positive that there’s some sort of change in the economic cycle as the new profitable businesses are taking the space occupied by businesses that failed over recent years…
Summer for us is traditionally quiet as for most businesses due to most of our contacts being on holiday, I’m unfortunately no different and have been away to the USA and dragged round the theme parks in Florida.
It’s certainly different to what I remember, American changed beyond recognition – I remember it being very efficient and the land of customer service, we had a couple of visits to McDonalds and a few other restaurants such as Chili’s and TGI’s and not once was our order delivered correctly. My car had a warning light on it when I picked it up and eventually broke down without warning on the interstate – not exactly a great experience in a foreign country and I was being asked for my email address as a foreign visitor whilst cooking in the car at 40 degrees before anyone would help. I thought our call centres were bad. That would have been bad enough, but the second car they delivered to me after being towed was late, dirty and required an oil change according to the dash.
We went to Universal Studios and Islands of adventure and I was horrified about the amount of dirt, overflowing bins and general smell of the place. Although to be fair, I loved the rides with the Harry Potter stuff and some of the new rides such as Spiderman and Transformers did leave me wondering how they actually worked. Certainly a wow factor. However, getting back to the point, Mickey Mouse land and the whole of the Disney experience was back to the good-old values of what I had associated with America since visiting as a child. Perhaps they were a bit over the top on health and safety, but the service and the polishedness (I’m inventing words like an American) was beyond compare to its competitors.
I am really left wondering why we call companies Mickey Mouse outfits when they’re small, I’ve heard about businesses just this week that have done phenomenally well, having started in a garage to now owning massive warehouses turning over impressive numbers, increasing their employee base and creating more quality jobs. I can put good money on when these businesses were small; their competitors accused them of being a Mickey Mouse outfit. Everyone starts somewhere don’t they? I have to admit, I’d probably rather do business with someone whose competitors are calling them names, it means they’re getting something right and worrying the competition!
As I was being told off for wearing a Mickey Mouse lapel pin this morning because of bad connotations of being associated with Mr Mouse, I can only think being Mickey Mouse as a complement – he runs a very tight operation over the pond has armies of people cleaning the theme parks at night, extremely high standards, attention to detail, giving rise to a multi-billion dollar entertainment company that started from very little.
Maybe everyone should aspire to be a little more Mickey Mouse…