I took this photo last year when I was travelling in Thailand. I watched this female entrepreneur for 3 days straight, and I learned so much from how she runs her business. Despite the surroundings and the unsophisticated set up, I was impressed. I enjoyed the sun, sand and sunsets and watched. At the end of our stay, I asked if I could take her photo as she proudly stood beside one of her 3 carts. This is one of the best photos of her proudly grinning and her lessons resonated with me. Today I want to share them with you.
I know you may look at this and see that she doesn’t have a lot of the benefits we take for granted, but I want you to look past this and hear the actionable business strategies I learned from her.
Tip # 1 You’ve got to ASK.
Her business was set up on the beach at the base of a public access path.
She had expanded and diversified to 3 carts, one served made-to-order pad thai, one for fruit and fruit smoothies and a third for cold drinks and taxi service.
Without fail she welcomed every person, who approached her carts. She would greet you with a genuine smile and say, ”would you like some pad thai?” Once you ordered she would ask if you wanted a drink too. If you didn’t want the pad thai, she would say “perhaps a wonderful fruit smoothie?”
If you didn’t buy anything on that visit she would ask the same questions on all subsequent visits.
She always made sure to ask for the sale, and offer the add-on too.
Tip #2 Know your customer.
What was most interesting, was how she kept track of everyone on the beach.
She knew if you had already had lunch and when you came wandering back, she would offer you the next thing on her menu, perhaps a desert crepe or some cut up fruit.
Every day, every person.
Even if someone else had ordered for you, she knew what you had eaten.
Tip #3 Persistence pays off.
No matter what your prior response had been, she would always welcome you and kindly ask again.
She persisted, just like you need to in order to be a success. You’ve got to stick with it. Do it graciously but be determined.
It may take time, but each time someone returns to your space, ask them again.
You never know when the time is right!
Tip #4 Be visible and maintain good quality.
Everything was made to order, the pad thai, the fruit smoothies, the crepes. The ingredients were fresh, kept cold in a Coleman camping cooler and prepared right in front of you. She had a great product and she kept it top quality. I watched her tell one of her helpers, that they needed to do it again when it wasn’t up to standard. Then she would look at the client and say, “it will just be another moment.”
Since there was a lineup, every person witnessed her attitude. She demonstrated her commitment to quality with her actions.
It’s not enough to have good quality, you can’t keep it a secret, you have to let people know about it too.
Tip # 5 Show Up and Put Your Best Self Out There.
Every day, she would push her 3 carts to the beach in the morning, and push them back up the road at dusk. She’d run for cover when the rains hit and return as soon as they stopped.
She would show up with a lovely smile, despite how she was feeling.
I’m sure she had challenges, money issues, family friction, and was tired from the long working hours.
But no matter what her inner thoughts were, SHE SHOWED UP.
She wasn’t at home sitting on the couch, wishing it would happen. She was out there, every day, greeting her potential clients with a warm and welcoming smile.
Let me know which of these tips resonate the most with you and which one are you going to try for your own business?
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