Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Check Out Other Shaved Ice Vendors

It's always good to look at other companies that are in the same industry as you. What are they doing well? What are they doing wrong? How does my own business rate in comparison?

There are good, helpful lessons to be learned in observing how another shaved ice company operates. I know this is beginning of the busy time for most concessionaires. But, I think it would be prudent to perhaps take an afternoon and observe some other shaved ice businesses operations. While doing so, ask yourself a few questions:

1. What is the initial appeal that draws customers to their stand?
2. Do they serve unique products?
3. Pricing - Are your prices in line with theirs?
4. Customer Service. Are they friendly and helpful?
5. Is their stand clean and visually appealing?
6. Does their staff operate in a professional, respectful manner?

If you are up to it (and if they don't necessarily know who you are), go ahead and order a shaved ice from them. Pay attention to their interaction with you. Watch how they make your shaved ice.

Taking the time to observe and perhaps interact with another stand from a customer viewpoint can give you insight into some areas where you may need to improve the operation of your own concessions business. It can also reassure you on some things that you are doing well.

As I've said before, I label these as "Magic Lanterns" - events and information that you can always go back to and use to refine your business. It's important to take time to evaluate your business and how it operates.

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