SBM 101: Passion

passion of danceSmall Business Marketing 101Do you love what you do?

When you wake up in the morning, are you excited to go to work?

Is your small business tied into things you love and are passionate about?

Let me share two real-world scenarios with you that captures why passion is so critical to your success. I travel a lot and I have an opportunity to stay in about every type of hotel, motel and inn that you might imagine. It is a tough industry and I have a lot of respect for those people who do it well (they are few and far between). Regardless of what type of hotel it is and what amenities they offer, I’ve found that you can lump them into two categories.

The first category is the hotel that is owned by someone who cares and who also hires people that care about taking care of the guests. These types of places are great to stay at and you know them the second you walk into the place. Everyone greets you and asks how you are doing. They show a sincere interest in what you. They get you checked in quickly and up to your room so you can settle in. When you ask questions, they have answers.

I stayed in an out of the way hotel in Idaho several months back. I was there for work and we had a conference room. The hotel had also assigned a nice lady to make sure we had everything we needed. She had the room set up for us when we got there and she checked with us to see if it was set up correctly. She made sure we had coffee all day long. She chatted with us during our break times. She was amazing and I know everyone on our team was impressed by her efforts.

The second category includes all those hotels that lack passion and concern. The vast majority of hotels that I have stayed at fall into this category. When you arrive, the hostess tends to look up and roll her eyes. She’s been busy and you just added to her work. The staff hates working there. No one smiles. No one greets you. The complimentary breakfast consists of food that you wouldn’t give to your dog.

I’ve stayed at a lot of these hotels. Recently, Cassie and I stayed in a hotel on the way back from a road trip to the Oregon coast. We had been driving for 9 hours. We were tired and we simply wanted to get to our room and crash. We arrived at the hotel during a shift change. The gal that had been on shift couldn’t wait to get out of there. She smiled and said, “He’ll get with your here in a second.” The guy come on shift was grumpy and didn’t really want to be there. It then took him about ten minutes to check us in from a reservation that had been made and paid for weeks ahead of time. Once he had us check in, we headed down to our room.

As it turned out, the room was not the one I had reserved. But we kept it. It wasn’t worth the hassle to switch rooms. The other problem was the rooms were run down, poorly maintained and slightly dirty. It was a horrible experience.

Now, here’s the fun part of the story. Both hotels were part of the same chain. I stayed at the second one as a result of the experience I had at the first. The reality of the situation is that they are a franchise and each one has different owners. Despite their franchise standards, what it really comes down to is much or little passion the owners have for their business.

Are you truly passionate about what you are doing?

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