Recently I attended an event at the Des Moines Civic Center simply called Rain. The title comes from the name of a group that performs a two-hour tribute to the Beatles.
By all accounts, it was a huge success. The music was live and their sound authentic. The visuals—complete with costumes, wigs, lights, a fog machine, and videos—were outstanding.
Not particularly a die-hard Beatles’ fan, some of their tunes were not familiar to me. The vast majority of 2,000 attendees on the other hand began wildly cheering fifteen seconds into each song. Totally uninhibited—they joined in the singing and begin dancing at their seats or in the aisle.
Somewhat detached from the nostalgia, it allowed me the opportunity to study the concert from a different perspective. I was struck by the number of people working to make the event fun and seemingly problem-free from the audience’s point-of-view. Undoubtedly, there were some behind-the-scenes snags—but we did not see one of them.
Five (rather than four) performers took turns playing Ringo, John, George and Paul during the show. A man and woman alternated with sign language for the hearing impaired from the first song, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, to the final standing ovation.
Stage hands occasionally snuck onstage unobtrusively during sets to trade microphones or change guitars. Video technicians performed flawlessly with intriguing film footage from the sixties. Civic Center volunteers took tickets, handled the lighting and managed the doors so that the show was not interrupted by latecomers or early-leavers.
Everyone did his/her thing, no matter how big or small, to ensure a successful venture and encourage people like Renee and me to buy tickets in the future. They succeeded in that endeavor. We will happily shell out some bucks for other shows that come to town.
As is usually the case, I thought about the entire experience in relation to what entrepreneurs experience in running a business.
What did I learn? That the best thing we can do for our company and department is what each of us does best.
During the show, a spotlight was on the performer singing Hey Jude. But if the microphone wasn’t working, the spotlight burnt out, or the guy on the keyboard started playing the wrong song, it could have been a disaster. Because someone was in charge of the entire show and took charge—none of those negative things happened.
And that’s where you come in!
You can’t change the economy but you are in charge of the making strategic decisions in your business. Your job is to know what you and your employees are called to do—and do it well.
At my concert, in the big scheme of things, perhaps making sure the auditorium doors were closed was as important as the guy portraying Ringo pounding the drums.
Your employees need to understand their respective roles and perform them to the best of their abilities. That was the key to success at the Rain concert and will be the key to your success as a small-business owner. Take a lesson from the tribute to George, John, Paul, and Ringo: pay attention to the small matters in your shop that will keep customers coming back.
Bill Sheridan—SHERIDAN WRITES, LLC—www.sheridanwrites.com
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