Business lessons from a Gelato Shop in Laguna Beach
Last weekend, we went for a dinner trip to Laguna Beach to see my husband’s sister. The temperature was a breezy 72 and the salty sea air instantly made me want to slow my step. We dined in a small Italian bistro, where upon entering baby Scarlett grabbed a plate and threw it on the floor.
After dinner, we walked the streets lining the beach. The shops were busy, but nothing was quite as busy as a small gelato shop. Its line wrapped down the street and around the corner. It couldn’t be that good, right? Well, we decided to stand in line and wait and see. Standing there, I felt a little silly. Was I falling prey to heard mentality? Could it be that much different than the other ice-cream shop around the corner? The line was moving quickly so we waited.
(that’s a pretty cute baby, huh!)
And during the wait and the buying is when I learned some valuable business lessons.
- Make it worth the wait. Now, this gelato was some of the best treats that I’ve ever tasted. I’ve never eaten it in Italy, but if it is half as good as the gelato I tasted in Laguna, it would be worth the trip. This better be true in your business. Whatever you are offering, it better be amazing. People need to leave your website, store, course thinking “man-oh-man! how did I live without that stuff!?”
- Share the process. As the line approached the door into the shop, we were able to watch a man make the gelato. Seeing a glimpse inside the creative process did two things: entertained and informed. We were a captive audience and it was entertaining to watch this man create the gelato. Watching the process informed us of the work that went into our scoop of gelato. This wasn’t just a machine-made process, but each gelato flavor came after a lot of work. Well, guess what. Your business has a captive audience. Social media has your audience looking into your business and hungering to see what it is all about. Let them in. Help them to see the process. If you are a photographer, take them on the journey through scouting out a location, doing the shoot and editing the pictures. If you are a designer, show them your inspiration piece, shopping experience and then the whole room put together. This entertains and informs your audience and helps them feel a part of your process and business and as a result helps them love the finished product even more.
- Give a sample. The hardest part about ordering gelato is choosing the right flavor, right? Ordering a whole scoop of gelato and then not liking is devastating. And that is why they created sample spoons. I was able to sample a few flavors and find one that made me happy. In your business, find the barriers that stop your customers from buying/following you. Then address those barriers head on and find solutions so that your customers can make an easy “yes”.
So, if you are ever in Laguna Beach, just go stand in that line. It is worth the wait!