I was inspired to write this article from one of the real estate business blogs I read regularly, Inman News. This post was written by Katie Lance, and she hit the nail right on the head about paying attention to the details, it’s the little details that make the biggest difference for your patrons and in your success at running/growing your business.

The article was directed specifically at real estate agents and can be read here: Are You Creating Disney Magic in Your Real Estate Business?  I was inspired by this great article to challenge small businesses and ask if you feel you’re creating the magic for your customers in your business, the magic that sets you apart from every other small business out there you’re competing with?

In Katie’s article, she shares that when Disney remodeled their California Adventure theme park, they spent almost the same on the remodel as they initially spent building the park, that blew me away!  The cost to build the park in 2001, 1.4 billion, the cost to remodel it over the last five years, 1.1 billion!  If you’ve ever been to a Disney park, you had to have noticed how clean it is, how nothing is ever “worn out”, has chipped paint, or is out of place…EVER.  You also likely got caught up in the magic due to how every little detail has been thought of, thought about, thought through, prepared for and handled.  It is perfection and it’s perfection every day, 365 days a year, you always know what to expect and Disney NEVER disappoints.

The California park gets about 50,000 visitors a day and everything is spotless!  Walk in to some small businesses with less than 100 visitors a day and you find something that Gordon Ramsey would have a field day with on one of his reality shows like Kitchen Nightmares, wondering if the place has ever been cleaned or updated.  Seriously!

What does all this Disney business have to do with small business? 

Your image, your brand is everything in any sort of business, be it big or small.  Your image shows in the details and begins with your first impression.  Speaking of first impressions, one of my biggest pet peeves…the “cheap business card“.  Your business card IS in most cases your first impression and there is no excuse for having a bad business card, they are way too inexpensive to have designed and printed properly for you not to have your business cards done properly and professionally.  If you don’t take your business seriously enough to have a nice and professionally printed business card, how can the people you hand it to?  Answer…they can’t…and they won’t.  Get serious when you get your business cards printed and make sure they are printed on a thick 14/16 pt card stock with a UV coating on them and that they are designed/prepared/set-up by a designer.

Would Walt Disney have allowed a marketing piece to be handed out that had type-O’s on it?  I think not..enough said!  Make sure you proof read your work AND have someone else proofread it too.  There is no excuse for type-O’s and misspelled words, especially with spell check being part of most programs we all use daily.

Make sure any of the images you use in your marketing are good quality images.  Nothing says “cheap” or unprofessional more than looking at a marketing piece with images on it that are pixelated and look blurry.  If you don’t have a good quality image of your logo, have it recreated by a graphics designer so you do have “print ready artwork”.  It’s best NOT to include the images if they aren’t good quality, it does more harm to your image than good.  Can you imagine Disney putting out images that aren’t crisp and clear?   The Disney logo being printed blurry/pixelated because no one in the company could find a quality “print ready” logo on file???   Not a chance!  Why shouldn’t your hold your business to the same standard, it certainly worked out well for Walt Disney.

Keep your website up to date and current. If you haven’t updated your website in since the year 199X, it’s time to do so!  If you blog, blog regularly and about current events that are of interest to your audience.  If your last blog post is dated two years ago, it says something about you and your business and what “it” says isn’t good.  Make sure your website provides contact information easy to locate, contact forms are also a great method of communication for many people who wish to remain anonymous until they feel comfortable to reveal who they are.

I could go on and on, but will wrap up this post with one final thought.  There was a time a few years back when the acronym WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) was popular and used frequently among my children, they had the wrist bands, t-shirts, stickers, etc.  The next time you do something related to the image of your business, ask yourself “What Would Disney Do” – “WWDD”???  If Walt Disney were alive today and he was consulting you in your business, what do you think he would find acceptable or suggest?