The goal of Live Well, Have Fun is to review products and services to see if they live up to the Do it Well, Make it Fun Test. Additionally, it will be good accountability for me to see if I, too, am Living Well and Having Fun! I hope you find value in them.
October 11, 2012
THE SITUATION: Entrepreneurial business
THE EXPERIENCE: Michael Almond owns All American Limousine in Utica, NY. I had the privilege of riding with Michael when I spoke for the Faxton-St. Lukes Health system.
First, let me say that Michael is an excellent conversationalist. Sometimes, when I’m in a taxi or using a car service, I just want to be left alone so I can sleep or just relax. But Michael made things interesting. On the first leg of our trip, we talked about our favorite movies and even quoted a few funny lines. This is right up my alley. But it was on the return trip that I benefited from Michael’s business experience.
Michael runs a business that has several competitors. The key to his success is to stand out among the crowd and to recruit new clients. Then, once he gets a new client, he typically keeps them. So, I asked him how he structured his business to be successful.
To begin with, Michael determined what he wanted to make each month as his salary. Then, he examined his expenses and created a competitive pricing structure that would give him the lifestyle he wanted. His goal is to continually work to generate new clients. He mentioned three techniques that I thought were particularly effective…and fun.
When Michael eats in a restaurant, he always leaves a big tip – attached to his business card. He figures that the tip leaves a good impression and then when someone needs a ride to the airport, they’ll remember him and his tip. Ironically, after he dropped me off at the airport and I gave him a generous tip, I did not attach my business card to my tip. Clearly, I’m not the businessman that Michael is. Duh.
Michael also puts his card on every bulletin board in stores, college buildings, restaurants, etc. He figures the visibility leads to familiarity and ultimately to more business.
Finally, Michael has become very involved in the Make-A-Wish Foundation in his area. He volunteers his cars and drivers as a way to make the dreams of terminally-ill kids come true. He admits that he experiences an immediate financial loss when he provides the service but he believes that the goodwill leads to more business down the road. And even if it didn’t, Michael thinks that community service is an important part of his business model.
THE VERDICT: Michael is the epitome of Do it Well, Make it Fun. He must succeed in business to stay in business. But he engages in fun techniques so that he is not only successful, he has a good time along the way.
DIWMIF TEST SCORE: 9. Very well done and fun.