Don't Wait Seven Months To Read This...
Last week, Jeanne and I made a rare mid-day appearance outside of PJP Buttonwood for a scheduled appointment with Collin Bunch, a counselor at MU's Small Business and Technology Development Center (http://missouribusiness.net/center/mu-sbtdc-downtown). Collin had long been our radar...late last summer, our favorite designer Caroline Leemis suggested we stop by and see Collin for some feedback on growing our business. And like most good pieces of advice, Jeanne and I said to each other "hey, that sounds like a great idea!" and then promptly did nothing about it for the next seven months. In effort to make World Pie Domination a thing sooner rather than later, we thought again of Collin a few weeks ago. We decided to throw caution to the wind and just see what he had to offer us in terms of advice and counsel. And mind you, this service is FREE. So basically, there are offices of business professionals just waiting to give feedback and help to your business - and it doesn't cost anything. And we put it off for seven months.
We weren't sure what to expect from our appointment. We both tend toward the stubborn (imagine that), and so I think that we both felt like the appointment might be a litany of things we should do that didn't suit us...like perhaps if we only attended more Chamber of Commerce quarterly breakfast meetings, our World Pie Domination would come that much sooner.
But can I just say here that Collin completely blew our minds in the 90 minutes we sat in his office. He completely GOT US. He understood our story and he supported our goals and really listened when we talked about things we felt like worked for us (and things that didn't so much - i.e., quarterly breakfast meetings). I honestly could have stayed all afternoon and talked about PJP. It was like a therapist appointment for your business...a neutral third-party with objective advice. Without question, one of the hardest parts of owning your own business is a loss of perspective because your business is your entire world. As Collin stood outside of our world and offered legitimate feedback from his perspective, we decided we would love Collin forever.
In a short hour and a half, we gathered together a to-do list of things for PJP that may feel like not that big deal as individual items...but all together, the building blocks of #WPD are coming together. In just a brief example, we get a lot of calls asking about whether we deliver pie or not. And our typical answer is "we are literally up to our elbows in Dutch Apple topping, so no" and then we say goodbye and a potential customer is without pie...and no one wins when that happens. At Collin's suggestion, we met with Cory Rimmel of Mr. Delivery (and Hot Box Cookies) today. It turns out in the most easiest of ways, we can now offer our pies through Cory's service. A customer can log on, order pie, and Mr. Delivery will make it happen. So if you are watching House of Cards on a rainy Wednesday afternoon and pie helps you stomach some of Doug Stamper's poor choices, then log into Mr. Delivery's site and your pie is guaranteed at your doorstep quicker than Claire can go from blonde to brunette to blonde.
If you own a small business, or considering a small business, get yourself to Collin at the SBTDC as soon as possible. Don't wait seven dumb months like we did. We can't wait to see where this new partnership takes us...just don't love him too much, because we've staked the PJP flag in his office so that we always have a seat ready.