Everything about The Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale MS is fun. Their signage. Their accommodations. Their website. I especially love their FAQ’s (take a moment to read them); probably because I have done similar stuff at The World’s Only Virtual Diner Fighting Hunger; The Double D Diner website. (heck take a moment to read ours too; and maybe make a donation to help fight hunger.)
Bill Talbot (pictured here) is one of the owners of The Shack Up Inn; and from the time I tried to open the wrong lobby door (the picture below) it was nothing but fun, laughs, stories, and anything he and his staff could do to make your stay better.
No, I haven’t become a travel writer. But how many of you have heard “this is a fun place to work?” Especially during the interview process. Then you arrive on day one and it is anything but fun. An occasional ice cream social or after hours get together does not make a business fun. Fun is infused into a business at every possible moment.
Recently I visited a place that used the word Funky in its name. When you run a business called the Funky Whatever, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have a slight expectation when I walk through the doors. Yet, the people you have working are nothing but awkward stiffs, who struggle with a smile, and act way too professional. That is a problem. You’ve hired the wrong people. You’ve trained the wrong people. Perhaps you’ve stifled their funkiness with too many rules and policies. Or worse yet you thought the name of the business was cool but never really thought through the branding.
I’ve been paying lots of attention to people who work in what might be classified as fun places: museums, bars, souvenir shops, boutique retail shops, a pool and a park. Sadly too many of these people were concentrating on the transaction and not on the customer. Deep down inside my gut was telling me they were concentrating on being who they thought they should be and not really who they are. So I did a short experiment…………………
18 out of 20 people basically exhibited the same personality. I’ll let you guess where 19 and 20 worked. Professional. Low key. Unenthusiastic. Process and procedure oriented. Statistically that cannot possibly be. Or can it?
Hire employees who fit your brand and something amazing might happen………your employees will be happy and your customers will have a better experience too! They might spend more money. And even better, they might tell a whole bunch of people about you!
So whether you’re a fun biz, a serious biz, an uptight pretentious establishment or an off the wall crazy as you-know-what entity, the right people are out there. Find them. Hire them. Everyone wins. Bill Talbot knows his brand. He is his brand. And so are the people employed by The Shack Up Inn.
And if you’re ever down in Clarksdale MS, where Blues Music was born, the only place to Shack Up is The Shack Up Inn! Tell Bill I sent you!