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Proof

Recently, I had the privilege of listening to Richard Reed at an event. Richard is co-founder of the Innocent smoothies brand and given the company’s success, he is clearly a guy worth listening to.

One of his most interesting ideas was the concept of what he calls PROOFing a company and I’d like to share these ideas with you and demonstrate how we have applied this to Make Believe.

PROOF is an acronym made up of the following concepts:

P = PEOPLE (I always say people buy people, they don’t buy a product). As business owners, we are motivators of people and it is incredibly important that the people we employ and have representing Make Believe are strong and great at what they do. Customer service is of the upmost importance and the Make Believe team is what makes our customers feel special! We know that our business depends on students (customer) satisfaction so we are always around when students or parents want to talk to us. The people within your business are what will make you and unfortunately in some cases, can create a detrimental affect. You are better off having no one in a position than someone doing a bad.

R = REPUTATION – never compromise or jeopardise your reputation for anyone or anything! Your reputation is absolutely vital – Make Believe has built up a brand for nearly 13 years and attention to detail is key. (I always talk about loyalty beyond reason and how we should look at the relationship our parents and students have with our brand). We want to deliver beyond expectations; we want to create an intimate and emotional connection that our parents and students cannot live without. We want to reach their hearts and minds. Make Believe is not just a theatre school that our students attend on a weekly basis, it is an integral part of their life! We are not just a product we are a way of life – when we close for a week due to Easter we want our students to protest our absence!

O = ORGANISATION – it is absolutely key to be organised from every aspect of the business. From structure to admin, from the front desk to a telephone conversation, every aspect of your business should be organised. Think about this; do you have mechanisms in place to respond to phone calls, reply to emails and be around to get your message across.

O = OH MY GOD – We want to create the WOW! Factor, OMG! (which of course is more than coincidental as OMG! was the name of our tenth anniversary show….!)

At Make Believe we want to blow the parents’ minds and take our students’ imaginations to a new level! We want to exceed all expectations and ensure that all our parents talk about us because they love what we do and want others to share the experience that their child has had!

F = FOCUS – It is extremely important to have a strong and distinct focus on the direction you wish to take your business. Doing loads of different things and getting all of them all half done is simply not good enough. Get one job done and extremely well then move on to the next one. Quality should always come before quantity – never lose that ever so important personal touch.

Richard Reed is not just a ‘smoothie talker’; he has built an iconic brand and we should all listen and learn. PROOFing is a template to measure success and I recommend his message for your company’s success.

The day was memorable for me, I left with a shedload of ideas and inspiration and I am delighted to pass on these important business ideas to you all.

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