Learning from Disney

1. Have a passion for your product

Walt Disney was a perfectionist, who spent years ensuring each movie was exactly how he wanted it. If your product doesn't make you excited, how will it excite anyone else?

2. Provide the best customer service

Staff at Disney parks are famous for great customer service. Everyone is friendly, polite, and more than willing to help with anything. Remember that it's not just about selling your product, great customer service should continue after the purchase has been made. Contact your customer to check they're satisfied, and offer free telephone support if they're not. It may seem like hard work, but your customers will reward you through recommendations to their friends.

3. Keep your business up-to-date

The Disney Corporation has been around for almost 90 years, but is still one of the most popular brands. Disney stays fresh by bringing in new people, merging with successful businesses such as Pixar, and undertaking countless amounts of market research. Someone will eventually make a similar product to yours, and sell it for a fraction of your price. Keep developing ways to improve your product. Work with people who inspire you and add value to your business: but don't recruit willy nilly, because that's a sure way to lose money.

4. Sell sell sell

If you've ever been to a Disney park, you'll know how much merchandise is available. Not only do people buy tickets to get in, and food once inside, but after riding rollercoasters based on films, they rush outside to buy merchandise. Cross selling is the key. For example, if you sell an eBook, also offer an audio version, video version, hard copy, study guide etc. If you sell cameras, sell cleaning equipment, photo paper, frames, albums and so on. See our feature on cross selling here.

5. Know when to pull the plug

Walt Disney dreamed of opening a circus inside Disney World. It ran for one day and was a complete disaster. At the end of that first day he shut it down. If things start to plummet, and there seems no solution, don't be afraid to cut your losses and move on. Fighting to the end can sometimes work, but will cost you time and money, which you might not have. Know when to call it a day.

So remember, while Disney may be bringing in the billions, there's still room for the little guy. There's no need to bother the fairy godmother just yet.

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