July 12, 2015 by 45spin
Well it was one year ago that I jumped from one dream to another. I say dreams because life for me has always been about chasing a dream. Some folks chase a bus or a train, or maybe even a promotion at work. Me I’ve always been chasing a dream.
So in chasing this dream of a record store all I really knew for sure was that I really liked records and not much more than that really. I wish I could tell you that I had this big plan and strategy but I really didn’t. All I knew is that I had to find a bunch of used records & CD’s really quick and at the same time figure out how to get set up with all of these different record labels & distributors so I would to be able to have some new vinyl & CD’s to sell as well. The thought of opening a empty store with nothing in it to sell kept me pretty damn motivated to say the least.
The other thing I had to do was to build a great team to help me make this dream a reality. I learned years ago with a few other businesses that people are what make a good business great. So I needed to find some really great creative people who saw this as an opportunity to live out their dreams as well. Dreams are always best when shared with fellow dreamers. And if I was lucky anywhere in the first year it had to be with the hiring of my two managers Kathleen and Nick. They both jumped into a business they knew nothing about and not only learned it in a hurry but made it their own as well. Mill City Sound wouldn’t be the same without them and I do believe that they could run the business better than I could some days.
The secret of success in any business I’ve found can’t be found in any books, or consultants or even in the successes of the past. No, the success of any business depends upon how well you understand what your customer wants. And if you can deliver what they want, better than anyone else well then you have a very satisfied customer and a very good business. You now know everything that I know on how to be successful in business.
So in our first year we’ve learned a lot about what our our customers truly want. Most want a smile and friendly greeting when they come in the door. Some want to talk about music and share some new music they discovered. Mostly they want to be part of a record community where everyone shares a common love of music. And although most of them do music streaming to discover new music, they don’t really see music streaming replacing their desire to be a part of the record community but instead view streaming as replacing that thing called radio which seems to be getting less relevant every year.
They also want to be surprised with all kinds of new music as they are digging through the record bins. Nothing worse than digging through a bunch of record bins and seeing the same old records that they had seen the month before. Surprise record finds are like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And more importantly they will always remember what store they were at when they found it and just how fantastic they felt when they had that black vinyl gold in their hands. Nothing beats that experience and if they can feel that way in your store they will remember your record store for life.
So armed with this information about making the customer experience really special I’ve pretty much been spending most of my time finding some very awesome record collections that allow everyone a chance to find some very special black vinyl gold and hopefully get a chance to remember us for life.
As in all things in life when you give somebody something really special that they really want, they will remember you for life.
So in a nutshell ( With me being the nut ) the first year has been fantastic, I cannot believe how many great new friends and Vinyl-Heads that I have met in the first year. There is nothing better than hanging out with a bunch of Vinyl-Heads everyday playing music. These people are no longer customers but friends that still believe that the romance of vinyl is just a spin away. And yeah the pay is bad and the hours are long and the benefits are nonexistent, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way as to be able to live a dream is to be able to really live your life.
And isn’t that what life is all about?