A Short Story for Business Owners

There are plenty of negative stories to go around. And I believe that every story has a lesson.

You can either learn from the story how to act or how not to act.

As a business coach, I’m always on the lookout for little anecdotes to learn from.

So when my friend calls me up with her latest horror story, I listen closely for the nuggets of wisdom. From these sort of casual conversations I gain a deeper understanding of the consumer mindset.

And while I appreciate the lesson from a negative story, I get really happy hearing about my friends positive experiences with various businesses. If an experience was delightful enough to repeat, the business owner must be doing something right.


Today I will share with you a short anecdote that I heard from a good friend of mine. It’s not dramatic or thrilling. But if you appreciate happy endings and a good lesson, you will want to keep reading.

“My friend had a baby this week and I wanted to send her a baby gift. I was adamant that it be sent out soon after her birth, because I have this theory that the longer you wait the higher the expectations will be.
I reached out to a baby gift store that I received some gifts from when I gave birth myself about a year ago. They told me that they don’t do same day deliveries. Oh, and there is a $6 delivery charge.
That didn’t work for me, so I decided to make a quick visit to a different baby boutique not far from my home. The friendly salesman showed me two options that were within my budget. My budget wasn’t big, but the gifts still looked really respectable. The wrapping was beautiful and made an impressive presentation.
And who would have guessed? They also throw into every delivery a free teddy bear. Granted, the bear has their logo on it and it’s a great advertising strategy for them. But the bear is really cute and cozy, so it’s a win-win. Best of all, it makes my package look bigger… so I’m all for it.
It was a busy Friday afternoon, but I was in and out of the store in just five minutes. And they delivered my package for free!
This store has a good name for a good reason. I will definitely be back.”


This short story taught me so much and reminded me of what I already knew.

Here are a few ideas that I took away:


  1. Presentation is everything. Especially in a gift shop, but this applies elsewhere too. Show the value of your products or services by giving the proper packaging and design. Pay attention to detail.
  2. Delight your clients by creating a win-win situation. The baby boutique wants to market to new mothers. The gift giver wants their package to look bigger and more exciting. And which kid doesn’t love a new teddy bear?
  3. Free shipping really matters. Clients hate paying extra fees on top of the normal price. Try to set up your business and pricing model for accommodate for extra costs.
  4. Simplify your process. Time is your client’s most valuable currency. So make your process quick and easy. If you can save your client time they will be forever grateful.
  5. People naturally share good experiences. Based on my friend’s story, this store would be the only one that I visit when it’s time to purchase my next baby gift. There was no fancy referral strategy involved. Extraordinary customer service is all it takes to get people talking.


Extracting lessons from casual occurrences is my favorite thing to do.

And you can do it too.

What did you learn from this story that you can see yourself applying to your business strategy?