An Open Letter To EricPosted: October 17, 2014
Congratulations you on your entrepreneurial spirit. It takes guts and drive to open a business. My guts drive me in other directions, but I admire those who put themselves out there to open their own shop. You might think a guy like me wouldn’t feel that way about someone who has opened a body piercing shop, but I do.
I admire that you’ve identified a niche you can market to. That niche – people who want new niches poked into their body – isn’t one I’m part of. But you are filling the needs of people who need puncture wounds and stimulating the local economy; good for you, sir.
Because I think I know a lot about people and a little about everything else, I’m going to point something out. Maybe you’ll think I’m presumptuous to say anything. After all, you know body piercing and you’ve got a business permit; you’re light years ahead of me, business wise. But I’m older. I’ve spent my life studying human nature and I have to comment on the most visible part of your marketing plan. Yes, the sign you have out by the road.
I won’t bring up how a hand-made sign affects the way potential customers assess your professionalism. There are plenty of MBA’s out there who can discuss the merits of drawing a sign with magic-markers. I am going to bring up what you wrote on that sign.
There is a certain pride in owning a business and putting your name on it. Sometimes that works out well. In this case, it helped you a little because I feel comfortable addressing you by your first name. Thanks for putting it out there for me to use.
Feeling comfortable and knowing who you are dealing with is important for your customers. If I were planning to get something pierced, I’d be comforted by the feeling that I was on a first name basis with you. When I got nervous, I could say things like “it’s cool, Eric knows his stuff” to settle myself.
But I think calling your shop “Krazy Eric’s Body Piercing” isn’t presenting the image your customers need from you. “Krazy” doesn’t positively change the impression potential customers have of you. That’s why you’ll never find a business called “Krazy Eric’s Neurosurgery” or “Krazy Eric’s Tutoring Center”.
Spelling Counts. Stop Asking.
The number of jobs where you can be “krazy” is small. In fact, unless you are part of your local radio station’s morning zoo crew, “Krazy” should never be part of your name. Eric, you’re in the business of poking holes through your customer’s flesh. They want stability. They want to have confidence in the person who is piercing them. Not many people are going to believe that you’re stable and confidence inspiring. Why? Because you’re calling yourself “krazy”.
I don’t know how you became Krazy Eric. Maybe it was that incident after school that one time. “Krazy” fit you back then, but it’s not a good nickname for an adult.
Oh, one other thing. Remember back in school, when there were tests and you asked the teacher if spelling counted? You’re in the real world now. Every day is a test; spelling counts on every one of those tests. Maybe you think that “krazy” makes you seem as if you’re too crazy to care about spelling. It doesn’t. It isn’t even a word.
I’m not telling you what to do. You understand business, I don’t. But if I were you, I’d stop at Target on the way to work today. I’d but a fresh set of markers and some poster board and I’d make a new, non-krazy, sign.
Best of luck to you, Eric.