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I spent the past week in Cape Cod, Mass and it was an amazing time away with my girl and some great people. I tried to stay off my net book for as long as possible but couldn’t help checking in to work from time to time. Always having my financial coach and business consultant hat on, I kept noticing little things that as a consumer irked me but as a professional just dumbfounded me. Like I said I had a blast there and whether you’re a Mass native or not it’s always a good time. What I’m going to do is give my experience at the Cape a break down like I would for any of my consulting/coaching clients – only much more abridged and in bullet form.
- Be more plastic friendly – I can’t tell you how many times I was discouraged because places were cash only. It makes sense that a significant portion of revenues for businesses in parts of Cape Cod are tourist heavy so why take the chance at ostracizing consumers and revenue. I did see lots of private ATM’s and local banks but when you are trying to stay cost savvy the penalty fees for withdrawal don’t always justify the purchase. Costs for the hardware to run debit/credit transactions are at all time lows and purchases would arguably make up for (and exceed) costs of ownership.
- Stick to your own rules – In line again with businesses stretching to capture consumer dollars this time it’s being over accommodating that’s the problem. If you have signs that say you (the business) can’t entertain groups larger than four then stick to it. When you bend the rules it affects the experience of all the rest of the patrons. I know that when I’m away I tend to gravitate towards places that are familiar or that I’ve had good experiences with. In the short run will you capture more revenue by over accommodating –yes. But the business will suffer in the long run as bad experiences start to travel.
- Differentiate – I love the culture out there on the Cape and here in Mass but I think I saw about 157 places called “The Lobster House”. It’s important to try to find niches especially in a coastal environment like that where every place has the best lobster in Mass. One of the cooler places we did eat at actually looked like a giant hollowed out boat on the water. It was a blast because the environment genuinely enhanced the experience of being at a seafood place – way more so than just sea fairing stuff just tacked on the walls.
- Counter presence – I was turned off a few times with how rude some vendors were over their counter space. Now I know a lot of those are summer jobs and that sometimes you can’t avoid language barriers that pop up but, no vendor should act like it’s a burden to take an order or ring out a purchase. That goes back with the experience the consumer has and how likely they are to be a crusader for that brand. Out in Provincetown I had a blast (not only because it was close to Carnival and the drag queens were out in force) because we were bombarded by people handing out flyers. Now you might say that you hate when that happens but the salesmanship and interpersonal attention of some of those flyer-hander-outers were on point. The conversation was what was being consumed and because I was impressed I gladly took a flyer or two (even if I didn’t get to the show).
Contrary to how this post sounds I really did have a blast out there. How can you not have fun playing mini golf, eating soft serve, sleeping on the beach, and watching men walk down the streets of P-Town whose professions are dressing as women. The only thing I regret is not taking more pictures.
Be sure to check out some of my favorite financially savvy travel posts too – we’ll call it a mini carnival!!
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff - http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/2010/07/fit-in-a-fun-friday-summer-activities-on-the-cheap/
Wealth Pilgrim - http://wealthpilgrim.com/lost-or-stolen-wallet-what-to-do-now/
Well Heeled Blog - http://www.wellheeledblog.com/2010/08/09/joy-vacation-planning/
Feel free to add your own experiences and travels. Are there any extra things you can think of that might make the business community out there or in places like Cape Cod more efficient?