It’s a beautiful summer day and you’re heading to vacation with your family. As you make your way onto a Massachusetts highway, you’re greeted with honking cars and approaching gridlock. And of course, growling tummies and the sudden urge for a bathroom.
Sound typical? Small business owners Adam Weitz and wife Dr. Kasia Weitz did all that… and juggled an interview about how their businesses have become so successful. Impressive.
Adam grew up in the music industry. As a third generation entertainer, it’s only fitting that he opened up his own Pennsylvania-based event and entertainment company, A Sharp Production. Dr. Kasia Weitz graduated dental school and wanted to get into a group practice. She desired to be a business owner and dentist, and opened her own office, Pearly Whites. Ten years later, she’s looking to bring on more associates.
Two very different industries, two very successful business owners. Here’s how they do it (and manage work-life balance).
1. Superior service.
Though it seems like a basic step that any business owner would want to achieve, providing high quality customer service often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. According to a recent study, by 2020, customer experience will become a key brand differentiator, overtaking price and product. If people are willing to pay more for a better experience, it’s pretty obvious where your focus should lie.
“One of the things that I found is lacking in this industry is the understanding of what it takes to be in the service industry. I actually taught a seminar on how to serve one another because I feel it’s just that important. You’ve got to take that first client and provide them with not just an excellent performance, but great service by answering their questions right away. When you also get them their needs and work within their budget, that’s what will get repeat business,” explained Adam.
Dr. Weitz is prepared to change her whole business model in order to provide the highest level of customer experience. She’s at the point where she is ready to mentor other dentists and enable her office to become more of a group practice.
“The volume of the practice has become really significant and I'm not able to provide appointments to my patients within a timely fashion. So, if someone's waiting for an appointment for a long time, that's not really good for the patient. I want to be there. I want someone to be there and service the needed population on a daily basis, so that's number one,” she explained.
Just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean it’s always going to work for your patient or your potential clients. As you constantly evaluate your business processes to keep up with technology, competition, and demand, evaluating and improving your customer service tactics should be part of that strategy (if not priority).
Adam mentioned the attention to detail and extra lengths he and his staff go to ensure his clients are educated on what is in their best interests and in a timely fashion. Dr. Weitz is looking to bring on more dental professionals to ensure each patient gets the attention they deserve.
For both, a good chunk of their client base comes from referrals. And they are firm believers in giving tokens of appreciation to those clients who refer them business.
“Keeping a small business mentality in a large company is the biggest trick there is,” said Adam.
A handwritten thank you, or their personal favorite, Mrs. Prindables, goes a long way when fostering life-long client relationships.
What tweaks can you make to elevate your customer experience level and get customers who are such big fans that they refer business to you?
A Sharp Production specializes in weddings, mitzvahs, and corporate events. Plus, they’re able to accommodate new trends like “celebrating life” parties and “rainbow weddings.” Adam’s company is able to continue to serve a multitude of customers keep open A Sharp’s availability of talent.
Going back to the customer experience, if his company delivers an amazing performance for a family type client, they’re more likely to rehire for their other sons and daughters.
“Fame rises to the top, shining stars are always brighter than the ones who have been in the skies for a little longer. But just like anything else, you have to always stay fresh, new and innovative,” said Adam.
In addition, A Sharp is doing everything they can from a marketing and SEO standpoint to reach a new wave of customers.
As for Pearly Whites, making herself more available to patients by hiring other professionals is a smart decision that will ensure loyalty to Dr. Weitz in the long run.
“The best piece of business advice is that you have to recognize what’s needed. Which part of your business at a given time needs the attention to detail to make it stronger? Not only do I go to clinical lectures to study dentistry, but I have to figure out the business and marketing side of modern dentistry,” explained Dr. Weitz.
They both make an effort to respond to reviews online.
“We appreciate the honesty if they have something to critique and of course welcome with open arms those thrilled clients/patients when they enjoy award winning service, ” said Adam.
Take a pulse of your customers to figure out where they are and how you could improve. Do most of your clients work until 5 p.m.? Consider staying open a bit later during the week. Customers of a two income family might need to do early mornings or evenings. Do a lot of customers shop for a product like yours online? Figure out a way to allot more of your budget to online advertising. A little bit of research will go a long way.
How are you making sure you’re available for clients and potential clients?
Like I mentioned above, Adam grew up in the entertainment world. “I’m an entertainer, so singing at an event is very common for me,” he said. He even beautifully treated his wife to a rendition of Lonestar’s “Amazed” during their first dance at their wedding.
As you can tell, his passion for his industry (and business) runs deep. It’s a rollercoaster of an industry that would shake any business owner that isn’t all-in.
“Just like any business that’s been around for 30 years, you have to have a game plan when the business is great and you have to have a game plan when you need to find business. The production industry has its economic ups and downs based on the DOW Jones average,” said Adam. “If you’re smart, you can economize with the change of inflation. That’s how you win.
When Dr. Weitz bought a practice from a doctor leaving the dental industry, she didn’t buy his name or even the patients. Her style of dentistry involves a much more modern approach and her values in long-term care excel more than most, so she had to build her patient list from scratch. This allowed any old patients from the previous practice to make a committed decision. Most decided not to return. Almost 10 years later and triple the amount of the old patient base, she runs her practice with the same values, time efficiency and doesn’t change the quality of care.
“Keep learning and changing as you go…all the time. You cannot open a business and stick with the same plan hoping for survival,” said Dr. Weitz.
She is passionate about continuous training and is actively involved in professional associations, like the Northeast Philadelphia Implant Study Club, Eastern Dental Society, and the American and Pennsylvania Dental Associations.
Both are so passionate about what they do that it’s displayed right in the names of their business. Their daughter Liana’s middle name is Pearl (named after Adam’s grandmother). Weitz is their last name. Pearly whites is a common phrase associated with your teeth, and ‘white’ is a great adaptation of ‘Weitz’ so Pearly Whites was born. The ‘a’ in A Sharp, you guessed it, is because of the name Adam, and a musical note. Having a business that began with an ‘a’ was/is beneficial (think Yellow pages), but the name A Sharp stuck ever since.
The confidence and passion that these two exude makes it so easy to see how they successfully juggle two thriving businesses while raising a family. While work-life balance may seem like a strain for some, if you change your perspective, it’s not out of reach.
To learn more about A Sharp Production, click here.
To learn more about Pearly Whites, click here.