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Business Success Depends on What Happens Behind the Scenes

I’ve just come in from a lovely Friday night out with hubby. It was a long, but wonderful week, and I was ready to get away from the computer. Of course, always in the back of my mind, I’m thinking of the next story to write and I’m constantly on the watch for some seemingly mundane thing that is really full of meaning, just waiting for me to unearth it.I think I found just such a thing tonight. Let me set the stage…We drove a few miles south to beautiful Pawleys Island, SC, to our favorite sushi bar and restaurant. It’s set under a giant live oak tree dripping with Spanish moss. The weather was perfect for enjoying outside dining. But first, we went in to the bar to chat for a few minutes with the bartender and the sushi chef. While seated at the bar, I watched the young bartender polishing glasses, artfully uncorking wine bottles for patrons, chatting with the guys about the game on the overhead TV’s. Things were neat, in order and sparkling clean, which combined to create a very warm and inviting atmosphere. I felt like I could have been at the home of a trusted friend.My mind wandered back many years to the days when I was a waitress. I had two young children and I was in college full time. We would all go to school, come home about the same time and do our homework together. When dad arrived home to be with the kids, I would take off for the fine dining establishment that had become my second home. Work began instantly to get ready for the evening’s diners. Ice bins to fill, butter to be scooped, salt & pepper shakers checked and filled, wine inventory checked, linen napkins folded, flowers arranged on the tables, good Southern iced tea to be made, lemons to be cut just right (wedges, not slices!), sugar bowls to fill (NEVER any paper items on our tables), and it went on and on…By the time the first guests arrived, the candles were lit and we were standing by smiling and acting very nonchalant, as though we had freshly arrived on the scene, and put on our aprons just to open the door and welcome them. Who knew? We were actually close to exhaustion by this time. I would arrive home around midnight and be up early the next morning to start it all over again. I made extremely good money for those few hours each night, probably because it was such a classy place. Looking back, I don’t know where I found the energy. Ah, the benefits of youth!So, tonight, as I watched the bartender, the chef and the other staff, it occurred to me all the prep work they had done so that I could stroll in, sit down and enjoy great food, drinks, and good service, in a lovely setting.You know, our work is like that, too. Most of us reading this article have a business of some sort, many of us working online. We have LOTS of prep work to do that no one sees. Yet, when they look at our store, our place of business, or our websites, they see something that looks fairly effortless. But, we know better, don’t we?I dedicate this article to all the work done BEHIND THE SCENES to serve your clients and offer them the very best you have. I’ve visited many of your places of business, I’ve seen your websites and even purchased products from many of you. I appreciate ALL you do BEHIND THE SCENES to make it happen.