Bigger Isn’t Always Better

I’ve seen most of the Cirque du Soleil shows both in Las Vegas and the traveling tent shows which are their roots.  The Las Vegas shows benefit from having permanent theaters designed to accommodate their show.  The Beatles Love at the Mirage have high tech projection screens, “O” at Bellagio has a 1.5 million gallon water tank as its center point, KA at the MGM Grand features a stage floor which moves from horizontal to vertical – none of which would be possible to do in a traveling show under a tent!

However, on Father’s Day we went to see Kooza, the traveling Cirque du Soleil show set up at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA.  Over the years, I’ve seen at least a half-dozen of these “tent shows” and Kooza is a wonder!

Where the Las Vegas shows are as much about the “features” as they are the performers, the tent shows are ALL about the performers.  Sure, the tent shows still feature live music, great costumes and a heavy dose of theatrical staging but without the “features” of the permanent shows, the performers are even more critical.

In the same way, if your business is not a big, flashy, national company – if you don’t have a premium location, lots of money to devote to marketing – YOUR “performers” are even more critical.

No, I’m not saying you should recruit contortionists, acrobats or aerial artists – though that would make for an interesting workplace….  But it’s important that not everything that “wows” a customer requires a death-defying act.

As a small business who moved into a market dominated by a major department store, I understand the challenges and advantages of competing with the “big dog on the street”.  Small businesses can interact more closely with customers learning how to better serve their needs.  Small businesses can also make changes quickly and more easily. Think of the steering differences between a cruise ship and a speedboat.

Most important to remember though is that when you don’t have “flash” to distract, your substance has to be not only solid, but dazzling. It’s not enough for your team to do “okay”, they have to “wow”.  They are all you have but the good news is, they are all you need to succeed!


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