Why Closing on Black Friday Takes Care of Our Customers
A Guest Post by: Alberto Piña, CEO and Co-Founder of Braustin Mobile Homes
Richard Brandson, one of the richest people in the world, has said again and again, “Take care of your employees, and they will take care of your business.”
When we started Braustin Mobile Homes in January of 2017, I knew taking care of our team had to be the top priority for the longevity of any success we had with our company. Taking this approach is not the fast-track to quick profit, but instead is focused on what a business can be when cared for employees care for their customers.
One of the biggest examples of this I see is in the difference between service at H-E-B and Walmart. For any local Texan, you know what I’m talking about. In an H-E-B you will find most of the registers open at any given time, a bagger at almost every line, an offer to help you out to your car, and an escort to help you find something you’ve asked the location of.
Compare this with your experience at nearly every Walmart across the country (open 24-hours, only two registers operating, understaffed, and ample amounts of grumpy employees) and the difference can be traced back to which staff feels more cared for by their company.
At the start of my career in the sale of mobile homes, my manager at the time insisted we come in at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, enticing the far and few between shoppers with free hot dogs and a t-shirt just for stopping in. After me and four other guys waited with the sounds of crickets until 3 p.m. for the first customer, we were all in thoroughly sour moods, missing our families and resenting the waste of time.
What I learned from that experience is taking care of your team starts with being intentional with their time and work schedule. That’s why we don’t work on major holidays—because one or two potential sales is not worth missing time with family, for us or the customer.
Going a step further is not getting caught up in silly marketing gimmicks and tricks to attract the masses. We don’t have end of the year sales or “$5,000 off if you buy today” offers. Keeping our prices set and standard and always at their lowest across the board means potential home buyers aren’t rushing in and later backing out which would add up to a lot of unfruitful work for our team.
And as we work to become the H-E-B of mobile homes, I can’t help but reflect with gratitude on the moment that made it all possible exactly two years ago.
I had just read my team an article J.J. Watt wrote for the Player’s Tribune—where he describes what he felt being forced to go home and recover from a brutal year of injuries and major surgeries—when I found myself being given the news that on the day before Thanksgiving, as a product of financial hard times of the company, I no longer had a job.
Instead of throwing in the towel and letting disadvantage become defeat, J.J. knew where his passion was and where he wanted his future to be. This season, J.J. is dominating the field once again, playing like he doesn’t know the definition of setback. I’m glad J.J. and I have so much in common.
Tomorrow, on Thanksgiving Day, I will sit around the table with my family, knowing my team is sitting around the table with theirs. I’ll watch football and eat pie and I will be thankful for the day that forced me to change the course of my future, thankful for the Braustin team who makes this dream possible, and thankful for all of you who have trusted us to be your home builder.
And Friday? The only shopping I plan to do is with my family to pick out a Christmas tree that we’ll take home and decorate.
It’s shaping up to be a pretty Happy Thanksgiving.