I grew up on a farm in Illinois, among many German, Polish and Scandinavian farmers. In our kitchen was an old cutting board, made with old-world, blue, orange and white, glazed tiles with this Swedish saying:
Små Smulor är också Bröd
Which translates to: “Small Crumbs are also Bread.” While this alludes to the thriftiness of those cultures and generations, as a young boy it left an impression that there are different ways to look many things…micro and macro (although I didn’t know those words then…ha!)
Many years and miles later, I created a consulting firm to help transition large corporations from typewriters, Rolodex, and calculators to the modern technology of computers, spreadsheets and mobile communications. I called the company Acorn Technology Training…and our motto was:
“From Small Acorns Grow Mighty Oaks”
Having been through many hours of tedious, corporate, all-day training sessions myself, I chose to break my classes into one-hour sessions, but filled them with the “small acorns” that employees could immediately go back to their desks and start using right away. The program was very successful and I spent many years travelling the world, working for some the world’s largest companies and making many friends.
When I bought my first vacation rental (a condo), I used the same “bread and acorns” philosophy throughout the renovation and still do in my day-to-day operations. My guest comment books are full of quotes like “I tried to think of one thing that Crafty forgot…but every time I do…he’s got it covered.”
Over the years, I acquired another vacation rental and began writing for various national and international VR forums on the topic of Many Little Things and was interviewed by Canadian media on the subject as well. I was also a regular speaker at various Home Away Summits as a panelists on topics like “Guest Retention”, in which, T.G.E (Total Guest Experience) and Many Little Things were recurring themes.
Throughout this section, I’ll focus on nifty little products and tricks that will sometimes “blow your guests away”…of go completely unnoticed, because they just work (as opposed to fail). And…I’ll also tell some real-life stories of how the lack of attention to the Many Little Things can work against owners and guests alike. After all…