How do wireless internet and screaming kids help a brake store get business?

Time. It’s the one thing none of us can change. Whether we’re sleeping, viewing/making Paris Hilton videos, working or climbing Mt Everest – we all get what we get and when the register’s empty, all your family gets is a receipt.

No, this isn’t the April doom and gloom issue. I’m just setting you up for the rest of this post. Its about TIME 🙂

I’m sitting in the McDonald’s Playplace in west Kalispell.

Why? Several reasons.

First, my car is across the street at Midas getting some brake repairs. Now, when you take your car in, something like this can take 10 minutes or 10 hours. Not because Midas doesn’t know what they are doing, but because fixing cars can be a lot like fixing a bug in a computer program. There’s some skill and some science, but there’s also some black magic or kismet or just plain good (or bad) luck.

Ok, so I’m stranded at the car place and I have work to do this afternoon, so I choose my repair shop on 4 criteria:

  1. Do they know what they’re doing?
  2. Can they do it now?
  3. Can I find a place close enough to walk so that I can get to the net and do the work I need to do?
  4. Is there a warranty?

You’ll note that I didn’t mention price. Because these places foolishly position themselves as a commodity service, price isn’t even a consideration. Call around if you wish, but I can tell you that a brake job all over town is within 10 bucks of what I’m paying. There’s a lesson there. Like whatever you do, brake work doesn’t have to be a commodity item, but we’ll talk about that some other time.

So, I call Midas to see if they can get me in because I know MickeyD’s has wireless across the street. Yeah, it’s 2.95 for 2 hours, but if I can’t justify that tiny fee, I need to find a new line of work:) Besides, I get a bottomless Diet Coke for a buck 30.

Midas gets me in at the time I want, right after Rotary plus driving time across town. Truth be told, now that I got a look at their calendar for the next 2 days, I had my choice of all but 4 appointment slots today and 2 tomorrow. They’re not doing too hot at marketing. They have one of the easiest things in the world to sell, yet they aren’t busy. I shouldn’t have been able to get in today, unless they decided to stay late to help me out of a jam.
Yes, I might normally consider getting the work done at a friend’s business, but I don’t have any friends in the auto biz.

Back to why I’m in the Playplace.

Second reason: It’s the location of the only publicly available electric outlet in the building. I know. I look for things like that. Isn’t it odd that the only electricity I can get to is in a place where little kids play? 🙂

Finally, I’m in the Playplace because it smells about 300 times better than the rest of the store. It’s sealed off because of the noise from the kids, but that also keeps the fryer smell out of this area (yes, McD’s needs to invest in better air moving equipment).

Parents seeing me sit here look at me like I’m nuts. How could he work with all these kids running around?

Easy. I have kids. It’s easy to tune out YOUR kids when they cry, squeal, etc – but I can’t tune out mine. Mine, thankfully, are 14 and 18, so they don’t do much of that anymore.
So how does all this relate to why wireless is important to your business?

This Midas store has gained a customer and several grand over the last 8 years simply because they have the things I mentioned earlier (A warranty, the ability to do the work, the time to do the work NOW, and wireless within a block). I can assure you that someone else would have gotten this work if they had those same qualifications and they were closer to my home or office. Your criteria may be different. Those are mine.
If you get my free email newsletter, you know why this is a big deal, because I sign off this way in every issue: “Do at least 1 thing today to get, or keep, a client.”

PS: To get the newsletter, go to, and fill in the form on the left side of the page.

2 replies on “How do wireless internet and screaming kids help a brake store get business?”

  1. I don’t mind when kids make noise, to me it’s “joyful noise.”

    Some months ago I blogged suggesting repair shops invest in wi-fi as a way to attract working customers like you and me. Of course, Midas will never have a bottomless Diet Coke for a buck thirty:-)



  2. Glenn,

    I can tune out just about anything, but squeals inside a glass cube (what a playplace is) can get a bit over the top:)


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