I'm a big fan of fountain pens. Bought my first Montblanc (image) back in 1987 to celebrate a big job promotion. I remember going into a store some months prior to that and looking at them. The staff person asked me if I wanted to buy it. I said, "No, not yet, I've not done enough to deserve it." She looked at me and said, "That much guilt? You must be either Jewish or Catholic." She guessed right.
Fast forward to this year when I gave my Bride a fountain pen created by Rob Beers of the Quill & Nib located in Valley Junction in West Des Moines, Iowa. I filled it with some standard black ink but she wanted a color and suggested green. So, back to see Rob and picked up a bottle of Iroshizuku (colored drops) ink. Pricy? A bit but the color was right and after I cleaned and filled her pen she commented on how smooth the writing was. What? The kind of ink makes a difference when it comes to the ease of writing? I had no idea that such a little thing would make such a huge difference. So it was back to the Quill & Nib for a bottle of black ink. And, yes, it is amazing!
The story here isn't so much about ink but about the little things that can make a huge difference when it comes to performance. So the question to you might be: "What small changes can you make to your business that will pay huge dividends for you and your customer?" It's worth thinking about and then taking action. You never know until you try it.
One more thing. Several years ago I sat down and did an interview with Rob. It was a Small Business Spotlight for our program Insight on Business the News Hour. Years ago Rob was chided by his Mother suggesting that he get a "real job". A guy that marches to his own drummer, he decided to go into retail but in something very special. Rob liked custom and high end pens. Have a listen to that 2019 conversation below. While the Quill & Nib is a great store he doesn't have a website or do social media. You want to connect you'll have to call him at 515-223-6299. This way you can also support local.
Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!