Earlier this year, McGraw-Hill released the third edition of Bill Capodagli’s and Lynn Jackson’s massive seller, the Disney Way. The book details how businesses owners can incorporate Disney’s four pillar credo, “Dream. Believe. Dare. Do,” to their everyday practice and thinking. The book profiles several small businesses including Valparaiso local, Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service.
Donna Flanagin, the proprietor of Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service has always been fascinated by Disney’s business strategies and their ability to make every day magical to their customers. Her blog post titled “Dream. Believe. Dare. Do” caught the attention of both of the authors.
“I was pretty excited to see my blog post getting attention, and I was even more excited that they wanted to feature my business in their book,” said Flanagin.
Her fascination with Disney began as a child and has remained since. As a business owner, Flanagin was interested in Disney's success as a multifaceted corporation. She went to the source to find out their secrets by registering for classes at Disney World in Orlando.
“In the early 2000's I found out Disney offered a business class. So, I went down to Orlando and it was fantastic,“ Flanagin continued. “It changed so much in my business. Like on how important customer service really is and how important your employees are to be a big part of the experience. It blossomed my creativity too. And I was ready apply what I learned from that class.“
Flanagin incorporated the Disney way by creating the Flanagin’s Fairies. In 2008, the Flanagin’s Fairies debuted at the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival and were an immediate attention-grabber for children and customers. Building from the Fairies success, Flanagin went on to put the magic of Disney into her shop. She transformed her store's interior into an attraction she called: “Main Street.”
The transformation began by creating a divider from the front to the back to separate the behind the scenes work at the shop. She then installed windows with colorful awnings on the dividing wall. Shortly after came the additions of lampposts, a park bench, footprints on the ground, the smell of cookies in the air, and sounds of birds chirping. She created a whole world at the front of her shop.
After the creation of her store, she wrote her blog post that snatched the attention of both Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson. The authors immediately phoned Flanagin and interviewed her to be featured in the third edition of the Disney Way.
The book was an immediate hit with other entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies alike. The Disney Way became one of Fortune magazine's "Best Business Books” the year it was originally published. The book is now in it’s third version.
For insight on the inner workings of Disney and how to apply their credo to your business, The Disney Way is a must read.
For more info on the book and where to purchase, click here.