Lessons from the Ann Bean Mansion

I am spending a wonderful week with my bride working, relaxing, playing and visiting old friends in Minnesota. After dropping our kids off at a wonderful Christian camp in far-north Minnesota, we are in Stillwater – one of the oldest river towns in the state.

So what? Why should you care about where we are and what we’re doing? Frankly, you probably don’t. But you may be interested in some of the things I am experiencing from some savvy business owners here.

Lessons Learned at the An Bean Mansion

Lessons Learned at the An Bean Mansion

For example, when you travel you need a place to stay. Many travelers look for a hotel – like a Holiday Inn or Marriott or some recognizable brand name. The experience there is very predictable. You’re familiar with the checkin process, how to access wifi, breakfast bar, checkout times, etc. Staying in a hotel is more functional than special.

But we made the decision to stay at a bed and breakfast. We are staying at the Ann Bean Mansion in Stillwater, MN. The photo above is only just the beginning of the story. It is a classic Victorian Mansion, renovated to nearly original condition, and filled with history.

The owners, Jeremy and Erin Drews, are an extraordinary couple who have a singular passion -to make our stay so unique and special that we will want to stay longer, tell our friends and come back again. This happens to be our second visit to the Ann Bean Mansion.

From the moment we arrived at the mansion we have been treated like we are the most important guests they have ever had stay with them. From being greeted at the door, signing the guest register, hearing the history of the mansion, getting the tour of the house, being welcomed to make ourself at home, being offered an afternoon refreshment, snacks available any time day or night, 4 course breakfast served either in the dining room or brought to our guest room daily, to being asked constantly if we need anything, just ask.

The owners of the Ann Bean Mansion are playing on our EMOTIONS. Rather than just staying in a standard hotel room, we are being treated to a royal, pampered, elegant experience. Our conversations about our “hotel” are uniquely different than those who are staying down the road at the Holiday Inn!

So what are the lessons here? I think there are several.

1) These business owners are PASSIONATE about their business and what they do – and it shows in everything they do. Can you say the same about your business?

2) These business owners know who their IDEAL CUSTOMER is – what they like, what motivates them and what matters to them. Are you clear on your ideal customer?

3) These business owners FOCUS ON THE SMALL DETAILS that set them apart in the eyes of their customers – in every aspect of their business. Are you paying close attention to the details from your customer’s perspective?

4) These business owners know that it is about the EXPERIENCE and EMOTIONS rather than the price. Are you still competing on price?

Frankly, I could go on. There are several more powerful lessons that are being taught at the Ann Bean Mansion. Jeremy and Erin are teachers – and they don’t even know it.

But here’s my challenge for you. Dedicate some time thinking about these 4 lessons and how they relate to your business. Come up with 1 or 2 specific actions you can take to improve your business in these areas. Use the lessons from the Ann Bean Mansion to the benefit of your business.

And, if you want to have a first-hand experience, book a trip to Stillwater, MN and reserve a room at the Mansion. You will leave having had a truly emotional experience and you will have met two business owners who truly “get it”.

Enjoy your week!

Ride Hard,