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  • Writer's pictureErika Andresen

(Taylor) Swift Thinking vs Slower Advanced Thinking

This is the headline:

Taylor Swift’s Chiefs-themed ring brings thousands of orders to Kansas City small business.

In manufacturing there is just-in-case and just-in-time. Or, a stark reality for the real world, a third option: nothing. Business continuity likes to talk about disasters and disruptions ruining a business.

I like to point out that disruptions can also be overnight success...which can also wreak havoc on a business. Sometimes you can avoid this with swift thinking when things happen unexpectedly. Or be left not knowing what to do and unable to do better than not great. Or you can think about the possibilities in advance and prepare for them...slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

The important quote from the shop owner:

“I haven’t really slept since. My stomach is in knots,” she said. “We were just like, ‘What do we do? What do we do?’ Then the sales started, and they just haven’t stopped.”

The small shop owner has been making Kansas City Chief jewlery items starting this year. She has been in business 11 years. She is out of stock for the ring Taylor was seen wearing at the playoff championship game. She won't get more until the first week of March.

That's her belief, anyway (it will probably be longer than the first week of March). This is where we start to see disappointing customer service, especially since there is only 1 more game to play and they won't have the ring by then.

Sigh...the mistakes from early on I can see.

First, she's in Kansas City. Some simple steps: create a step by step process on how to make the rings - an SOP, basically. Also have back up suppliers figured out in the event the Chiefs do well, or Taylor Swift wears said ring, to be ready with the raw materials. None of these things cost money, just the time to write it out and do the research. And when the bat signal goes up, call in the reserves (both in materials and add bodies to increase the production).

Second, it's still a city with a champion team. There was bound to be interest, especially with the Swift effect on football all season. Taylor Swift started dating Travis Kelce early enough in the season. Has the shop owner not been paying attention?

The Patrick Mahomes version of the ring is also sold out. As are earrings, beaded purses and red scrunchies with #87 on them (mom Donna Kelce was wearing the earrings). Some business advisor hacks would say the easy solution is to increase the price (it's $14) - that does not solve the issue.

Would she be having this issue of having her stomach in knots and not sleeping if Taylor Swift hadn't been seen wearing the ring? Likely no. Maybe a nice uptick with the Super Bowl coming, but to this degree, no.

But just imagine...if she had prepared just a little in advance, the "just in case" for the "what if"? Customers wouldn't have to wait until March or longer and she'd be enjoying the overnight success more.

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