By Alex Yong
How will your company become top-of-mind in 2019 and beyond? Sometimes a simple modification to a business policy can lead to that memorable, unique edge. Even if your industry is more than 300 years old. Small Business Trends chatted with Sarah Binder Mehta about hitting all the right notes in a traditional niche.
After graduating from Cornell, Mehta made her way to the University of Michigan Law School where she focused her studies on product liability defense. She later joined forces with her father, Jerry Binder, to continue the family business, PianoPiano. Its stress-free and affordable piano rental process keeps clients coming back. The company has placed pianos everywhere in the New York City area for more than 60 years.
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Small Business Trends: One point I like to jump to immediately is unique value proposition. What would you say yours is?
Sarah Binder Mehta: We offer the most flexible terms for piano rentals in the US. As such, a lot of our customers don’t realize all of the great policies we have. For example, we are one of the only places that will let you rent a brand new piano forever. You never have to purchase and we don’t have a date at which you have to send it back if you’ve decided not to purchase. For those who do want to purchase, we also allow our customers to use their first 12 months’ rental payments as “rental credit” towards the purchase of the piano they are renting, or any other piano we have of equal or greater value. You can use this “rental credit” at any time. We also allow our customers to exchange their piano any time they like, so as our customers become more advanced in their piano skills, or move to a bigger or smaller apartment or house, we can switch the piano for them as many times as they’d like.
Small Business Trends: What have been the biggest HR challenges for your company? When’s your “busy season”?
Sarah Binder Mehta: One of our biggest challenges is finding quality people who also play the piano! Everyone who works for us has to know how to play, and sadly that has become difficult to find. Luckily we have people coming to see us every day who play the piano and we’ve had some success with hiring our customers. Beyond knowing how to play the piano, our employees need to be outgoing and like talking on the phone with customers. They also need to be able to think on their feet to help customers solve problems quickly. And because we’re such a small business, everyone has to do a little of everything, so having a positive attitude and being willing to pitch in is essential.
Because we’re in two types of rental businesses — long term for home use and short term for events and parties — we are busy all the time. For long term rental, the back to school season is very busy for us; …read more
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