Interview With Santa

One of the best parts of this gig is that I get to meet so many interesting people and entrepreneurs. Starting next week, I will be reporting on what many of them shared with me over the course of the past year as I begin my annual two-part, Top Trends in Small Business column. So stay tuned.

But before we get there, I get to share with you today one more exceptional interview to close out the year. Through some top-secret contacts, I was able to snag a rare chat with St. Nicholas himself, good ‘ol, Kris Kringle, yes, Santa Claus!

SantaStrauss: Santa, I know it’s your busy time of year so thanks so much for being with us today. How’s business?

Santa: Well, thank you very much Steve! How’s business? Business is booming, I tell you, booming! You know, every year I make sure to make a list and check it twice. I want to find out who’s been naughty, and who’s been nice. I am happy to report that there have been a great many nice boys and girls.

I can’t say that’s true for all of the adults, but they are outside of my target market.

Strauss: So, what’s your secret Santa? How did you get to be so popular?

Santa: You know Steve, I am a big believer in the motto, “Ask them what they want, then give them what they want.” That’s as true in my business as it is in yours, or that of your readers. I really listen to those little boys and girls, and then I make sure to deliver.

And by the way, I don’t just “deliver,” but I deliver on time. And that’s another thing. If you want success like mine, you have to keep your promises to your customers. For me, I have a hard and fast December 25th deadline, and believe you me, that gets a bit exhausting.  But I deliver!

Strauss: How do you do that all on your own?

Santa: Are you crazy Steve? That’s one of my secrets too – you have to have a great team around you. I have Mrs. Claus, and the elves, and my reindeer, and lots of loving moms and dads helping me to make Christmas a special day.

Let’s underscore that last point, dear Steve. You have to be willing to share the limelight if you want to succeed in your endeavor, whether that’s bringing presents around the world or selling to folks in your neighborhood. Do I care if some of the kids think that it’s really their parents who deliver their Christmas toys? No, ho ho! We’re all in it together, Steve. Get a clue!

Strauss: Thanks Santa, I will try. Any other management tips?

Santa: Well my boy, I think it’s a pretty darned good idea to trust your staff. They are more capable than you know. Take Rudolph for instance. Everyone always made such fun of that poor kid, but look what happened when I gave him a chance. That nose of his actually turned out to be a bonus. Lemons into lemonade Steve, that’s what I always say, lemons into lemonade! Ho, ho, ho!

Strauss: Santa, how is it that everyone came to know about you anyway? As recently as the 1800s, few people had ever heard of you.

Santa: Well, that just goes to show the power of marketing and branding, dear Steve, don’t you think? Do you ever see me without my red suit on? Of course not! People get a good feeling when they see me in that suit. That suit is my brand. I use it consistently to get my message of good cheer out to everyone.

And, if you haven’t noticed, I also have a great tagline – “Ho, ho, ho! Merrrry Christmas” I never fail to use that line. That’s a good idea for your readers too, Steve. Having a tagline gets your brand across in an instant, in fact, faster than you can say ‘Ho, ho, ho!”

Strauss: Thanks for your time today Santa. Any last words?

Santa: Well, I would like to steal a line from my friend Tiny Tim:

“God bless us, every one.” 

About the Author

Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer and writer and is one of the country's leading experts on small business as well as an international business speaker. The best-selling author of 17 books, his latest is the all-new 3rd ed. of The Small Business Bible. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success Powered by Greatland, visit his new website for the self-employed,TheSelfEmployed, follow him on Twitter, and "like" TheSelfEmployed on Facebook. You can e-mail Steve at: sstrauss@mrallbiz.com.