Brianne Steck | Crain's

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Brianne Steck

Background:  

Vegas Girls Night Out is a boutique concierge service "designed exclusively for women by women." From VIP experiences at the Thunder From Down Under revue to exclusive access at Las Vegas’ hottest nightclubs, the service helps customers create party and vacation packages.

The Mistake:

Maybe back then if I had known more about the available technology and database systems, it would have been a lot easier.​

I'm born and raised in Vegas, so from a young age, you find out how to gain access to all of it and the best way to get things. You quickly find out that it's about who you know and the type of relationships that you have.

My husband co-owns and co-produces Thunder from Down Under, but he didn’t really have an outlet for bachelorette parties. So I said, "I've been planning things in Vegas my whole adult life, and I think that this could be a really great service for other people." Anytime somebody comes into town it's, "Hey, can you get me into this nightclub?" "Can you get me tickets to this show? Can you do this?" That's just what happens when you live here.

We also had this pole dancing class called Night School 4 Girls and we offered that as a package with Thunder from Down Under, and then the girls also got access to a bunch of nightclubs. I used my relationship with the nightclubs the same way I did when I was younger and wanted to go to a nightclub. I would call up my friend and say, "Hey, can we go to Tao tonight?" So now I've just expanded that to a business model and instead of it being for me, it's for all my new friends.

When we started out it was just with Night School 4 Girls. There weren't a lot of expectations. We just figured we were adding one other thing to a Thunder from Down Under experience, and then it just kind of blew up from there. People just kept asking for more and more and more.

One of the first things that we realized quickly is that the girls don’t just call and are ready to pay. They're calling because they have questions first, so it’s not a quick sell. We’re not just going through really rapidly. They're calling, and they're asking a million questions, and we're on the phone for 20 minutes at a time going through everything.

So when I started, I had this binder and had just printed out these sheets and that was my lead sheet. So when Suzy called, I created a new sheet for Suzy so that the next time she calls I would know everything we talked about.

Well, as we got bigger that's really hard when it's not just me. Now it's two people, then three people, then four people. How do you get everybody on the same page so when Suzy calls – and she doesn't call me but she calls Michelle – and Michelle needs to know what Suzy wanted to do and what she was interested in?

You quickly find out that it's about who you know.

The Lesson:

Technology has played a really big part that I didn’t realize in the beginning. We all have to work together as a team and be very organized because our customers want to be, but they aren't. So we have to be there to guide them along the way.

Now we have a ticketing system and a database system, and it's not just Excel. That was definitely a huge learning curve for us.

Maybe back then if I would have had the infrastructure and known more about the available technology and database systems, it would have been a lot easier. But we learned along the way to make that happen.

Follow Vegas Girls Night Out on Twitter at @VegasGirlsNight.

Photo courtesy of Brianna Steck

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