Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
Graham and Ashkahn talk about how they deal with other float centers spying on Float On.
Basically… they don’t. The float industry is a really open community and a lot of information is generally freely available. If someone is spying on a float center, that could be a result of poor communication skills or a lack of awareness of what information is actually out there. The guys share their advice on how to talk to someone who might be in that situation and how to move forward, hopefully as friends instead of rivals.
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Graham: All right.
Ashkahn: Okay, welcome.
Ashkahn: My name is Ashkahn.
Graham: I am Graham. And together, we are Grashkahmn.
Ashkahn: Oh, sorry.
Graham: That’s all right, it’s cool. Just forgot my half of our combined name.
Anyway, we have a question for us from you, which is, what are some common issues with float tanks? Sorry, no, different question, wrong day.
Ashkahn: Different question, different day.
Graham: Right, just look at a different page here. “I had a customer come in – that’s good – who was sneaking a bunch of photos and asking weird questions.”
Graham: “Now I found out that they’re opening a center across town. How do you deal with spies?”
Graham: Espionage. The dangerous side of the float world.
Ashkahn: I mean, we have a pretty robust counter-intelligence program going at our place.
Graham: Yeah, feed them a lot of misinformation.
Ashkahn: Lots of propaganda.
Graham: Yeah. Just wait for their own center to self-destruct.
Ashkahn: We funded a coup in Nicaragua just to stop one place from opening.
Graham: Maybe you don’t want to go as far, but it works. It does work.
I guess at Float On we don’t really worry about it?
Ashkahn: It’s kind of an interesting one, because the information’s all public. Like, what could they find out by coming to your float center that everybody isn’t finding out by coming in to float at your place?
Graham: So I think how this happens, a is people don’t realize that our industry is as cool as it is. And you can probably get way more information by just directly approaching a float center owner and talking to them.
So, first off, if any of you listening out there-
Ashkahn: If you’re the spy-
Graham: If you’re spies or you’re thinking about spying, don’t do it. Everyone is so nice and open. Maybe not everyone, but if you talk to a jerk out there who doesn’t want to give you the time of day, whatever. They’re the exception in the industry. Just call another center near you. Chances are, they’ll actually be embarrassingly open with how their center runs and its shortcomings and stuff like that.
Don’t sneak around if you’re the spying type. And if you’re a center being spied on, then you’re going to… Ashkahn. What’s your advice then, buddy?
Ashkahn: I guess my advice is, I’m not sure what you feel like you’re losing from someone taking pictures and stuff like that. Like, what information could they be gleaning that they wouldn’t be able to get by visiting any float center?
I don’t know, I don’t understand exactly what people feel like what kind of valuable info they feel like they’re losing in the scenario that someone is spying on them. Quote, unquote “spying” on them.
Graham: Yeah, it’s interesting, because I feel like the social damage is almost more than the practical damage, you know?
Ashkahn: Yeah, for sure. I mean, it’s weird and it’s kind of rude.
Graham: They should have asked, right, is the thing.
Ashkahn: Yeah, for sure.
Graham: I feel like that’s what this person is actually upset about is that the person did not directly correspond with them, and instead felt the need to “sneakily” come in and check out how they were doing things. And “presumably” use that information to “inform” their own decisions on a competing float tank center.
Lots of air quotes, again, going on here.
Ashkahn: So yeah, if we’re just talking about social interactions more than how to stop someone from spying on you.
Graham: I think it’s both, yeah.
Ashkahn: How would you stop someone from spying on you?
Graham: I don’t know, And every center feels like they did certain things wrong. So in a certain sense, like to spy is just copying off of things you also did wrong.
Ashkahn: Go for it. Build what I built.
Graham: It’s like cheating off of someone in class who’s a C student, you know? Maybe you shouldn’t be cheating off of that person.
Ashkahn: I mean, in terms of what information you’re protecting, I think this is maybe over-hyped in people’s heads or something. Because again, you’re a business in public where customers are coming to float in your float center.
Everybody comes in and knows what your floors are like or what tanks you have. Most people can look at your websites and see how booked up you are. I don’t know. How much is someone going to really use something like that in a way that’s going to impact you negatively?
Ashkahn: It seems not like a huge concern to me.
So, yeah, it really like, I guess, how do you try to move forward in a relationship with a float center in town when they’ve started things off on a weird foot?
Graham: Sneak a cyanide capsule into their food.
Ashkahn: That’s way too intense. That’s an extreme, extreme overreaction.
Graham: Sorry, I went back to the CIA stuff again.
Ashkahn: I was thinking it’s even extreme for the CIA.
Graham: That’s not extreme for the CIA.
Ashkahn: Just go around killing every single person they discover.
Ashkahn: I guess we don’t know.
Graham: No, I mean, I’d talk to them. To be honest, I would even bring up the weird stuff.
What did you say? Back them into a dark alley?
Ashkahn: Get back at them with honesty.
Graham: That’s way better than backing them into a dark alley.
Ashkahn: Your mind is in a weird place right now.
Graham: Let’s go pick some fights after this. I got this baseball bat with a few nails through it. Do you think we could find anything to use that for? It’s been a long day.
Ashkahn: My instinct is the same as yours, is to just bring it up and be like-
Graham: You’re that dude who was in here asking a bunch of questions and taking photos.
Ashkahn: Weird, man.
Graham: Can I take you out to lunch?
But yeah, try to make friends. Chances are, the conversation will go something like, them being embarrassed. Them being like, “I was doing that. It just felt weird that I was opening a competing business. I didn’t know how to bring it up.” It might just end with you understanding where they’re coming from and being friends in the future.
Nothing ever came of letting issues like this stew and you assuming the worst is people in the background. That’s stuff that feuds and unnecessary disputes are made of. Take the higher ground. Talk to them. Just be honest and nice. Call them out in a way that leaves room for a relationship to build in the future. Leave the ball in their court.
Ashkahn: And take the step to make communication. I feel like it’s way too easy for something weird to happen between two float centers in town with each other. And then for both of those float centers to just get too wrapped up in the day-to-day of running their places to ever take the five minutes of work it would take to shoot the other person an email or pick up the phone and call them.
It’s such a small amount of work, but it’s like slightly weird enough and just outside the scope of what you need to do in your day-to-day enough that it just doesn’t happen. Like when I talk to people who are like, “This other float center in town’s kind of weird.”
I’m like, “Oh, yeah? What happened?” They’re like, “This one weird thing happened and we haven’t talked in three years.” I’m like, okay. I feel like this could be resolved pretty easily.
Graham: That’s also totally human. That happens in families and stuff like that all the time.
Ashkahn: But take that step, you know? Reach out.
Graham: Absolutely, yeah.
Ashkahn: Try to bridge that communication.
Graham: And if that doesn’t work, coup in Nicaragua. I really think it’s a solid plan B.
Ashkahn: And if you murder someone, you didn’t hear it here.
Graham: Like we always say.
Ashkahn: Our classic tag off line. All right, and if you have murder suggestions of your own, head on down to floatanksolutions.com/murder.
Graham: You’re going to get arrested after this.
Ashkahn: Maybe. I’m willing to risk it for the fans.
Graham: All right, well, hopefully, we’ll talk to you guys tomorrow.
Ashkahn: Bye, everyone.
Recent Podcast Episodes
Graham and Ashkahn kick off the New Year by discussing the things to consider when adding a float tank to an existing business. This is a fantastic episode to start with if you’ve already got a service-based business or are a practitioner looking to start up on your own and looking for ideas.
The boys talk about logistical considerations, the built-in advantages to adding on to an existing practice, as well as how nice it is to have a meatball sandwich after chilling out in a sensory reduced environment for an hour (Ashkahn has a serious one-track mind).
Graham and Ashkahn round out the end of the year by talking about all the naughty and nice things about having business partners.
It’s a shorter compilation today, which gives you plenty of time to talk to your own business partners about what you think about them!
The holidays are a busy time for float centers and it often means lots of new customers asking questions. This means it can be a really great time to brush up on the facts about floating. Fortunately we’ve formed a folio of fantastic studies for you to fancy. Feliz Navidad!
In every service business, there’s a running joke that someone likes that’s usually somehting along the lines of “this job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers!” (*cue laugh track and uproarious applause*), well, the boys have not shied away from talking about the difficult sides of running a shop like ours. We’ve got episodes about handling negative Yelp reviews, customers too intoxicated to float, and even what to do when it’s time to 86 a problematic client.
You can tell this episode was recorded a little while ago, really close to after we all got back from the Conference. The boys are a little tired today, but they still have lots to talk about.
Grashkahmn share their initial reactions to the Conference now that it’s being run by the industry as a non-profit. This is a nice episode especially if you’re looking for some insights on their behind-the-scenes perspective on this big industry event and how it has changed this year.
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