It is amazing what a little neon paint will do for a business. Take the newest copy shop to my little Iowa town. I noticed the neon pink "3 cents a copy" months ago and remembered it when it came time to copy my Christmas letter. My copy shop is in a semi-abandoned strip mall. I walk in not really expecting a KINKOS, but getting so much less than that.
Now, I don't want to sound negative because this is my new favorite place in town for so many reasons. First, I am a rescuer. It is in my nature to help others when they so desperately need help. This little copy shop needs help. Let me create a mental image for you...
You walk in. There is a young man, early twenties working behind the counter. He is a tad hairy on the face and in need of a good combing. I can see and hear that I have interrupted some sort of video game on the computer...probably a role-playing game. The copy shop does not have signs clearly labeling the capabilities of this copy shop. Instead, it has multiple copies of all sizes of Asian animation. A customer must admire these animations in order to understand that lamination, enlargements, and color copies are available. The rescuer in me wants to put up clear and concise signs stating what is available in services at this strange, little copy shop.
Part of me believes that this copy shop cannot be real. It has to be "a front" for something else. It is as if this young man bought himself a copier, some ASTRObright paper, and a sweet laminator and said, "Hey, I'll open my own business and make some copies while I play my wizardy type games all day."
He was so pleased when I returned today with as he calls it, "The biggest order that he has ever filled." All I wanted was 23 copies of my Gift-From-the-Heart cookbook that I had compiled for some Christmas gifts. I wanted the covers laminated, and the book bound. When he showed me the first copy, he was as proud as my ten year old students showing me their work. I said, "Good job!" Just like I say to my ten year old students showing me their work.
I am glad that I found my Asian Animation-I just opened my own copy shop-local copy shop. I will always give him my business. Plus, it is 3 cents a copy!