Thursday, July 3, 2014

Up your game

     Free daily tips, information and advice for people in small business
     from personal experience--been there, done that--in a lifetime in business.

     Big businesses are continually looking to up their game by exploiting new and emerging markets. When they identify a likely avenue, they go all out to make it their own.

     Small businesses deserve no less. The idea is the same. Up your game by reaching out to a new breed of customer/client.

     Example: Pet stores nowadays frequently offer fresh foods for dogs and cats. Big business long ago discovered this niche market and they offer local pet stores various pre-packaged meats. I know one pet store that has taken it a step beyond--they put the word out that no pre-packaged meats will be found in their store. Instead, they made local arrangements with local butchers for "fresh and local" and thereby tapped into the leading edge of a trend. 

     Upping your game doesn't necessarily mean an expensive re-work of your business strategy. Look instead for the leading edges of popular culture.

     Example: Technological change offers a rich vein of possibilities to up your game. A machine shop I know specialized for many years making parts to spec for all types of customers. Recent advances in 3-D printing caused the owner to investigate and install one of these new printers. Now his shop can produce certain items more cheaply, making his shop more competitive in the marketplace. 

     The technology of 3-D printing is currently galloping ahead at a furious pace. It holds the promise of revolutionizing older manufacturing industries. 

     Example: Fresh foods, locally-grown, have recently become the rage. I know three dairies that have taken advantage of this. No longer do they sell milk to the big consolidators. One dairy converts all its milk production to artisan cheeses. Another produces yogurts and cheeses from all the milk produced. And the third sells whole raw milk--to area health food stores as well as at the dairy farm store (legal in Pennsylvania and other states, not so in New Jersey and elsewhere). The milk produced at these three dairies now commands a much higher price and a healthier bottom line than was previously realized.

     No matter what your small business is, look around for the possibilities to up your game. Think through the social and technological changes occurring right in front of you. Changing with the times can make you more successful. 

     I've spent a lifetime in business--several of my own. And I've written all my life. I do this blog for the love of it. Questions? Email me at and put BLOG in the subject line so I don't delete. Your privacy is always respected. 

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