Thursday, July 10, 2014

Your own past

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

     Discarding yesterday's ways of doing business can work against you. Better to take a second look. If something worked in the past, it might offer new business opportunities today.

     Small antiques and collectibles stores are good examples. Many of them have closed. They gave up for lack of business.

     The market for antiques and collectibles changes with every generation, of course. But the market is still there. It's the browsing that has changed. People used to spend an afternoon looking through antiques and collectibles at brick-and-mortar stores.

     Today, the customers browse Ebay and other sites in the convenience of their homes. All those stores closed because the market found a better way to browse.

     Small businesses are fleet of foot. In your own business, looking to the past can reveal new marketing strategies.

     Example: Doctors wear white coats in their offices and clinics. I know one doctor who has hung up his white coat for the last time. He decided to re-introduce the house call. Today, he's seeing elderly and indigent patients in their own homes. His office is in the trunk of his car. He is busier than ever, and patients avoid emergency room visits and hospital stays. And they love the personal attention. 

     Sometimes, discarded methods can make sense again in today's brave new world. 

     Example: I know a computer expert who discontinued the training sessions he once provided. Although the sessions were popular, he thought he was moving ahead with the times. Wrong. The furious pace of today's technology has left most of his clients more confused than ever. He decided to re-introduce his training sessions for clients. Now his reputation and referrals are stronger than ever. And the training sessions--re-structured and re-formatted--now provide a significant additional source of income for the business. And they attract the attention of people who become new clients. 

     The times, they are a'changin' and business people must keep up. If you don't, you run the risk of not being here tomorrow.

     Sometimes, a good idea is lurking in your own past. Taking a look over your shoulder can be productive. You just might find an idea to increase sales and expand.

     I've worked with thousands of people in small business. And I've founded and operated small businesses of my own. Still active in retirement (I'm 78), I offer free tips and information based on experience. Email me at and put BLOG in the subject line. You'll get quick, free answers--I'm not selling anything. And your privacy is always respected.  



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