Monday, February 9, 2015

Teach your market

      Free daily tips, information, advice and ideas
      to help you better operate your small business

     People in business are experts. And out in the marketplace, people are hungry for your expertise. This provides you with opportunities to teach others what you know.

     Expansion opportunities can be overlooked in your small business. By teaching others, you are extending the reach of your business. Or you can make a business out of teaching.

     Example: Jenna is a professionally-trained chef who runs a small upscale cafe. While she did everything in the kitchen, her first love was designing and making spectacular cakes. These were colorful and edible sculptures. Her artistic cakes attracted much attention, and they were soon to be found in other restaurants, at wedding receptions, and local gala events. People wanted to know how she made the New York skyline out of cake, and other chefs wanted training in her techniques. This caused her to face alternatives--should she continue as is, or should she close the cafe and just make cakes, or should she keep the cafe and add teaching sessions? She set up teaching sessions, from simple to complex, and she is headed down the road to transitioning entirely to teaching cake sculpture. 

     Example: Jon owns and operates a garden center. He has expanded his business considerably by offering "learning sessions" to customers. Some are free, others bring in revenue--but all of these sessions bring in referrals. Some classes teach homeowners how to take care of houseplants, or how to select and grow plants in the yard, or how to control pests in the garden. Other sessions show how to select and lay pavers, or how to build and take care of small fish ponds, or how to build fences, trellises and gates. These sessions bring new customers and encourage existing customers to return. The teaching sessions help spread the word in the community.

     Example: Bill has many years experience running his stained glass studio. He creates spectacular windows for churches, corporations, offices and homes. He also repairs and restores antique stained glass using traditional techniques. He began offering instruction sessions for beginners and advanced students in group and individual sessions. These bring in a continuing stream of revenue, and the students spread the word about Bill. 

     Offering to teach others what you know can be a good way to add to your bottom line. And there are other reasons as well--like the personal satisfaction you get from passing on what you know to others. It's why I write this blog.

     People are naturally curious. They want to know how you do what you do. Teaching them how to make a cake sculpture is one thing, but just holding an informal open house at your place is another. Both spread the word about you and your business.  

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