Monday, February 29, 2016

New solutions, old ideas

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

     Jump starting your business into a better future means re-thinking what you do. This can be very difficult.

     One way to think about changing is to consider some older ways of doing business. Updating yesterday's business ideas can be an eye opener.

     Restaurant example: Turning a breakfast cafe into a breakfast club can mean making drastic changes. Phil's cafe catered to an early morning crowd. It was attracting more and more corporate types and professionals who showed up early for his healthy breakfasts. He decided to concentrate on this market. Phil went on social media and announced that he was forming a special breakfast club for members only. The response was immediate and gratifying, and he decided to proceed. He established a closed-membership breakfast club--for a monthly fee, any member would get a key to the front door. Using their key, they could enter and order anything on the menu, or order ahead via a special app. This turned his cafe into a members-only club where corporate types and professionals met each other. The new arrangement became a special networking event for the business community. Phil took down all signage outside the place, replacing it with a simple "Breakfast club for members only" sign on the front door. All his promotion was done on social media. Phil's cafe became an updated example of the old club idea where people met and socialized while enjoying a meal. 

     Fiber arts example: Sue was a fiber artist. She made pins, hats, and other accessories for women, as well as some quilts. She also stocked materials for sale--beads, buttons, fibers, thread, knitting and crocheting materials, and other items. She decided to turn her place into a community meeting place where people could come and learn-by-doing. One day each week was knitting day, another was crocheting day, and still another was quilting. People came to learn techniques, do their thing, and enjoy the community setting where others with similar interests engaged in conversation. Sue promoted her "new" operation on social media and this attracted lots of attention for her business. She called it her new "quilting" bee, although some other activity filled other days. 

     These examples are updates of older gatherings. What's old is new again, as people re-discover the community. 

     Look to the past for ideas that can update and grow your business. You might be surprised at what you find.