The Next Big Thing! – New Business
Despite the doom and gloom crap that you see in every US newspaper and TV news broadcast, there is an interesting counter-culture buzz that I think merits some real attention: New Business.
Every time there is upheaval in the economy, every time there is “blood in the street,” there is always a counter-opportunity to step in and fill in the gap. Please note the words: EVERY TIME!
What I mean by “filling in the gap” is that tough times create opportunities for you to change something that you are doing or to spot a new idea or trend that will offer you unusual rewards. When things are great, we are usually not as willing to upset the apple cart, so we sometimes miss out on great opportunities. When business is slower, we are more willing to take that little, extra risk, and that is often when good things happen. Let me give you an example.
One of my companies just finished sponsoring the Street of Dreams home showcase held in our area. For those who do not know, the Street of Dreams puts on an event featuring very large and very expensive mansions, built just for the show, in different parts of the country. The event is heavily publicized to get people out to see the $6,000,000 to $9,000,000 homes as well as all of the great ideas they contain. This year, one of the big concerns was how the housing crisis would affect the event and its turnout. The Street of Dreams Company was clearly concerned, seemingly rightly so.
What did they do about it?
Cancel the show? Not on your life. They raised ticket prices. Yes, the prices were not all that expensive anyway ($12.00 last year up to $15.00 this year) and you could argue that by raising prices they got a more qualified crowd to their event. All of that is true and positive. What was most interesting to me was that they made at least as much money this year as they had in previous years, and guess what will happen to ticket prices when the housing industry stabilizes and the size of the crowds come back? They will remain at the new higher level, of course, or go up even more. What was the result for the Street of Dreams producers by working through a difficult market? Higher profits for every future year in their business!
How can you make a change?
In the next few weeks, we will all be glued to the TV set as the world turns its attention to the Olympics. Go ahead and enjoy them, but let me encourage you to keep a business eye open for all of the profit potential that can come from goods, services, and new ideas that will be unveiled at the Olympics. Just this month, the cover of Fast Company Magazine was graced with the new swimsuits designed to make our athletes swim even faster. Do you think there will be an increased demand for the swimsuits and similar athletic enhancement products at a local level?
What will the vendors sell to the crowds to eat, drink, or take as souvenirs that you could import to sell or use to start a business? What new promotion will be featured that you can take advantage of? Even using the Olympics as a title in your ads or direct mail will increase readership during these next weeks, because that is the topic that will be on people’s minds-- and stepping into their thought process is the way to get the greatest response from your message.
Many changes, new trends, and opportunities will come out of the Olympics, so be ready to get your “gold.”
New ideas are also present in the newspaper. Yes, newspapers are read less because of the web. But from my standpoint as a Trend Merchant, I look to the small, local stories for ideas, and I find a wealth of possibilities. Today as I write, the newspaper had a good story about a guy from London who came to the US and is opening the first Pinellas County Indoor Soccer Academy. Many people have tried to make money on soccer in the US and have not been successful. But will this idea work? Will the two partners be able to put together a business plan that can be replicated? If they can, they will not just have created a local opportunity; they will have a national one that can be franchised and sold across the US. Naturally, since I am in the franchise creation business, I have added this man and his partner to my list of people to go visit in order to explore opportunities for the future. This potential came from an idea found during the simple act of reading the paper to look for opportunities. Interestingly, this idea also provides the opportunity to talk with people who were willing to start a new business in a down economy. My kind of people.
Where will your Next Big Thing come from: your current business or a new idea?