Graham McGregor

Marketing with Graham McGregor

Graham McGregor: Thinking outside your business

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Several years ago I read a very helpful book on business.

It said that whatever you are doing right now, assume that there is always a better way of doing it.

It also pointed out that unless you are open to the idea that there is a better way to do something you will usually not see it. Most people in business do not look for a better way to do things because they are trapped in their own box.

And their own box is how they normally do business. So here is a very simple way to increase your sales and profits by thinking outside your normal box.

Look at the huge number of different types of businesses that are all around you right now.

There are professional service providers like doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants and architects.

There are trades people in dozens of different fields like carpet layers, electricians, plumbers and builders.

There are retail businesses that sell clothes, food, jewellery, furniture, appliances, books and hundreds of other products.

There are organisations that teach skills to their customers. These skills include everything from dancing lessons to word processing.

There are businesses that sell products from a catalogue. There are companies who sell their products by mail order and direct mail.

There are service organisations that repair and fix a huge range of products.

There are businesses that sell their products and services by website and email.

There are businesses that import products from overseas and those that export products overseas.

Your goal is to look at what a few of these businesses are doing to make sales, and then see how you can adapt what they are doing and use it in your business.

Obviously you won't be able to use everything you see another business doing.

Just try a few new things each week though that you think might work.

And if they do work, then continue to use them.

If you keep trying a few new things every week, at some point you will come across something that will give your sales a huge boost.

In many cases you will be using something that is very common in one field and just adapting it to your type of business.

Prepaid Coffee Example:

There is a small shop that sells ice-cream and coffee. They offer their clients a prepaid coffee card for $30 that allows them to get 8 coffees of their choice. These coffees normally sell for $5 each so by buying a prepaid card their clients save $10.

This prepaid system is great for business because first of all the shop has all the money on each card up front in advance. Secondly their customers will often come back a number of times to use this prepaid coffee card and will buy other items at the same time. These prepaid coffee cards also make great gifts as well.

This business makes it very easy for their clients to use their prepaid coffee cards as they allow clients to use the value toward anything else they sell as well. In some cases a client would use the whole $30 card in one visit.

This business owner has just taken the common concept of taking something like a bus or train ticket that you buy in advance and has adapted it to his own business.

The good news is that there are thousands of simple sales concepts like this that are all around you right now. You just need to open your eyes and see them. Then adapt them in some way to your own business.

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and
thinking what nobody has thought"
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Action Exercise:

Look at how a number of businesses in different fields make sales to their clients. How can you adapt or use one of these ideas in your own business?

- NZ Herald

Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 396 page 'Unfair Business Advantage Report.' available at his website. (This is free and has now been read by business owners from 27 countries. ) You can email Graham on graham@twomac.co.nz

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