Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sentimentality and Business

Does it have a place?

I put this idea of "sentimentality" out there in Twitterland and I asked what people thought I might be blogging about. Most folks thought I would be talking about the value of respecting the past. I'm not going there.

I want to talk about how sometimes we hold onto parts of our business that aren't working for us, just because we really "like" those parts or they hold some personal significance for us. What are those parts of your business that you hold dear, that you would never give up?

  • Your business name?
  • The color scheme on your website?
  • Your pricing system as it related to what you see your competition charging?
  • What YOU do in the business?
  • What you DON'T do in the business?

I know of a store owner that spent a great deal of money on "the best" merchandise, beautiful remodeling, a killer staff and prime location. It was only 6 month after they opened that they realized the bulk of what they bought, what they thought would be the "hottest" thing, simply wasn't. They hit the back end of a trend it NONE of it was selling.

This very smart business owner sold all that stuff off, close to cost, in a huge sale. But, they didn't close. They took that money and bought new merchandise that (upon second thought) they believed would sell. They are now a VERY successful shop with the "best stuff" and loyal customers and in this economic downturn are still doing strong.

The lesson here? The business owner didn't take the first wrong choice as an ego blow. He did new research on his customer, changed it all up and didn't lose a beat. There was no sense of "failure" vibe coming through. All the customers were just thrilled with the changes.

I know it's really difficult to keep your ego out of the equation when your business is "your baby". When someone starts talking to you about really big change in your business and you feel like your head is about to explode, talk yourself down. If you really want to move forward, sometimes you need to toss stuff overboard to get that boat sailing.

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