Monday, December 15, 2008

Fresh Ideas? Recycle!

All too often, small business tries to "reinvent the wheel."  This usually consumes huge amounts of the two resources entrepreneurs are usually short of: time & money.  I had a great staff meeting with a new client last night - Bogart's Coffee.  What was so wonderful about this meeting was that the team had many helpful, insightful and positive suggestions to improve the business.  All JoAnn & I will have to do is implement many of these ideas!  Look to staff for ideas in customer service, product selection and process improvements.  Look to customers for price point reactions, new products & services and the efficiency / friendliness of the employees.  By studying what the competition is doing, you may also get a better handle on what is working for them - thus, what can differentiate you.  A perfect example is Main Street in Seal Beach - there are many places which serve coffee, but each business has a distinct niche of product, service and customers.  This segmentation allows for multiple providers of a substitutable product.  The experience at each location is different.

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