Let me start out with two important announcements:
- Two weeks ago, I conducted two 60-minute webinars called “Destination Tools for Independent Businesses: Proven Strategies to Attract Customers & Drive Revenue During this Pandemic”. I featured my top nine (9) Destination “Silver Bullet” marketing tactics that I see business owners NOT using during this pandemic that could dramatically their increase customer traffic and revenue now and into 2021.
Don’t despair if you missed the live show. I’ve uploaded the recording on my YouTube Channel of the best of the two sessions and it’s ready for viewing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGrTVScIlO8
If you know a business owner who is having troubles right now, Share the above link with them.
- Effective immediately, we are discounting the price to attend our 2021 online Destination BootCamp, my 3-day, 15-hour class where you can learn my entire 14-step strategy to make your business a Destination, a class I’ve been teaching since 2002. This discount is nearly 30% less than our previous tuition price.
Why the change? We decided our pricing should be adjusted during this pandemic, so this $400 discount will be reflected immediately on our www.DestinationBootCamp.com website, and our first two Destination BootCamp dates, February 2-4 and March 16-18, 2021, which are open for registrations.
Onto what I want to talk about today:
Let me warn you up front that my mind is a little scattered this morning. That’s because I’m writing this early in the morning when everyone’s still sleeping and our 73 pound puppy is not here (with all her good intentions) constantly interrupting me to show me that she can shake with her paw. Below is our puppy, Pati.
I don’t know about you, but I’m so far behind where I thought I’d be in my 2020 forecast. What makes it worse is this “I’m-so-behind” feeling now feels normal. I’ve found that it often takes the quiet of the middle of the night to clear my mind and realize that it doesn’t have to be this way.
When I listen to business owners being interviewed in the media, it’s easy to see that most business owners are struggling. It might be that their business is struggling, or it might be their family, or it might be something they aren’t talking about that you can’t see from the outside, looking in. But whether they’re quiet or vocal, they’re struggling.
Right now, I view business owners as prolific plate spinners like those on the Ed Sullivan show, trying to maintain their own health and sanity while they often care for someone else who is more vulnerable, while still running their businesses, usually with less employees.
It irritates me when I hear anyone say that small businesses are waiting for a handout, a financial bailout, because that’s not it. Owners I work with are just trying to keep it all together without strangling that insensitive customer who wrote that crappy review, or the customer who decides to broadcast his understanding of the Constitution in their entryway, or the ultra-stressed customer who decides to rage about her shoe size being out-of-stock.
For those of you who’ve heard me speak, you know I believe that Destination Businesses have a huge advantage of attracting higher numbers of customers and higher-spending customers, while the business actually spends less on their advertising and marketing. Lots of reasons this happens, but during this pandemic, with consumers reducing their spending and making less physical shopping trips, you must truly understand how to get a consumer to choose your business over all others.
For those of you who’ve taken my classes, I’ve said that it’s not difficult to become a Destination Business, but you must go through a mindset shift. You must think of your business in a new way, not as a business that just serves a limited marketplace, but one that is capable of attracting any consumer, anywhere. More on this in a bit.
One savvy, multi-million dollar retailer told me that taking my BootCamp caused his brain to go through a “paradigm shift”. Another owner told me that he learned a new “language” to grow his business, one that his competitors don’t speak, nor understand.
I think this pandemic has made something abundantly clear: If your business was successful because masses of people found their way in your doors, but your business doesn’t create “Customer Insistence” (consumers saying: “That’s the only place I’m going!”,) those businesses are mostly in trouble right now. If your restaurant was dependent on the hotel near you being fully occupied, or your store was dependent on the cruise ship dropping off thousands of customers on the docks, or your business relied on the baseball game being played across the street, as you watched fans pour in before and after the game, you’re probably in trouble right now. Unfortunately, those businesses typically have higher expenses because they’re paying to be in a prime location (which is now not so prime).
But if your business has always had to work to draw in a customer, and it might be in an area that a developer would call a “sub-par location”, and you’ve never had the luxury of having hundreds walk by your business every day, but you’ve made your business a Destination that acts like a consumer magnet, you’re probably fine right now.
Three weeks ago, I was watching an owner being interviewed on an international news website. She was a winery owner in Sedona, California whose business plummeted because tourist traffic crashed, the weather had started getting cold, her outdoor seating was coming to an end, and she now had limits on the interior seating capacity of her tasting room. In the interview, she referenced that she was struggling because: “I’m competing against every winery in Sonoma”.
Well, yes, she was competing with every Sonoma winery, but more accurately, she’s competing against every business that sells and ships wine in the United States. And from here, if she shifts her perspective and decides that she’s not going to be limited by the conditions of Sonoma and refocuses on attracting top customers in every marketplace she chooses, the whole business can change.
I watched her video several times. As she talked, I kept wanting her to say what makes her winery like no one else’s. What does she do that no one else does? What rare products has she created that are totally unique? She was frustrating to watch because she was being handed an international audience of potential customers, and she kept talking about all the things she couldn’t do and all the things that made her business just like everyone else’s.
Admittedly, it’s not an easy shift to go from having a super-successful business in February, 2020 to one where the customers disappear overnight. I get that. But the business owners who have taken a step back and realized that their marketplace can be bigger than what it was, are the ones coming out ahead. If one makes this decision, it’s like going from fishing in a small lake to fishing on a deep sea cruise. Make the decision, flip your perspective, and you can build the bigger boat as you go.
Want to Make the Shift?
Here are four to-do’s I’d recommend:
1. It’s time to start pushing out your uniqueness and one-of-a-kind products and services to the world. Remember: Just because we want local consumers to Shop Local, that doesn’t mean businesses limit themselves by only marketing locally. Think Bigger!
2. If you haven’t watched my free webinar above, do it. If you find benefit in watching it, I’d appreciate you leaving a positive review on YouTube. If you think it sucks, email me why: [email protected]. You won’t hurt my feelings and I need to know what you didn’t like so I can get better.
3. Want to shift your thinking immediately after the holidays? Check out my Destination Creation Course, taught by my amazing team of trained Facilitators. Go to DestinationCreationCourse.com and when you’re there, check out our nifty new international Find-Yourself-a-Faciitator map.
4. Take advantage of our reduced pricing on attending my Destination BootCamp. Over 2,000 independent business owners have taken the class and this is the lowest price we’ve ever offered. www.DestinationBootCamp.com
That’s it! Thanks for tolerating my ramblings. As always, comments, praise, criticisms, and questions can be sent directly to me at [email protected].