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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

Pivot! Dump Trucks to Dance Hall

Mary Schmidt

Oct 22, 2014

Pivot—What all entrepreneurs should be able to do when their original idea doesn’t work.

I just returned from Las Cruces, where my client, The Loan Fund, had a celebratory lunch for their 25th anniversary at The Beverly Hills Hall. So? What’s interesting about that?  An event hall—lots of those around. Then I met Victor Perez, the owner (and TLF client).  Talking about his family, he said “We’ve got entrepreneurship in our blood.”  He told me how his grandparents started the biz back in the 40s—digging out sand and gravel from the arroyo and then driving the loaded dump truck to White Sands missile range. (Yes. They sold sand to White Sands.) From that one dump truck, they built a thriving cement plant business.  Then, as such things go, it became impossible for them to compete with larger companies. So, sadly, they closed the plant. Sounds like the end of the story, doesn’t it? Not at all.

Here’s the pivot. The Perez family had a building, with a lot of land. So what to do? They sold those trucks. Cleaned up the lot….and turned the plant building into an event center.  They even have a small cantina that’s open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that Victor said people refer to as the “Cheers of Las Cruces.” (They will also drive you home in your car or truck if you have too much.) Almost all of their event biz is from word-of-mouth (and I’m sure, that having such a friendly bar helps with the WOM spread.) 

The Perez family worked with they had…and weren’t afraid to think (way) outside the box. A “bunch of construction guys” opening an event hall? Go figure. Well, Victor and his family did, and the figures are getting better every year. (They’ve got big plans for expansion.) And, next time I’m in Las Cruces, I know where I’ll be spending my martini time. (Victor stocks Grey Goose, along with Bud, Coors and pretty much anything else.)  I might even sit out on the patio and have a cigar. (He sells those too.)

Read more: 6 Signs It’s Time to Turn Your Startup in a New Direction, from

Related posts from my archives:
“Agile” Is (Should Be) an Attitude (One of those buzzy buzzwords in software development, but applies to any type of biz.)
Work Boots to Ballet Slippers
Failure is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
The “If Only” Syndrome
Amateurs Talk About Strategy (Professionals talk about logistics. The military viewpoint. Eisenhower won D-Day due to his “get it done” logistical planning [and some luck with the weather.])
It Takes More Than Positive Thinking
Delusion or Optimism?
How Bermuda Grass is Like Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

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