RSS Feed .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
505-856-2551

Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter

Mary

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 Entrepreneur.com

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

In Start-Up Sanity Checks

Comments

Start-Up Sanity Check for B2B Tech Ventures

Got a great idea? Are people telling you it’s crazy? Good! You’ve got to be a little insane to take that start-up leap – rather it’s out of your garage, the lab or a day job. I'll help you decide where and when to leap (and what to do when you land).

Investment: $500.00 (Why do I call it an investment? Two reasons: 1. If you’re willing to pay, that tells me you’re serious. 2. When you pay for advice, you’re more likely to value and use it.)

Drop me a line and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. If I can't help you, I’ll tell you (and if possible, tell you who can.)

Got funding? I work with one to three start-ups a year, on retainer (minimum of three months, maximum one year).

Free Downloads

New!

Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

More Free Advice