Will it hurt? Can it help?

Most rural small business owners have so much to do that they may not stop to think about what they aren’t doing that may be hurting them and what they aren’t doing that could help them.

Take a quick look at the news item summaries below and ask yourself:

  • Is there anything here I need to worry about?
  • Is there anything here I might be able to adapt to my business’s needs?

Paper coupons unhurt by digital coupons

Coupons appear to be a rare example where the arrival of digital equivalents hasn’t done much to hurt the original paper versions.  Even millennials, who are particularly avid online coupon clippers, prefer paper coupons.

  • Are you being beat out by competitors using coupons?
  • Have you tested printed coupons in your business?

Watchful eyes can reduce littering

A research study found that paper leaflets containing the image of a pair of eyes were dropped about a third as often as those without the image. Researchers say eye images encourage cooperative behavior by making people think they’re being watched. One caveat: People must be free to choose to cooperate.

  • Is some customer/bypasser behavior causing problems for you?
  • How could you test a “watchful eyes” solution to the problem?

Farmers’ markets have changed a lot

Back in the 1990s, farmers’ markets were about the only places consumers could buy organic produce. Today things have changed. There are twice as many farmers markets as there were 10 years ago, and they’re competing not only with each other but also with chain grocery stores.

  • What providers are flourishing at your local farmers markets?
  • If you can’t copy them, what alternative marketing can you explore?

12 industries to keep an eye on

Curious what market sector is most likely to be disrupted in the next few years, Small Business Trends asked a group of youthful startup founders what industry will have the biggest technological advancements in the next five years. Learn what one dozen industries they chose.

  • Will any of these developments kill you if your competitor gets it first?
  • How could you be first with the next big must-have in your industry?

Hoot Design Co. teaches clients to do its job

Hoot Design Co.’s philosophy is that if you know your bootstrapping clients are going to end up doing part of the work themselves,  it makes sense to do all you can to ensure they find success – and your great work doesn’t end up surrounded by embarrassingly bad work.

  • Is your reputation hurt by clients who do parts of your job themselves?
  • How could you teach parts of your craft—for a fee—so clients can do parts of the work themselves?

This issue’s news summaries and thought questions is a departure from our normal articles summaries.  What did you think of it?

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