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Provide Your Offerings in the Right Places

Jan 20, 2008
I love opera, but seldom enjoy the operas that appear in Boston. On the other hand, I love attending the Metropolitan Opera in New York. But I don't like the long trips and large ticket prices to attend. As a result, I seldom see an opera I enjoy.

All that changed in 2007 when the Metropolitan began beaming its operas via satellite to movie theaters all around the world. It's not the same as the real thing, but it's excellent, convenient, and a bargain at $20 a ticket. I attend whenever I have the time free.

As a result of this change, a vast audience of opera lovers get to enjoy the best. I predict that the revenues from such remote viewings will eventually exceed those from live performances.

Most businesses are slow to put themselves in the right places. Let's look at another example.

I live in Massachusetts, a state known for its endless and seemingly bottomless potholes in streets and highways. Driving over such potholes can result in bent tire rims. When that happens, you have a constant leak in tire pressure unless you buy a new rim (at a cost of several hundred dollars) or have your rim straightened (a much cheaper alternative).

I had heard rumors that there was a reputable company that straightened rims. Annoyed by the most recent flat tire due to a bent rim, I was able to track down the organization.

An appointment was made during which complex driving directions were received. The location was in the next town over from my office, in a suburb well-known for its low crime rate. Imagine my chagrin when I ended up in a neighborhood that looked like a military target after bombing practice.

But that wasn't the worst of it. Going inside, the facilities were filthy and cluttered.

Sure enough we eventually had a straighter rim, but we wouldn't ever suggest that anyone go there for that service. It was thoroughly unpleasant.

Undoubtedly, the company was saving money by being in that location. But in a more pleasant surrounding, we would have sent hundreds of customers to them, rather than keeping mum about the company.

The company could have overcome this problem by moving to a smaller inexpensive site in the same town that was more desirable to customers. If that wasn't possible, the company should have offered a service to pick up, straighten, and return rims during the evenings when customers are at home.

A little-appreciated fact is that many businesses receive a disproportionate number of their customers from those who live and work nearby. For instance, a neighborhood restaurant located away from major roads might gain 85 percent of its sales from those who live and work within a half mile.

Despite this fact, many people will operate their business or nonprofit organization from only one location. A food bank, for instance, will distribute groceries next to its warehouse, rather than distribute near where its recipients live.

Here are questions designed to help you uncover location-based opportunities:

-Where are competing offerings provided?

-How long does it take customers and recipients to reach your location?

-How expensive is it for people to reach your location?

-How does your location compare to the areas where these people normally spend their time?

-How do the expenses of a better location compare to what you pay now?

-Can you efficiently provide pickup and delivery services?

-Can you efficiently operate more locations?
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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