Common Characteristics of Businesses That Thrive...
Lately, I have been thinking about businesses that have had a positive effect on my life. These businesses are thriving. It's worth noting the characteristics they have that enable them to thrive in an ever-changing marketplace.
I've never spent $150.00 for a pair of shoes ... until recently. And I couldn't be happier about it. My wife and I have gotten into running and being more active. It's amazing that I can do this with my fused ankle. I need good shoes and the advice of an expert to determine what shoe is best for my situation. For help I turned to our local running store, Runners Lane. They take the time to educate their customers. They also are supporters and participants of many events in our community. Their business thrives because they build relationships while meeting the needs of their customers and are engaged in the community.
Trader Joes is another local business that impresses me. It's a regional boutique type market where "crew" members wear Hawaiian shirts, reinforcing their branding position that they are "traders" on the culinary seas, searching the world over for cool items to bring home to customers. They think grocery shopping should be fun, not a chore and the buying experience defies the typical shopping experience.
I was in search recently for protein powder at Trader Joes, when one of their "crew" members noticed my bewilderment at the landscape of options. He spent quite a bit of time educating me on the products and other supplements commonly used by active people. I had never heard of "casein protein" and how it differs from "whey protein." It's confusing, as noted in this article for those who may be interested. A business that thrives knows their product line and cares enough to help their customers find the products that best meet their needs.
In our industry, there are businesses that I have learned from. I spotlight two of them here. Rod Brown, CFO, from MadeToOrder has been a mentor to me for many years. Despite his busy schedule, he has made time to help me, and in his personal time takes trips to Africa and Mexico to help others. I had the opportunity to share in the employee and supplier dinner celebration that honored Made to Order's 10 Year Anniversary. They are a business that thrives because they take care of their clients, their people, and their supplier partners. You can learn more in this article: "17 People...20 Million in Sales."
I encourage you to take the time to see the pictures and hear Rod share about his last trip to Africa. It's all in this video. What Rod's group did in Africa is pretty eye opening. At the end Rod offers some good business advice. It's easy to see why he has a business that thrives.
I've also gotten to know Kirby Hasseman from Hasseman Marketing and Communications, Coshocton, Ohio. According to Kirby, Coshocton is the birthplace of promotional products. I'll take his word on that.
Kirby thinks outside the box. His company's focus is "Delivering Marketing Joy!" and he has written a book on the topic, Delivering Marketing Joy: Using Promo To Grow Your Business The Right Way. Kirby created a web show talking to thought leaders about business, marketing, promotional products and more. Kirby's business thrives because he is engaged in his community and shares relevant content...like offering up a weekly word.
He was one of the first to jump into our new FreePromoTips SuccessFit program. From my own personal journey, the PPAI award-winning FreePromoTips.com has created an exciting new component dubbed SuccessFit. On an ongoing basis, people like Kirby will share content on how being active impacts our personal and professional lives. He is quite active in his spare time and was happy to share his passion for fitness with our audience in this video.
At the PPAI Expo in January, everyone is invited to participate in a fun SuccessFit "exercise" connecting with a few great suppliers while receiving fitness products that you can use. To support the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) and to identify participants, we are requesting a modest $9.60 donation in honor of the 96 new scholarship recipients for the 2014-2015 school year.
100 percent of the proceeds go to the foundation via a Web store that has been donated by our friends at SAGE. Learn more about this ongoing program and sign up to participate in our PPAI exercise on the FreePromoTips SuccessFit page!
In addition to what we are doing at the PPAI Expo, everyone is also invited to join the SuccessFit Facebook Group and post what you like to do to stay active away from the office.
These local and industry examples are in the best position to thrive because they all have common characteristics. Consider what you can do to stand apart from your competitors and thrive!
For those who are active—or would like to be more active—please take advantage of the opportunity to be a part of SuccessFit. This innovative program will encourage others and have a positive impact on the industry.
If you have a story to share or would like to contribute content for SuccessFit, let me know. I'm just beginning this journey and have a long way to go, but being more active is changing my personal and business life for the better. Being active is a good thing!
Jeff Solomon, MAS is affiliated with a Top 10 distributor company and also publishes FreePromoTips.com, a popular industry resource. The PPAI award winning FreePromoTips.com website and twice a month e-newsletters are packed with beneficial information. On the website, you can opt in to receive these informative twice a month e-newsletters! Check out what's new in the GP2: Good Products-Good Prices section of the site. Take advantage of FREE end user safe product videos you can share from their YourPromotionSolution.com website. LIKE their page on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and connect with Jeff on LinkedIn. FreePromoTips.com is also on Pinterest!