Kelly Sharp is the owner of Heart of Iowa Market Place
Being an avid runner, I like to get outside. And, I often strongly recommend other small retailers do so often as a way to reduce stress, clear their minds and maintain good health so they can perform at peak levels.
But specialty retailers should also think about getting outside in another way that's good for their businesses. That is, they should get outside of their comfort zone from time to time as a way to make good things happen.
For instance, I'm currently working on project for a client at the Heart of Iowa Market Place that is outside of the things we've normally done at our store. The reason: It's much larger and much more diverse than the sort of gift baskets we normally create and it requires items beyond our "all things Iowa" inventory.
Rather than saying, "This isn't something we do" and turning away business, we took the time to research the ins and outs of getting the job done in a way that will exceed our client's expectations. And, we decided the best way to do it is by working with other vendors we've not normally worked with before.
The benefits are already numerous: a satisfied client and the likelihood of repeat business, the fun of working with new partners, the certain prospect of handling larger projects that would have been out of our reach, more word-of-mouth marketing for my business, and the likelihood that our new partners will also direct business our way. Not only does my business grow, but we help other small businesses grow and thrive.
Those positives are all on top of stronger bottom-line revenues, which are the lifeblood of any company.
Going outside our comfort zone has given us the inside track for greater success. And, in the end, that's very comforting.