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Ideas are everywhere

Kelly Sharp is the owner of Heart of Iowa Market Place

Opportunities for retailers to find great ideas and apply them to their own businesses are all around us.

Being a runner, some of my favorite sources of ideas are found in magazines geared toward runners. The latest issue of Competitor magazine has an article titled "Recharge Your Running" in which author Duncan Larkin describes 10 ways runners can rejuvenate their late-summer training. That knowledge easily can be transferred to small retailers.

Let's tackle just one of the 10 points today: Find running buddies.

This is an easy one. One reason we're small business owners is because we like to do things our way and be responsible for the results. But, just like solo runners, sometimes you can start to struggle with motivation.

Larkin quotes running coach John Honerkamp: "It can be lonely out there, especially in a slump." Honerkamp might as well have been talking about small business!

A slump is a smart time to reach out to a fellow retailer to brainstorm new ideas and lift yourself up. A smarter time to find a business running buddy is before you're in a slump; you'll really benefit from the positive energy you'll generate.

Larkin also suggests that runners join a running club. Because my store, the Heart of Iowa Market Place, is located in historic Valley Junction, my "business running club" is the Valley Junction Foundation. Yours should be your local chamber of commerce and your neighborhood business association.

Take time today to find your business running buddy.

Stay tuned for my next blog … and the next recharging idea.

-Kelly Sharp


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