Necessity is the mother of innovation.
As cliché as this may sound, it proved to be true for one Southern California small business owner a few years ago. And now he is reaping the benefits.
Tom Rieser, owner of T.R. Guitars started repairing and building custom guitars more than 30 years ago. He transformed his passion into a small business, and was enjoying the entrepreneurial lifestyle, when the economy suddenly tanked.
Since Rieser started his business long before the internet boom, he cherishes the lost art of eye contact, a handshake, and a smile. Shortly after he cut his expenses and went “mobile” his profits picked up, and he was getting more business than he could handle. When asked what advice he would give to struggling business owners and startups, he emphasized the basics.
Tom says he’s s not a big “internet guy”, but several years ago, he felt compelled to at least start a Facebook page. He thought he’d experiment with a little social media. He reached out to his customers, asking for their advice about which color he should use for a guitar he was designing. That single post caused his Facebook page to go viral. Tom now encourages entrepreneurs to experiment with social media because it’s free, and a great way to connect with customers. He is an advocate of taking smart, calculated, small risks.
If you are faced with waning profits, and very little capital, don’t give up. Try these affordable strategies:
Made to stick – by Chip Heath
The Innovator’s Dilemma – by Clayton Christenson
How to Win Friends and Influence People – by Dale Carnegie
Losing my Virginity: How I survived, had fun and made a fortune doing business my way – by Richard Branson
If you are thinking about closing your doors, first, try a few actions on the list. Then write down five things you can do to cut expenses. Above all, remember that necessity is the mother of invention!
If you think your story could be valuable to other small business owners, contact us and tell us why
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