I am going to tell a story today with a little bit of a twist on it. Near my home is an upscale outdoor shopping mall. It has all the usual suspects as tenants. Pottery Barn, Apple, J Crew, Starbucks, and the list goes on and on. In this center as in just about any business, placement seems to be a big key to success. Stores placed in the high traffic areas around the movie theater and restaurants thrive. Some of the stores on the fringes of the complex have come and gone.
That brings me to the events of the last week. In this center there is a small privately owned toy store. This toy store carries old favorites from parents childhood and some of the fancy new toys of today. It is a fun place to go with or without kids and always brings back a lot of good memories for me. The store has been around for the last few years. Sadly, last week we received an email (yep they do send email) informing customers that they were a victim of the economic crisis. The store would be shutting down this past weekend and selling off all the inventory and fixtures.
Normally, this is where the story ends. This is where the twist comes into our time line. Yesterday, I received an email from the store telling of new developments. It seems that a customer came in and wanted to invest in the store to keep it open. They were ecstatic to have the opportunity to stay in business. The store will be taking a few weeks off however because they sold all the fixtures and inventory!
Here’s what I have been thinking about today. This company has a new lease on life. What should they do different? We know what they were doing before wasn’t working for whatever reason. Now they have been rescued by an “angel investor” and have to make the business turn around. I think they now need an “entrance” strategy. This one is much tougher. Several possibilities here:
- They had innovative ideas but were afraid to try
- They had no new ideas and are doomed
- The new owner will have fresh ideas
- There will be a short-term rise in business and then back to previous levels
I tell the story because it could very well apply to all of us. Let’s don’t talk about this on the business level, but on an individual project or campaign level. We all have had projects that we’ve had to stop for some reason. More often than not however, we are given the opportunity to re-enter an arena where we have failed. Important things to consider in developing an entrance strategy:
- You can’t be afraid to fail again
- Statistical evidence (facts are nice)
- A commitment to succeed
- Listen to your audience
Think about your entrance strategy as an everyday evaluation tool. Hopefully you can be your own angel investor. Good luck to the toy store; I wish them well.