Thursday, December 17, 2015

Gifts from the marketplace

     Your marketplace is always changing. Sometimes, the marketplace can throw a gift in your direction. If you are alert, you'll consider whether or not it's right for you. If it fits, grab it and run with it.
     Expanding therapies -- Isabelle is a certified therapist specializing in helping clients through stress, PTSD, grief and related personal issues. She noticed that many of her clients had gone through drug and alcohol addiction rehab programs, but large numbers of them were still fighting their old habits. Today, Isabelle has expanded her proactive sessions to help rehab "graduates" cope with their on-going problems. They represent a well-defined market of people who need specific help. Isabelle is developing several programs specifically for post-rehab people. It's another area of therapy that is bringing in an increasing number of clients. She is building on what she already does and reaching out to a larger market for her services.

     Pest control -- Joe runs a small independent pest control company. He has experienced difficult "breaking out" ahead of his competition. When his town suddenly came alive with stink bugs, Joe saw a new market opportunity. He got busy on Facebook, showing the invasion of the bugs--with pictures of the bugs on sidewalks, patios and porches. The calls came in. He gave short talks at meetings. More calls came in. Many of the calls turned into real customers coping with fleas, ticks, mice, ants, spiders, and, yes, stink bugs. The stink bugs were a marketing gift.

     Recycling expanded -- Margie runs a local recycling operation. She specializes in taking in all types of metals, including unwanted electronics. The metals market goes through ups and downs. When prices go up, lots of metal shows up at her place. When the price for metal goes down, not so much arrives. When a storm came through her area, Margie spotted another opportunity. The storm left many downed trees. She put the word out that she would take the wood--no payment, just a convenient place for people to get rid of it. Soon her back lot was filled with a jumble of tree trunks and limbs. Again, Margie put the word out--this time to woodworkers, businesses, artisans. She offered mulch, firewood, and more. She had suddenly expanded into other markets. Two or three seasonal storms keep the back lot filled. 

     Be on the lookout for marketing opportunities that fall in your lap. Some might fit with your plans. Others, not so much.