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    The Worst Number in Your Business

    John Melley - Thursday, August 29, 2013

    Hey There. It's been a while. I've been working hard onlots of voice over projects, my podcast (The Voice Over Marketing Podcast) and various odd and sundry notions, but I've had this story in my head for a while and Dan is in my studio loading some audio. So I have a few minutes.

    Here's the Story

    Everyday - to and from work I pass by a grocery store on the corner of a major intersection. It has a nice big parking lot in front of it. Lot's of folks from the neighborhood (lot's of 2 and 3 family homes, apartments) - solid working class folks live there and shop there. People know each other by name.

    In the corner of this parking lot - right by the intersection was a guy who had a cargo truck - it looked like it was from the 1970's by the look of it. Anyway, it was a white truck and on the sides of it he had hand painted the words "ROSES! $12.99 / doz!"

    He also had flowers in hanging flower pots and he sold wild flower bouquets, etc. He basically had a mobile flower shop. He'd be there early in the morning and close up after rush hour in the evening. If you drove by at say, 9:00 in the evening he wasn't there. But he'd be back there in the morning. It looked like a real family operation and he's been there for years.

    What Happened?

    Well, the grocery store turned over. The smaller chain closed up and a larger supermarket chain took over the space.

    It's one of those supermarkets that also sell flowers. So guess what happened to the Rose Truck? It's not there anymore. In fact, the supermarket used the space where he parked his truck to put up a big sign for the grocery store. Almost like they wanted to drive home the point that the truck won't be coming back.

    I must admit, I never bought flowers from the guy, but I'm kinda bummed to see that he's gone. I wonder what he's doing. What arrangements he made to find a new location. IF he found a new location...

    Which leads me to the reason why the Title of this post is: "The Worst Number In Your Business."

    One.

    He had one location. One means of doing business. By the looks of his history of being in the same spot everyday for years he didn't have a back up plan/location.

    I'm not saying you need to have more than one location, but if your location is dependent on the good graces of someone else, or in a set of circumstances that can change in a snap - then yeah, I'd have a backup location.

    It's why you back up your data. Have another mic in case your favorite decides it wants to take a nap... for good.

    It's why you want to have more than one vendor or supplier for your business... and more than one major client that keeps you so busy you "don't have time to market your business."

    "One" of anything is bad. I've been burned by this multiple times, but I've gotten into the habit of trying to remember to have an alternate in things. Sometimes I mess this up, but it's important to be aware of it.

    I really hope the "Rose Truck Guy" is doing well. I hope he found a new place to do business. I have no idea where he might be, because he didn't get the chance to promote a new location - which is a topic for another time.

    Can you think of things in your business that you only have "One" of? Please share them so we can get your ideas. It might make us stop and think "Gee, I missed that 'one'!" (Pun intended)

    Have a great day.

    John

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