Getting Your Business out of the Suburbs and You Into a Mansion

Do you know how many restaurants there are in Vancouver? Or how many restaurants there are that have food that tastes just the same as the Mongolie Grill’s? (I didn’t bother to count, but we’re pretty sure there’s at least 5) So what keeps the customers coming back? Even the fact that it’s a buffet style, cooked-on-a-hunk-of-metal style meal, lots of places do that. But there is one thing they have that others don’t. If you guess how much your meal costs, you get it for free. (I was once a penny off, so i got half price) This is what is called a gimmick. It makes people compelled to go to certain restaurants because they’re so unique. Another example is the “Come here a certain number of times and buy something and you get something free” gimmick. Or something I personally enjoy, those Safeway Bingo ™ cards they give you after you buy groceries there. But anyways, back to the point.

If your business is failing due to competition, or no one knows you, add a gimmick. A really easy one to do would be, say you own a restaurant, then start a competition in which the competitors try and eat a really big meal in a certain amount of time. If they don’t, they have to pay double the fee. A lot of people might turn up to watch, and sitting for an hour watching people eat makes me fairly hungry. Make it something annual and you might even get a lot of free publicity.

Here’s a story that I personally really like about someone who turned a failing business around using a gimmick. Lisa Renshaw, 21 years old, bought a parking garage. She realized that someone needed to be there 24/7 to maximize the profits. So she moved in. Then she created fliers saying that if you came to her garage and parked there five times she’d - wait for it… - wash your car. It’s that simple. But what is she doing today? She owns over 50 garages and is a multimillionaire. Visit her site at www.pennparking.com.

There are many ways to jump-start a business. But a gimmick is easy, fun for both you and the customer, and can make you famous.

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