During its inception, the new Sudbury arena’s location was a topic of highly heated debate, with strong support for each of the two primary locations: Downtown and the Kingsway.
As a business owner myself, I avoided voicing my opinion because quite frankly, I think BOTH are missing a very important point: NEITHER location will have a greater impact on your business than YOU ever will.
Listen, I know this article isn’t going to be sexy. It’s not going to be trendy. And it’s probably going to tick a few people off.
But the truth is that you and you alone are responsible for your business’ success or failure.
It’s not the weather, it’s not the trends, it’s not the economy, it’s not the competition, it’s not technology, it’s not famous superstars, it’s not your suppliers, it’s not Trump, it’s not Trudeau, it’s not any political figure, it’s not the minimum wage, and it’s NOT the arena’s location.
YES, the tide can raise or lower your business. But high tides raise all ships, and low tides lower all ships.
If you operate your business like everyone else, if you operate your business based on the tides and are just “along for the business ride,” then YES, the location can—and WILL—impact your business either positively or negatively.
BUT, if you decide to take charge of your business, understand WHY you’re in business, and market the hell out of it (pardon my language) then where the arena goes will have little impact on your fortune.
We all know companies who thrive regardless of the economy.
We all know businesses who thrive that are way out of town, where people go out of their way to frequent.
We all know businesses that thrive far above the countless competition businesses all around them.
We all know businesses that, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, become huge successes.
And we all know businesses that seem to have everything going for them—great product, great location, great market, great trends, great funding, etc.—yet STILL fail.
You and you alone are responsible for your business.
I challenge you to put as much thought and energy as folks are putting into this debate into marketing your business, perfecting your product or service and adding more value to your clients than anyone else is and see what happens.
I challenge you to focus on how you can improve what you offer.
I challenge you to focus on how you can improve your marketing.
I challenge you to focus on how you can give more to your clients.
I challenge you to focus on how you can reach more people.
I challenge you to focus on how you can grow.
I challenge you to focus on how you can do more.
I strongly believe that if we all, as business owners, put more time, effort, and energy into serving Sudbury to the best of our ability we as a whole will raise Sudbury to new heights.
It’s not the arena that’s going to make us GREATER.
It’s each and every one of YOU.
This debate reminds me of a story Simon Sinek shares. He was invited to speak at a great Microsoft event, and he noticed that everyone at Microsoft, all the employees, all the execs, all the speakers talked about how they could beat out Apple and be better than Apple.
He was then invited to speak at an Apple event. And at Apple, he noticed that everyone—from the employees to the execs and the speakers—spoke about how they can better serve their market. How they can add more value to the client. How Apple can transform more lives. How Apple’s products can be improved and be world class.
THAT is the difference between these two companies. One is constantly looking around, looking at others, focusing on outside forces, while the other is all about being the best FOR their client, not beating the other.
And where focus goes, energy flows.
The other day I was consulting for a client and they were going on and on about how the arena is going to change the traffic flow to their store, and my remark was short, to the point and 100% accurate.
“Yes, the traffic will change, and yes that will affect your business, and you deserve that effect.
Why? Because you’re freeloading off the traffic.
They aren’t walking by your store because you drove them there, you’re simply trying to snatch those already going by.
What would happen if all that traffic was going by your store because you guided that traffic?
What would it mean to your business if you created a brand that had clients seeking you out?
What if you promoted in a way that had people beating a path to your door? How would your business change if instead of hoping traffic came in, you systematically and strategically drove that traffic with predictable accuracy?”
After the dust settled, they looked me square in the eye and said, “You’re right, let’s get to work and build that.”
You can choose to be at the mercy of the arena, of the market, of politics, of… or you can grab a hold of your business and make it what you want it to be.
One last quick example… Have you ever been to Respect is Burning? (Now, I have zero financial interest in RiB, they aren’t a client, and I’m not getting ANY financial kick back for saying this, I’m just a FAN.)
I live in Hanmer. And not just anywhere in Hanmer, I’m way out in the bush. Yet, at least once a week my wife and I commute 35 minutes, more if there’s traffic, and drive all the way downtown to go eat at Respect.
They’ve done a great job building a loyal tribe that would frequent their restaurant REGARDLESS of where the arena went.
And if the entire downtown core died and they were the last restaurant standing, Durham would still be lined with loyal RiB patrons.
My point is simple: YOU control your business.
Yes, outside factors change, but at the end of the day YOU are responsible. There will always be very viable outside factors to blame, but at the end of the day you, as a business owner, are holding the controls.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
I believe in Sudbury, I believe in the local entrepreneur, I believe in small businesses, and I believe in taking full responsibility for one’s life, one’s business, one’s success.
And I believe in YOU.
I sincerely hope and wish success for you, regardless of where the arena goes, and if you ever need advice, I’m here to help.
To your success,
PS – I want to leave you with a few questions to ponder to help grow your business:
- How can you add more value to your clients?
- What’s the PURPOSE, the WHY of your business?
- What’s the real, underlying need of your client?
- Where can you innovate?
- How can you reach more people?
- How can you increase the size of each transaction?
- How you add additional services or products to your business?
- Who can you create lucrative joint partnerships with?
- How can you systematize your cash flow?
- How can you improve your marketing?
- How can you drive more traffic to your website?
- How can you create loyal fans?
- What opportunities are staring you right in the eyes?
CEO RYS Group
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