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Four Business Lessons to Learn from Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s the time of year that we put aside our diet and our family squabbles and we get together to eat more turkey and drink more wine than we should. Here are four business lessons that Thanksgiving reminds us of:

Thanksgiving Lesson #1. Everyone loves Thanksgiving… except the turkey

You need a target market. Your target market WILL exclude some people and that’s okay. Not everyone will like it and you might even get some vocal opponents who would prefer to complain about your price or post negative comments about you. That’s the way it goes. Just focus on your market and do the very best you can for them and you’ll be head and shoulders above the competition.

Thanksgiving Lesson #2. Everything is an investment of something

If we want something, we need to “spend” something else to get it. It’s an investment with an expected ROI. If we want to enjoy Thanksgiving with our family, we need to “spend” something – we need to give up our diet, eat a lot, and then fight fatigue and a big pile of dirty dishes. But millions of people do it every year because the “expense” is worth the benefit. If you want your business to succeed, you need to invest in it – a combination of time, effort and money. And if you want people to buy from you, give them enough value to invest their money for your product or service.

Thanksgiving Lesson #3. People willingly spend money for the experience

You don’t show up to grandma’s house five minutes before supper, stuff your face, then leave again five minutes after. No, Thanksgiving is an experience. You show up hours ahead of time; you sit in the living room and catch up with relatives; you gather around the table to eat; you talk and play football and clean-up after; you go out for Black Friday the next day. Likewise, in business, people buy for the experience. Apple can charge higher prices because people buy into the entire lifestyle of Apple. BMW can charge higher prices because people buy into the entire lifestyle of BMW. Can you turn your product or service into an experience?

Thanksgiving Lesson #4. You’ll do it again next year

Thanksgiving is a lot of work. It’s not all pleasant (you don’t like ALL of your relatives, you eat so much you feel sick, you hate cleaning up, and all those leftovers are nauseating). But you’ll do it again next year. And you might even get together soon than that. (Christmas is just around the corner). In business, repeat customers are highly profitable customers. They buy from you again and again without a lot of convincing. If you don’t have repeat customers, investigate what you need to change to turn at least 25% of your customers into ones who will buy again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo credit: hzeller

Posted on November 18th, 2011 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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