(sorry if offended by title, I mean no harm but it got your attention…)
Prostitution. Horrible. Disgusting. Illegal. Not Always… Wait! Before you leave, did you know that prostitution is considered the oldest profession in the world? With that said, I think we can all learn something from the oldest model of business if you forget about the morals. Here are 3 things I believe all of us can learn from the business of prostitution.
1. You know where to find them.
It seems so obvious. We tend to assume that people know where to find us. Small and medium size business owners, myself included, tend to think that because we know exactly where to find ourselves that everyone else does too. While people may be able to find you if you are bad ass at PR and marketing, but the truth is that it’s much easier to find the street corner where other businesses are standing and setup your shop there. Think about McDonald’s, Hardee’s, Burger King, and other large chain restaurants, they are usually built within blocks of each other. The same can be said for automotive dealers, bars, online networks, and any other business you can think of. It is usually easier to be where people are looking rather than making them take a detour. If you do take the “build it and they will come model,” you had better be worth it. Go find your corner, work it, and make sure you take the time to look better than all of the others.
2. You know what they are selling.
I can’t tell you how many times I talk with businesses, especially online, where I find myself thinking, “what are they trying to sell.” Once people find you on the street do they know what you have to offer? They should be able to look at you from head to toe and know exactly what you do. Content is more important than you think. I find many companies who assume that because you found your corner that people will know what you are selling. Don’t ever assume and make sure you dress the part, walk the walk, and realize that no one will know what you do unless you show them.
3. You know you’ll have to pay to get more.
This is where you have to be good. If you suck, you are not getting anyone to pay for more. If you are good, then you can keep them wanting more and more and more and more and more and… you get the picture. Have confidence that you can give a little bit up front and that people won’t be able to resist what you have to offer. This is especially important online and you should have enough confidence in your product that you can offer it up for free knowing that people won’t be able to resist wanting to use it more. Perfect example is Basecamp by 37signals. They tease you for 30 days and get you to bring in all your buddies for the party and then right when you are about to get off they ask for the money. You can’t resist and you keep coming back every month because it is good, really good. There are technology companies across that board that forget this point and try to run out the door selling shit. Build something of value, give a little taste of it, listen to them tell you how they like it, then only give it all up if they want to pay. The secret is figuring out how to charge for each little pleasure you give. If you are no good then you will get kicked to the curb anyways so focus on building kick ass stuff. Do your clients know where to find you, what you offer, and how much it cost to get their lips wet? Ask yourself… Are you “Down on the corner?” We build websites. We customize blogs. We do all that backend stuff so you don’t have to. We pretty much do anything web. We are also passionate about talking with customers and business tools to streamline how you do things. Please call us anytime at 309-453-8175 or subscribe to our feed via RSS or Email to receive notifications on new business tips and dev tools. You can also follow m2volt on twitter or join our fan page on facebook. This post was written by Shane Mac, co-founder of m2volt, and he only ‘interviewed’ a few prostitutes for this post, a while back. Read more about him or follow him on twitter. Photo Credit: ricardo.martins