Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What is a Dusty Widget? Part II

A reader ( dad) just asked me today to explain more about the origins of "Ditch the Dusty Widget." (View Part I). So here goes:

In a previous small business in which I worked as the sales manager, I noticed piles of dusty merchandise in the warehouse. When I'd ask the owner what it was doing out there, she dismissed the inquiry and said the items weren't good sellers.

The merchandise appeared to be of high quality and from strong brands, so I was surprised at her reply. My Internet searches revealed that, in fact, the items seemed to be popular with online shoppers.

Day after day, I'd walk by that merchandise. Finally, I dusted off those items and put them on our web site store as limited stock. I found great photos of the products, wrote some sales copy and sold them all at almost full retail price.

In small business after small business, I see a similar scenario: dusty merchandise sits high up on the shelves or tucked away in a corner. I came to realize that most business owners face the same business development and marketing problems and need the same information at times. Hence...the blog.

The dusty widgets you have on hand are a visual barometer for your small business's vitality. The more piles of dusty widgets you have, the more likely your business is in danger of stagnation or decline.

Sometimes widgets get dusty because owners are overworked and the business is understaffed. Sometimes owners lose interest in moving those widgets because they're burned out on the business. Or perhaps it's time to realize that you just don't know the best presentation, market, and sales message for those widgets after all.

Use your widgets and think about what they say about your business. Whatever the cause, it *is* possible to ditch those dusty widgets!

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