Did you ever have a pet water turtle as a kid? You know, the ones in the plastic bowl with the palm tree? They never lasted too long….Well when my daughter was 5, she received a turtle at a birthday party instead of a goodie bag…It was just about the size of a 50 cent piece (wow, that dates me, doesn’t it!)…As a parent, I would have preferred she receive the goodie bag!
Anyway, that was 20 years ago and Sally the turtle is still with us…As you know, once you name them, they’re part of the family. ..and turtles are the dirtiest things! Over the years, Sally has outgrown bowls and aquariums. I have cleaned more turtle containers than I care to mention!
Well, we decided to let Sally have the run of our laundry room rather than be cooped up in an aquarium all the time. We started providing a shallow pan of water. We would put her in the pan and feed her and she would take care of the rest.
What began to happen was that Sally would get in the pan on her own when she was hungry. We’d feed her, she’d take care of business and then move on…The beauty of this is that cleaning out a small pan is so much easier than a large aquarium.
Did you know you could potty train a turtle? Did you think turtles were that smart? I had no idea!
I know this is such a random story to tell, but believe me, there is a point…It’s about Thinking Outside the Box! At a networking seminar I recently attended, the concept of thinking beyond the obvious client opportunity was introduced. The question is: what type of business (that your competition hasn’t thought about yet) would be a good referral source for you? If this hasn’t occurred to your competition, then you are ahead of the game!
As a graphic designer and particularly one that is looking to build my photo restoration business, let me just throw out an idea….Again, this will seem random but stay with me…Morticians…..Now you’re asking “why would a graphic designer want to be introduced to morticians?” Well, think about it. When someone is preparing for a service for the dearly departed, they put out a display of photos…Some are VERY OLD. They’ve been stuffed in a drawer, folded, torn…You get the picture (well actually, I hope I get the picture–ha ha).
They also might have a family photo where one person is missing from the group. They would be ever so grateful to have the entire family together in at least one picture. See the lady in the striped shirt in the picture on the left? Well, now she’s added to the photo on the right…plus she has feet!
Back to thinking outside the box…Morticians…Such an odd sounding referral opportunity, but a potential goldmine…And there are others. We all just need to think beyond the obvious.
Here’s another good tip…Figure out who you know that would have the same database of clients, non-competing of course. Who is their supplier of products they use? What about the financial planners who want to meet those who have just received an inheritance? These are individuals who would love to share referrals—They are not your competition and they open new opportunities.
Just think about it…Outside the box, of course!