Getting Business Ideas In An Unusual Place

Getting Business Ideas In An Unusual Place
As a businessperson, you spend a great deal of time trying to think of ways to expand your customer base. You might pull off some unique sale that will entice normally wary customers to check out your products. Perhaps you change your advertising strategy to better target a different demographic. You may even alter your product or service to cater to a while different set of consumers.

But there are some places that you might not have considered before that will give you some great ideas for expanding your business. Simply talking to your customers can often be a surprise source of inspiration; the trick is to actually listen to what they tell you.


Perhaps the most valuable ? and most overlooked ? source of business eureka is your community newspaper. You have probably advertised in the paper, but have you ever used it as an idea generator? Probably not.

Let?s take a look at some sections of the paper that might just put some unique business strategies in your head.

The Style/Fashion Section

You do not have to be in the fashion industry to benefit from reading this section of the paper. You can usually get a very good idea of the trends that are popular in your community by studying this section, even if your business doesn?t appear to have anything to do with it.

For example, if the style section of your paper is loaded with classy, high-end attire, that is a pretty good sign that your community consists of a lot of high paid professionals. You can use that information as you promote your business, perhaps by altering your strategy to better target customers with a more luxurious taste. On the other hand, if you see a lot of ?old western? inspired themes in the style section, you will take a far different approach to your marketing campaign.

The Arts/Culture Section

Not all daily papers include this section, and many only publish it on Sundays. But if your community does have an arts section, that alone can tell you a lot about your potential customers. The arts section is geared towards people that enjoy somewhat cultured activities, such as art museum visits and opera shows. The presence of an arts section tells you that there are at least a reasonable number of customers in your area with distinguished tastes. You can get an even better feel for them by reading this section more thoroughly. Again, the information you glean from this is really up to you. If you think creatively, you can use it to alter your strategy ever so slightly, in order to expand your customer base.

The Cars/Automobile Section

This is perhaps the most valuable section of the paper for your business, even if you are not in the car sales industry. The types of cars that are featured most prominently will tell you a lot about your community. Take a look at these vehicles, and then find out what type of people usually buy those cars. That will tell you they types of customers that live in your community, and you can use that in your advertising efforts.

The Booklets/Newsletters Section

These are usually included as inserts in your paper. While these are almost entirely advertisements, you can use them in the same way as you do the other sections of the paper. Take a look through them, and see what types of products are most heavily advertised. This will tell you what is most popular in your area.

Another good idea is to actually do your own newsletter printing or booklet printing. Once you have a firm grasp of what kind of people are in your area, and how you are going to target them, design a newsletter or booklet (printed by a quality commercial printer) and have it included in your city?s newspaper. You will (hopefully) have a step up on the other booklets, because you have done your research.

Sometimes, reading the paper can do more for you than just give you the latest baseball scores!

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