I was meeting a client for lunch last week with another business associate. The client had just finished a meeting next to the restaurant with one of her clients, a bankruptcy attorney. My associate noted that they must be very busy these days, and what a good business for this economy.
From the outside looking in, that statement might make a great deal of sense. And this is the surface logic that many small business owners can use to get into a new business. Not that becoming a bankruptcy attorney is a great start up, but that lot’s of people look at a business from the out side in, rather than the inside out to determine if it’s a good idea to pursue.
The truth is bankruptcy attorneys have been busy, but because of the high volume of work, and lot’s of law firms getting involved in bankruptcy because their core business fell off, it’s highly competitive and extremely cost sensitive. Those are not good traits of a new business opportunity.
Most law firms that are doing well, offer a portfolio of legal services. This allows them to service a much broader cliental in areas that are more relationship driven, and less transactional. A good example is our Internet Marketing client, a Grand Junction law firm, LaCroix and Hand P.C. Instead of focusing on one area of law, they offer services from Business law to DUI representation, and bankruptcy.
For a different industry like a restaurant, this may mean offering new items to attract new customers, adding a breakfast menu to a restaurant that traditional serves just lunch and dinner can bring in new revenue and customers. And that customer can then come back for lunch and dinner as well. Its very relationship driven and multi transactional. And that’s one of the keys to a solid business idea.
Look at some of the greatest business success stories over the last 15 years. E Bay, Facebook, Google, Sport’s Authority. They are all relationship driven and multi transactional.
So when you are dreaming of your new business, and dreaming is were it all starts, do spend some time asking and researching to determine if it will be relationship driven (returning customers) and multi revenue stream
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