Ah, the land of smoke and slot machines. Las Vegas is an interesting case study, economically. Hotels are luxurious and relatively inexpensive, yet restaurants and shows are exorbitant. The casinos will give you free drinks, even at the penny slots, but a cab down the road is $20. So what can we learn from Las Vegas about how to run our business?
Whatever it is that you’d like people to consume, you want to find a hook—something that keeps them coming back for more. Is it your amazing photography? The unique and creative product that you are selling? Your sparkling wit and dazzling intelligence?
How are you drawing people in to your blog or business website? What are you doing to keep them there? Are you:
- Putting out good products or information on a consistent basis?
- Creating “sticky” content? As people find your site, do you lead them through to other content by using related post functionality or backlinks to other content?
- Providing something that gives them immediate gratification? For example, if someone reaches your website through a google search for “Seattle wedding photography”, are Seattle weddings what they see when they get there?
- Showing them who you are, what you do, and how to get in touch with you through easy to find links?
Casinos have this one down, don’t they? Not only does the free liquor make people feel as if they are receiving some sort of value for their time and money, but it impairs their judgement. We’ll skip the fuzzy memories and the “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” attitude and focus on the giving piece of the equation.
- Customers are more likely to buy your product if they have seen tangible proof that your work is fabulous.
- People are more likely to pay for supplementary content if your free content rocks (think e-books, magazines, etc).
- Give people something of value to them, whatever that something is (a discount, a sample pack, a great shopping bag — hello, lululemon!) and they are far more likely to purchase from you in the future.
Anyone who’s ever walked between casinos in Las Vegas knows this one. Hence all the tourists in fanny packs and sneakers.
If you’re like me, you tend to underestimate the time it will take to get something done. “Just 5 more minutes” turns into a half-hour of editing a blog post, or responding to emails. I also overestimate the energy that I will have to devote to projects on an ongoing basis.
- Budget your time as well as you budget your money.
- Make sure that you accurately assess the effort it will take to reach your goals, or complete your daily tasks.
- Pushing to reach the finish line is a great thing, but not if you are exhausted and tapped out in the end.
I’m not an advocate of “slow and steady wins the race”, more like “focused and controlled helps you reach your goals faster”.
You shouldn’t be gambling your life savings away. We’re not even talking huge leaps of faith here, although it could be.
It may be the daily risk of putting yourself out there on your blog. Or the risk of creating a new product line that stretches your business boundaries. Or even something as simple as taking a small capital risk by advertising on a new website or attending a conference.
- How are you taking risks in your business?
- What are you doing to invest in your success?
- Are you committed to your business strategy, even if there are obstacles?
What else can Las Vegas teach us about business?