April 2, 2009

A Different Kind of Hand-Out

Yesterday I was speaking at a conference in Santa Clara, called the Invent Your Future conference for women. While there I started talking with a woman who was lamenting the fact that she had started a new spa in Oakland this past June. Could there be a worse time to start a new business? Especially a business that offers luxury services... Everyone listening said, "Wow, that is BAD luck." But, instead I said, "There must be some way to turn this problem into an opportunity. I asked her about the business, the services she offered, and we came up with an idea that might just work...

I looked around and saw all these women helping each other at the conference. Why not create that type of supportive community at her spa. So, I suggested that she have a special promotion: Give a Hand and Get a Hand. If you come in at a specific time - say Tuesday evenings - then you get a half price manicure (get one hand free!) and in return spend some time at the spa helping others with their career issues (Give a hand.) This idea isn't completely "polished", but it does demonstrate that even when things seem ominous, there is usually some way to turn the problem on its head to create something of value.

Perhaps someone will try this idea... I'd love to know what happens.

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