- Open a small business in a desirable location but not in a building that you own. Lease the space from another business owner.
- Sell halfway decent products but sell them to politicians, musicians, and actors so people will think your products are actually better than they really are. This will make you an "icon" and apparently that is a difficult label to achieve.
- When your landlord decides to not renew your lease so he can sell the building to a large company that will bring in more jobs and tax money to the city - pitch a walleyed fit and call up your politician friends and ask for help.
- Pass around a petition to your customers and get their friends to sign it even if they have never been to your establishment. People like to bet on the underdog and stick it to big business. You can use this emotion to your advantage.
- Turn down an offer to help you relocate to a building you own a block away from the big business that is moving into your current location.
- Find something to use as leverage. Something like a right-of-way access at the building you own that the before mention big business wants to use. Hold out as long as you can until the City Council steps in to negotiate on your behalf.
- When negotiations fail, don't give up. Apply for a gift from a city fund set up to help small businesses like yours relocate. Even though you would qualify for a loan with your assets and real estate holdings, don't bother going to your bank. They will just make you pay the loan back. Wipe out the city's fund instead. You deserve it since you are an "icon."
- Laugh all the way to the bank after the City Council cuts you a big fat check to get you to back off from the right-of-way dispute with the big business. They will realize that's the only way you will go quietly to your new location in the building that you own.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Business Lessons You Don't Learn In College
I'm so lucky to have read the Statesman today. I'm sure many of you are, too. I would like to thank our City Council and Las Manitas for teaching all of us a valuable lesson in how to successfully run a profitable small business in Austin, TX.