Key Idea: Offer One-of-a-Kind Products and Services
This is Linda Brewer, co-owner of Blue Dome Gallery (new window), located in Silver City, New Mexico (new window), where customers are dazzled by the unexpected. More...
We have discussed this concept many times in these pages as it is key to the success of a small company and an art gallery is the epitome of this idea. Linda and John beam with pride when they talk about their inventory. They told us that many well-traveled and sophisticated art collectors are amazed by what they find in this small, out-of-the-way town. Silver City, New Mexico is working to brand itself as a destination for people who love the unusual.
Q: Why is it so hard to offer one-of-a-kind products and services and why does it take courage?
A: If any item is enormously successful, it will be quickly copied and improved on by your competitors. Just look at Netscape, the inventor of the first popular Internet browser.
Once Microsoft realized its potential and the threat to their core business, they created Internet Explorer and within three years Netscape took the back seat. And, it truly is hard to find one-of-a-kind products that people want to buy! It takes courage to be different because every time you stick your neck out, you risk getting it chopped off.
The easy way to build a business is to do the thing that you know will work because others have proven the business model. For example, people have to have insurance and there are plenty of profitable insurance agencies. Or, people have to have eye wear and there are plenty of profitable optical shops.
Linda and John are inspired and motivated by their one-of-a-kind inventory and it is their courage to offer the unexpected that has enabled their enterprise to win and keep customers. David Milly, founder of Theatrical Lighting made us laugh when he said, "If Walmart sells it, I don't." This is not flippant. This is the way we have to think to build a strong small business.
Think about it
What one-of-a-kind products or services can you add that might help you increase revenue? When was the last time you stuck your neck out to offer the unusual?
Clip from: Job Creation In New Mexico
Meet Linda Brewer of Blue Dome Gallery in Silver City.
Southwestern, New Mexico: In this episode of the show, we go into New Mexico as guests of the Chamber of Commerce of Las Cruces and Silver City. When we asked them, "What is your biggest business problem?" both said "Job creation." Yet, when we asked, "Are there businesses that are creating jobs?" over 100 businesses were recommended!
So, we asked practically every business advocate in the State of New Mexico, "Would you take a look at this list and tell us who would you'd like to represent your state on national television?" It quickly became apparent that any businesses from that list of 100 would have been fine.
In this episode we visit with five businesses and try to learn why they are being so successful in creating work for others.
We learned a lot.
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Blue Dome Gallery (LB)
Linda Brewer, Co-owner
307 North Texas Street
Silver City, NM 88061
Visit our web site: http://bluedomegallery.com/
Offer One-of-a-Kind Products and Services
HATTIE: Hi, I'm Hattie Bryant. Since 1994, we've been telling the stories of successful small business owners who share their hard-earned insights here on this weekly program.
These stories teach by example. They inspire all of us. Here you meet men and women who profoundly believe in their dreams, work hard, persevere against great odds and create work and real value in their communities and in the economy.
When a person decides to start a business, they create at least one job for themselves, and there are about 15 million of these one-person companies in the US today. As the business grows, more jobs are created.
Small businesses create 75 percent of all new jobs and we do it because, in Thoreau's words, `We are living the life we've imagined.' With an idea that we think is better than the next guy's, we create work and wealth for our employees and our communities.
In one of the country's least populated states, let's meet business owners who are living the life they've imagined by creating work for others.
LINDA BREWER (Blue Dome Gallery): This is Yankee Street and this is really the arts center of Silver City, and all of this just a few years ago was vacant and now these are all galleries. There's over 20 galleries.
HATTIE: People in Silver City, New Mexico, love their special spot on the Earth.
JOHN ROHOVEC (Blue Dome Gallery): (Voiceover) Silver City is an art destination and it's great now and it's getting better.
HATTIE: (Voiceover) We're sitting at the Blue Dome Gallery in Silver City, New Mexico. Linda Brewer and John Rohovec own the gallery.
LINDA: We're the gateway to the Gila National Forest, which is the oldest and largest wilderness area in the continental United States, and it's a wonderful place to live. We have great weather, and we still have a beautiful downtown and we have great art galleries and a great community.
HATTIE: Where did the name Blue Dome come from?
JOHN : It came from the climate. You walk right through the blue dome. The blue sky.
HATTIE: (Voiceover) Why would someone come here?
LINDA: We have one of the greatest selections of handmade pottery and also paintings really seriously in America. We try to sell artwork that is very dimensional so five years down the road you're going to see something else in it different than even when you bought it. They're usually very complex. They might appear simple, but you're going to enjoy that for a lifetime. It's real important for us to have our collectors happy and what makes collectors happy is a good piece of art.