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Reduce, Reuse, Profit: How I Accidentally Learned A Lesson In Marketing.

Updated on February 26, 2016

Open Air Market

Small Business Marketing

Marketing involves selling. Most people are fearful of selling, but it is easier for them to market. Before a sale is ever made, someone had to market the "Idea of buying" this product will benefit your life.

Marketing is more personal, social, and engaging. We often market other products without feeling pressured. However, marketing can be good or bad for business.

Types of Marketing

  • Word-of-mouth
  • Indirect (secondary)
  • Direct

Word-of-mouth marketing can be the best form of marketing. It can also be a double edge sword.

If someone loves your product they will do two things. They will be your best salesman by promoting your services or products to others. If they have a bad experience, they will advise against anyone using your product.

One of my best television shows is "The Profit" the main actor is Marcus Lemonis. The premise of the show is to help small business owners turn their business around. Marcus uses the "People, Process, and Product" method which is the 3 keys to marketing.

The Profit

Summer Job

Like most teenagers I worked a summer job. I earned more than money from my summer job. I learned how to deal with the public, money management, how to reduce clutter, and the importance of re-purposing.

I worked for an elderly man named Mr. Lancaster. Mr. Lancaster owned the only fruit stand in town. He was the most friendliest man I ever met, but Mr. Lancaster was a shrewd business man.

Everything Mr. Lancaster did involved making a profit. I was a teenager, so like most teens money was not my main concern. I was more interested in playing.

However, my day was mostly boring. I worked at the fruit stand for hours. I would see an occasional friend playing. I had to exercise discipline to continue working.

Reduce, Reuse, Re-purpose

Mr. Lancaster rarely threw anything away. He would buy Coca-Cola for his vending machines by the six packs. If you remember six pack drinks were packaged in plastic containers. Instead of throwing the containers away, Mr. Lancaster would use the packaging to hold his fruit.

He would ask me what I was doing If he saw me throwing away a perfectly good container. He also sold his fruit in baskets, so when the fruit was sold, he was able to reuse the basket.

As a teenager, I never really understood the cost of doing business. Mr. Lancaster was able to reduce his over head costs, therefore increasing his profits.

Long before Marcus Lemonis introduced his concept of marketing. Mr. Lancaster was using these principles to grow his business.

Mr. Lancaster formed a personal relationship with every customer. His product was displayed to showcase the fruit. He repeated this process within his daily operation. Customers appreciated his efforts. Some customers visited his fruit stand just to say hello.

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Flipping for Profit

Re-purposing for profit. As the saying goes "one man's trash is another man's treasure." You can make a good profit by re-purposing old items.

If you are willing to put in a little work, people will pay high dollar for vintage one-of-kind furniture. Americans want items that look slightly used and serve two purposes.

Pinterest boards are dedicated to the DIY crafts. Re-purpose items have character and look expensive.

DIY Project

The Re-purpose Trend

Re-purposing is a trend that most Americans have embraced. It is a noble idea because it is good for the environment and it gives new life.

In my opinion, some vintage items look better than their newly purchased cousins. Some restaurants try to look more charming by decorating their restaurant with vintage items.

Cracker Barrell is a good example. Their entire restaurant chain is decorated using restored or collected crafts from the past.

Re-purposing is not for everyone, but some people love this trend.

De-clutter Looks Better

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