A man I knew in Arizona began with a small gas station. One day, while one of his young attendants filled a man’s gas tank, he watched the customer while he stood about waiting for the job to be finished. It dawned upon him that the man had money in his pockets and there were things he needed or wanted that he would pay for if they were conveniently displayed where he could see them.
So he began adding things. Fishing tackle, then fishing licenses, hunting and camping equipment, rifles, shot guns, ammunition, hunting licenses. He found an excellent line of aluminum fishing boats and trailers. He began buying up the contiguous property around him. Then he added an auto parts department. He always sold cold soft drinks and candy, but now he but now he added an excellent line of chocolates in a refrigerated case. Before long, he sold more chocolates than anyone else in the state. He carried thousands of things his customers could buy while waiting for their cars to be serviced.
All the products he sold also guaranteed that most of the gas customers in town would come to his station. He sold more gas. He began cashing checks on Friday, and his sales grew. It all started with a man with a human brain watching a customer standing around with money in his pockets and nothing to spend it on. Others would have lived and died with the small service station, and they do. My friend saw the diamonds.
Many service station operators, upon seeing a wealthy customer drive in, might say to themselves, I ought to be in his business. Not so. There’s just as much opportunity in one business as another, if we’ll only stop playing copycat and begin to think creatively, in new directions. It’s there, believe me. And it’s your job to find it.Share on Facebook