All Articles Leadership Don't discount a strategy before giving it a try

Don’t discount a strategy before giving it a try

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Small Business — tracks feedback from small-business owners. We run the poll question each Thursday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Have you ever considered offering a discount to customers who pay cash?

  • No, it wouldn’t work for us — 46.39%
  • Yes, we do now — 24.74%
  • Yes, we’re considering it — 17.53%
  • No, we’ve tried this in the past and it didn’t work — 11.34%

One thing I’ve learned over the course of the Great Recession is to never say never.  While on the surface some programs may seem like they wouldn’t work for our businesses, there are variations that could.  For example, cash discounts might not be right for your business but giving cash customers a little something extra could be perfect.  It’s all about re-framing the approach to suit your specific business needs.

It’s also about trying new things.  Instead of starting with “The problem with that is,” turn the new thought or idea into a test case.  Try it out and measure your results.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at some of the ideas I’ve beta tested.  And the ones that fell a little short often could be tweaked to perfection.

Sharlyn Lauby is the HR Bartender and president of ITM Group.