Monday, February 21, 2011

Don't Miss The Beautiful "Ugly Trailor"!

I'd like to share a blog post with you that I read and enjoyed from CraftoManiac about my friends at Ugly Trailor Antiques (click here to read it:  The Ugly Trailor is a very distinctive store owned and operated by Fred and Sue Thomas.  Their love of art and all things nostalgic is evident as you walk through their store.  It's located a few blocks up State Street from my office in Hurricane, Utah, which makes it very convenient for me when I want to find just the right unique gift -- which has already happened more than once!  If you're headed to Zion National Park it's convenient for you too, as you can't miss their trademark Ugly Trailor (pictured here) in the parking lot as you are driving there on Utah state highway 9.

If you take a moment to read on, I'll share some nice pictures of typical items you can find there and also what you can learn about business success from this store. 

One of the reasons I like to discuss "sales" and "business" with my clients ... even though for most people those seem to be scary words ... is that every one of us sells and every one of us is in business.  Once I can show you this is true, then it becomes easier to explore how learning successful "sales" and "business" techniques can help you in your daily work.  In a sentence, you have to sell your experience, skills, ideas, work ethic and more to get and then to keep a job -- and it today's economy this is more important than ever. 

Your business is to maximize your income and economic security from the daily sale of your work.  If you are fortunate enough to have had the same job for 30 years, this is still true.  I have too many friends who lost their jobs in year 31 and beyond for a variety of reasons, most beyond their control.  Please.  Think of your career as your business, as something you must nourish and develop throughout your life. 

A basic and important business principle is that technical skill does not guarantee financial success.  You can be the best scientist, artist, cook, or whatever it is you do.  That does not mean you will be able to find or to keep a job in your chosen field, or to successfully operate a business in that industry.  Some quick and obvious examples of additional skills you need beyond technical excellence ... include communicating with others, prioritizing tasks, teamwork, ... and I'm just getting warmed up.

I love reading biographies of a wide variety of people.  Even if I disagree with everything they stand for, I can still learn by reading about them.  If I find myself agreeing, that just makes it all the more enjoyable.  Observing businesses, both successes and failures, provides the same benefit.

Here's a few things I learned from the Ugly Trailor, as I compared it with a variety of other antique stores I have visited.  They take the time to make the presentation nice -- to make sure you don't feel crowded, to make sure items are clean and bright (old doesn't have to mean dingy), to make sure colors stand out and blend well together. 

Variety is important too.  Every time I visit the store, there is enough change in merchandise that I feel like it is a new experience.  It's worth my time to go back, because there is probably something new that I would like that wasn't there last time.

Location is as vital as ever.  At first blush, you might have tried to convince Fred and Sue to open their store somewhere else.  There is another antique store next door, as well as one a mile down the same highway across the bridge in La Verkin.  The two towns aren't big ... you might wonder if there is really room for all these stores in the same area.

Many times, having several similar establishments near each other helps all of them.  It gives passers by more reasons to stop, and once they do, the additional choices increase the likelihood they will find something that catches their eye enough to buy.  In talking with Fred and Sue, I found this was true for The Ugly Trailor.

Attracting attention is another key element.  Just try driving by and not noticing the namesake Ugly Trailor out front.  The unique lettering on the signs at the store and on the highway catch your eye as well.

Presentation.  Variety.  Location.  Attracting good attention.  Whether you are in business for yourself or in business providing your services to an employer, these are important principles.  Take a moment regularly to try to identify a single thing you could do to improve just one aspect of these in your own life.

And when you next visit Las Vegas, consider a one day side trip to Zion National Park, a true wonder of the world.  When you do, check out the Ugly Trailor.  You'll enjoy your visit to this unique store!

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