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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Broadening Your Market May Save Your Business
On November 5, 2007 the Writer’s Guild went on strike. This we all know. But prime time entertainment is not the only thing suffering from the strike. Many small businesses in the Hollywood area are beginning to go under, since they cater to the Hollywood industry, providing equipment and services to movie and television productions. And they’re having to think of other ways to make it.
History for Hire, a vintage rental business in North Hollywood that provides props for shoes like The Office, Heroes and Cold Case, has seen a dramatic drop in revenue. The owners truly saw the strike coming and started making preparations, by not replacing staff members who left, letting go of part-time positions, getting rid of overtime and cutting their personal salaries. But all of their short cuts haven’t been enough and the owners are afraid they won’t be able to keep the 22 year old business running if the strike continues much longer.
TVC Television and Cinema Wardrobe Cleaners – who, for the last 18 years, has cleaned wardrobe for television and movie productions – has seen a 70% drop in business. They are now going door to door and trying to expand their cleaning services to anyone that has uniforms outside the entertainment industry.
One business owner realized several years ago that he needed to expand his clientele base. Battery Hut initially made battery packs that exclusively went in film-set lighting and camera equipment. However, four years ago, the owner looked at other possibilities, such as telecommunications, and Battery Hut now encompasses several different markets. The entertainment industry still has a large part of his business, as sales have dropped 20% since the strike, but he did enough to stay afloat and plans to expand more in the future.
The lesson here may be that, as small business owners, we might not want to limit ourselves to one niche market. If something happens to that market, your business may just flop and that’s not the outcome any of us are looking for. So take some time to brainstorm and explore other markets. You never know when you may need the extra support for the survival of your business.
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