Business Lessons Learned At The Mall

Written by Tim Knox

Normally I dispense highly-intelligent small business advice in response to thought-provoking questions submitted by future and fellow entrepreneurs. This week, however, I have a couple of questions for myself, one of which makes me wonder how truly intelligent I really am.

Q: Dear Me, I recently took my teenage daughter shopping atrepparttar mall. The experience raised two questions. (1) What business lessons might be learned from such a foray into teen commerce; and (2) Whatrepparttar 149041 heck was I thinking? -- Sincerely, Me

A: Dear Me, great questions! Let me answer them in reverse order sincerepparttar 149042 second question is probablyrepparttar 149043 one causing yourepparttar 149044 most concern.

What was I thinking? Onlyrepparttar 149045 good Lord knows. I vaguely recall complaining that my fifteen-year-old daughter, who we'll call "Chelsea" (because that's her name), didn't spend enough time with her dear old dad anymore. It's a complaint that every dad of a teenage girl formerly known as "my baby" has made at one time or another. I also recall my insightful wife telling me that if I wanted to spend time with Chelsea now that she was a teenager I would have to do it in her element, which happens to be any large structure withrepparttar 149046 word "Mall" onrepparttar 149047 side. A fitting analogy would be that if you want to spend time with a moody tiger you have to go intorepparttar 149048 jungle to do it.

No offense to my mall merchant brothers and sisters, but a trip intorepparttar 149049 deepest jungle is more appealing to me than a trip torepparttar 149050 mall. I get no joy out of trudging from store to store, attempting to communicate with salespeople from other planets, browsing discount racks of last season's dollar merchandise and peering into windows at mannequins that seem to be in some sort of inanimate pain (why can't they make a happy mannequin?).

Bottom line: I'm a guy. It is programmed deep within my genetic code to hold such things in high disregard. But so strong is my love for my daughter that I pushed my true feelings aside and off we went torepparttar 149051 mall last Saturday morning. I called it, "Drivingrepparttar 149052 green mile…"

I was perfectly fine walking through Sears (a real man's store). I held my own when we cruised through Spencer's Gifts (I foundrepparttar 149053 Ozzy Osborne bobble-head doll to be quite life-like). But when we walked into one of those stores that specialize in clothing and accessories forrepparttar 149054 younger generation my psyche all but shutdown. Within minutes I found myself standing atrepparttar 149055 back ofrepparttar 149056 store holding my daughter's purse while she tried on small swatches of material thatrepparttar 149057 store was trying to pass off as clothing. It was there, standing amongrepparttar 149058 mopey mannequins and teeny-tiny underwear and designer nose rings, that I realized I was witnessing good old American commerce at work.

This leads us back torepparttar 149059 first question: are there business lessons to be learned from a trip torepparttar 149060 mall? Asrepparttar 149061 young folks would say, "Dude, definitely!"

The following observations can be applied to most businesses, not just to retailers that cater to Generation Why.

Know Thy Customer Well Not just from a demographic standpoint, but up close and personal. Even from my limited vantage point behindrepparttar 149062 rack of neon tube tops it was easy to identifyrepparttar 149063 store's typical customer: young, hip females; ages mid-teens to mid-twenties. They wandered through in groups of twos and threes. I suppose that going torepparttar 149064 restroom in public and shopping arerepparttar 149065 two things females must do in groups. It makes perfect sense when you realize that for teenage girls (and many grown women, I'm told) shopping is a social activity, an excursion to be taken with friends. The smart retailers know this and design their stores to be as much a social hot spot as a retail establishment. Fromrepparttar 149066 hip/cool music blaring fromrepparttar 149067 overhead speakers torepparttar 149068 hip/cool young sales dudes torepparttar 149069 hip/cool posters onrepparttar 149070 walls torepparttar 149071 hip/cool selection of merchandise, this store was a teenage girl's retail heaven on earth.

How to find a Cheap Hotel for Business Travel

Written by S Wander

Copyright 2005 S Wander

It's not always easy to find a cheap hotel that you know you would be comfortable staying in. Often,repparttar prices charged in large cities like London, Paris, New York, etc. don't really seem to equate withrepparttar 149040 word 'cheap'.

That said, it is possible to find a cheap hotel. You just need to know where to look!

There are a number of budget hotel chains who offer a good standard of accommodation at an affordable price. These vary by country - you'll probably knowrepparttar 149041 ones in your own country but if you are travelling abroad, you may need to do some research.

The advantage of using a hotel room provided by one of these chains is that it will be fairly cheap and that you can rest assured that allrepparttar 149042 standards you expect from a budget hotel room will be catered for.

The disadvantage can be that sometimesrepparttar 149043 location is a bit 'out ofrepparttar 149044 way'. Some cheap hotel chains have branches at out of town locations. You may also miss out onrepparttar 149045 personal service you would expect from a smaller, owner-run establishment.

The next alternative is to look for an individual hotel. Smaller hotels are often run by their owner and this can be a good way to dig out a cheap hotel.

Becauserepparttar 149046 owner is most likely running and looking afterrepparttar 149047 hotel, this means that cheap hotels inrepparttar 149048 UK can sometimes be like hidden gems. The care and attention you'll get from a cheaper place can often be much better than you'd get in, say, a mid-range hotel chain. After all, it'srepparttar 149049 owner's livelihood that depends on it, so they're more likely to make sure everything is just right for you.

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