I’m an ice fisherman and I’m going to tell you where my secret fishing spot is. Fishermen are not supposed to divulge their secrets, but here goes:

I start at the boat ramp, sight in on the gap between two mountains, and step off 315 paces in that exact direction. That’s a sweet spot, and I don’t get skunked there very often. (What lake? See below.)

My wife thinks I’m crazy for going out in the subzero dark and sitting on a vast expanse of ice, hunkering over and paying intense attention to a 7” diameter hole in the hard water – just for the sake of catching a trout. But that’s another story.

The point is, I have a specific way to get to the place that pays off.

Where is the payoff-place in your business? What do you set your sights on — and then execute a sequence of specific steps — to get to a profitable place for your business?

Is it…

* Regularly talking (not necessarily selling) to your best customers to cultivate the relationship and keep the pipeline open for future sales?

* Regularly promoting your goods/services through systematic direct mail, outbound telesales, and/or email marketing? Have you tried an eNewsletter?

* Regularly introducing new but related-to-existing products or services that your regular customers might well be interested in?

* Regularly tracking your online advertising campaigns, and modifying them to maximize return-on-investment?

Although it takes discipline for a small business owner to consistently give time to these tasks (or to delegate them to someone else), the end results over time are consistently positive.

Oh, and one last thing about ice fishing. You might ask, “Why don’t you just GPS your secret spot?” Answer: Ask any pirate with a treasure map! It’s more fun to step it off!

What steps do you take to increase sales and profitability?

(Bonus question: Any of you Colorado folks want to guess what lake this is? I’ll tell you if you guess right.)

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8 thoughts on “Line Up the Way to Profitability, and Start Walking

  1. I have an alternative way of locating a trout: get in car, navigate to supermarket, park, get out of car, walk towards door – aiming at the spot midway between the sides works for me, walk forwards to the back of the store, turn right, keep walking until you see fish, identify trout (under the label that says ‘Trout’ is usually reliable), say to assistant ‘Two of those, please’ while pointing at aforementioned fish. Take wrapped fish from assistant, take to checkout, pay, return to car, drive home (reverse the route you took to get there).
    Time in open (probably chilly and damp here) air: approx 2 minutes.
    Equipment required: Car, feet.
    My late husband’s uncle was a keen fisherman. I well remember the day he and my husband went fishing off the Gower coast in South Wales, near where we lived. They took a few thousand pounds worth of fishing rods, five pounds worth of bait, and came back with one 4 ounce fish of unidentified breed. I laughed, but was not understood.

    • Hi Michelle, another good guess; you’re within 10 miles or so! Is their cabin up by Winfield? Fascinating and beautiful area. I fly fish the Arkansas a lot myself. Let me know if your dad would ever like a fishing buddy when he’s getting ready to hit the river.

  2. My wife dad was raised there and we visited her aunts when we lived in Broomfield in the 70’s. She still has 2 cousins that live there.

    • OK, you do have connections there! I like Leadville a lot. Our local school plays Lake County in sports, so we’re up there pretty often. My daughter’s first track meet this spring is the Leadville indoor meet. At over 10,000 feet elevation, I think it’s the highest track meet in north America — with the thinnest air. Huff puff!


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