After watching the NBA playoffs and attending a performance group meeting at Wilson Carpet and Furniture in Coshocton, Ohio, I awoke this morning thinking about the story of David and Goliath.

A group of furniture store owners came together for the last two days and talked about ways to improve their businesses. These owners are talking about sales increases now – not just hanging around until the economy gets better later – and they created a list of ideas to make this happen. They agreed to hold one another accountable to implementation. They agreed to put their money where their mouth is. When we meet again in September we will review each store’s performance in a winner-takes-all sales contest.

Here’s a sneak peak at 5 ideas that came from the peer group meeting. To get the other 25, you’ll have to talk to the store owners who created the list.

  1. Host in-store events.
  2. Join two new civic clubs and get involved in their mission.
  3. Work with the local school system to host fund raisers in the school gym. Sell merchandise and share part of the revenue with the school.
  4. Aggressively ask customers and prospects for their email address. Use opt-in (only) email marketing to provide special offers to this select group.
  5. Develop a strategy to work with healthcare professionals to sell products that are in demand for their patients.

Malcolm Gladwell summarizes the David and Goliath story his current book, Outliers: “It is easier to retreat and compose yourself after every score than swarm about, arms flailing [in a full-court press]. We tell ourselves that skill is the precious resource and effort is the commodity. It’s the other way around. Effort can trump ability… because relentless effort is, in fact, something rarer than the ability to engage in some finely tuned act of motor coordination.”

At The Lively Merchant, we cheer hard for those companies who play full court press every day. These businesses and the families behind them are changing lives and will change our country because they know David really can beat Goliath. They would love for you to join them on their march to the World Championship.