Put a Pig in Your Window

Reorganize your workspace – you might be surprised by what you find!

I was working with my assistant the other day to shred, file and generally reorganize my home office.  In one of the stacks of books I re-discovered Jane Applegate's “201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business.”  It rekindled a lot of memories.

Back in 1998 I was looking for a “hook” to use in a presentation that I was going to give to the Retail Print Music Dealer's Association convention in Nashville, TN.  I was taking a break and reading the business section of the Los Angeles Times when I say a column with the intriguing title – “Put a Pig in Your Window.”  That certainly caught my attention!

It was in Jane Applegate's weekly column for Small Businesses.  I was familiar with her because, at that time, she also had a syndicated segment on the CBS Radio Network and I would listen to her advice on the drive into work in the morning.  Great, sensible ideas for any small business owner – and that was the target audience I was to present to in Nashville.  The crux of the advice in the “Pig in your window” piece came from retail guru Peter Glen who insisted “that small retailers will not just survive, but flourish, if they set themselves apart from the competition.” 

Great advice in 1998 and even more to the point as we enter 2007!

Among the gems of advice that Peter Glen shared in that particular column:

“Create 'cheap miracles' to attract shoppers.”  How about spending $40 to tie a big ribbon around your store!

Put a bull in your china shop – or a pig in your window!  Get potential customers to stop and notice your store.  Get them excited and talking about what makes your store stand out from the crowd.

Make it clear what your store sells or the exact services that you deliver. 

“Retailing is a terrible job – nobody is in it for the hours or the money.  Concentrate on what you do best and go in that direction – furiously!”

Fortunately, Jane Applegate collected 201 of her columns into a published collection.  It is divided into sections on:

Management Strategies; Money Matters; Marketing Strategies; Developing and Launching Products; People; Time Management and Technology & Telecommunications.

There is now a second edition available with updated advice.  I'll eventually purchase the new edition, but for now I am keeping my 1998 “classic” edition close at hand.  The advice is timeless – and if scanning it gives me one good idea for my next presentation – it is priceless!


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  1. This is in fact a good stress reliever. I can state that thinking of these while at work can help in calming me down. Please communicate more of your thoughts when possible.

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