Business Strategy:Don’t be a Tourist

My July vacation is finally over!  In July I’ve been working for a small start-up on a SEO project, enjoying the summer, and traveling to such places as Montreal, Nashville, St. Louis, Detroit and Minneapolis. I am tired of traveling, but I do have a little more to do before summers end. One aspect I love about traveling is experiencing new cultures, all be it mostly American cultures. American cultures are similar yet unique; everywhere people eat PB&J sandwiches, shop at the local mall, and use Google to search the internet, but some Americans pass on PB&J’s for St. Louis BBQ, shop at the Mall of America instead of the local shopping center, and search Google for the hottest new pair of cowboy boots, not for the closest Wal-Mart. During my travels I experienced St. Louis BBQ in St. Louis, aimlessly wondered the Mall of America in Minneapolis, and Googled cowboy boots while in Nashville. My goals while traveling are: 1. Experience the local culture, and 2. AVOID LOOKING LIKE A TOURIST! My goals while traveling are transferable to business strategy.

Start-up businesses should experience local cultures and avoid looking like tourists. Local cultures in business are unexplored business territories. Explore these territories. Search for new areas within your start-up’s scope of business, even if unfamiliar. Submit your business to take in and learn as much about the unexplored, almost becoming a member of the unexplored, but DO NOT be a tourist! Entering the unexplored is scary and difficult; if entered without confidence others will see you as a tourist. A tourist is one that goes on a tour for pleasure or culture. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of a tour is “a journey for business, pleasure, or education often involving a series of stops and ending at the starting point.” While researching new business territories you are touring new areas, but areas which you may not want to leave (you may not want to end “at the starting point”). The best strategy to enter and stay in a new businesses territory is to learn the territory first hand by experiencing it (experience the local culture) and blend in like an expert (avoid looking like a tourist) in case you choose to stay. By exemplifying confidence and avoiding looking like a tourist, your business will be more accepted into its new community if you choose to stay. Don’t be afraid to experience the local culture as long as you avoid looking like a tourist.

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2 Responses to Business Strategy:Don’t be a Tourist

  1. Great post! There is so much to discover in the local culture. Gary Erickson of Clif Bar put in his book it is more important to travel the red (off the beaten path) roads. Life is exists there. He says avoid the white roads (highways)… while you get “there” faster, you miss life throughout. And all the enjoyment and wonderment is in the journey. Since there is no destination in life.

    – Mike Michalowicz

  2. thebostonentrepreneur says:

    Mike,
    Great point! Also, thanks for the book recommendation.

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