LaneSo, now that Lane is 1.5 years old (you quit doing months when you have three kids) he is big enough to play with his older sisters.  And by playing, I mean they rip his shirt off and stuff him in the toy box.  However, the last time they did this, he seemed to be fine in there.  He wasn’t interested in all of the toys outside of the box.  He had a woobm-woobm (that’s car in Lane speak) and he was quite content.

Sometimes entrepreneurs should consider this type of in-the-box mentality.  Why would anyone ever do that? Everyone else has jumped out-of-the-box.  CEO’s demand out-of-the-box thinking and even non-profits, churches, and schools think out-of-the-box.

What usually works well is utilizing a different type of strategy than everyone else. That’s why everyone got out-of-the-box in the first place.  So, it may be the time to jump back in-the-box.

Also, the box has gotten huge!  There are all kinds of cool new toys in here.  So before you employ the next hip tool or technique, consider some of the following in-the-box thinking for your business.

  • Before you go app or open source software crazy, look at Office 365 for $5/month.  It’s the same Microsoft Office you have always used and now it’s all online.  You could also use Google Apps for $5/month.  Now that they have gotten into world domination, they are not as hip as they used to be, so in-the-box they go!
  • Before you implement a high end pay-per-click/super referral network/SEO wizard strategy to increase your sales, schedule at least 2 people each week to meet for coffee or lunch.  Do not go under the guise that you will faux listen to them for 10 minutes and then you get to make a sales pitch.  Simply have a genuine chat and find a way to help that person.  And do it, because you will enjoy doing it and because it matters.  The side effect will usually be more business in your direction.
  • Before you look for crowdfunding, i.e. Indegogo, The Lending Club, or Kickstarter, to fund your next venture, consider visiting your local banker.  Lending has picked up, equity in homes is on the rise, and you won’t have to deal with investors.