This Episode: Man On The Street – Real Retail TV In NYC


In this episode, join Bob in a man-on-the-street video shot in New York City. In it, we discuss a really fun, interesting model for restaurants, and the lessons that you can take from that experience and apply to your retail business.

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Hey, it’s Bob Negen, and this is another episode of Real Retail TV. This is a man on the street video that I shot while I was in New York City. In it, I discuss a really fun, interesting model for restaurants, and the lessons that you can take from that experience and apply to your retail business.

Hey, it’s Bob, and I apologize that I’m talking to you from a construction zone. But anyway, I’m here in New York City. I’m here at the National Retail Federation. I hope you can hear this at the big show. And lots of great new technology, lots of whiz-bang technology. But the thing that impressed me the most so far from my trip is the most impressive piece of technology. And that is that thing that you’ve got between your ears– in other words, your brain.

And the reason that I’m here is you can see there’s a little door behind me, and that little door leads to some kind of sketchy stairs that goes down to a really small sushi restaurant– Sushi by Bou, B-O-U. And I found it because I went on Yelp, and it had 87 five-star reviews. In fact, I found out that is the number one Yelp rated restaurant in the state of New York. Got to get out of the way here. Maybe I’ll get on the other side, it won’t be so loud– yeah, that’s a little better– number one Yelp rated restaurant in the state of New York. And it’s got eight seats. Eight seats. I mean, if you were to look at that place, it would have never ever– it would have been incredibly difficult to make a successful restaurant out of that little space. It must been a storage space.

But here’s what I’m talking about– they think about it differently. They have a $50 30-minute omakase menu, meaning– I hope I got that right, I’m not a sushi expert– the chef chooses. So I got in at 5:00. It’s always booked. I got in at 5:00, which is the first sitting. We sit down. Everybody– all eight of us– ate the exact same thing. 30 minutes, $50, you’re done, you’re out. Here comes the next one. So do you see what I’m saying? So our friend Randy Gage says, there’s not a shortage of money, there’s only a shortage of ideas. And what I’m suggesting is the next time you want to complain about Amazon’s seemingly overwhelming competitive advantages, or Costco’s scale, and all of those things, or when your vendors start to compete with you by selling online themselves– whenever you start to think about that, recognize that all you need to do is come up with the zig to go to their zag.

Susan and I often compare us independent retailers to a little tiny speedboat, and all of the big competitors to a giant ocean liner. Yes, of course, ocean liners have a distinct advantage, but when they get close to shore, when they’re a little different, it takes them a long time to turn. It takes them a long time to slow down, takes a long time to stop. A speedboat– zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom. You are nimble, you’re agile, and all of your competitors don’t have what you have. They don’t have your cleverness, your creativity, your passion, all of the things that make you great.

I like to share one more thing from Randy Gage with you. So Randy came and spoke to the Platinum Mastermind group two years ago, when we were in San Diego. And one of the things really, really struck me was when he said, “Look. In the future, there’s going to be two types of businesses– disruptors and the disrupted. And I have never been more bullish on the future of independent retail. Why? Because you have the passion, the knowledge, the skills, the flexibility, the ability to be a disruptor. You have the ability to change.”

So the next time you start to feel overwhelmed because things aren’t going your way, just remember– you can be a disruptor, that what’s between your ears and what’s in your heart is your number one competitive advantage. You can do this, you are awesome. I believe in you. And the other thing to remember is the next time you’re in New York City– Sushi by Bou. It’s awesome.

All right everybody, talk to you later. Bye-bye. I hope that you found that helpful. If you’re looking to think differently, if you’re looking to think bigger, if you’re looking to think better, I would encourage you to join our community. Go to whizbangtraining.com. Sign up for our tip of the week. Go to WhizBang! Retailers on Facebook, and join that community. And of course, all of the products and services that we offer will help you build a better business and build a better life.

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