It's nearly Halloween (Yikes! better get those sweets in), but strangely, this type of 'scary' has nothing to do with this blog.
In the summer I decided to try something new for my business. Having always focussed on designing training materials for sale, or delivering bite-size training sessions to specific businesses, I decided to run an 'open' course. I priced it well, gave lots of detail and promoted it heavily on facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and via email.
It was a resounding failure.
Well, I say it was a failure, but actually if I look at it another way, it was quite successful. True, the workshop didn't run due to lack of participants, but I did get quite a lot of enquiries from people who were interested but found either the date or the location inconvenient.
This has resulted in organising more 'informal' events for smaller groups on dates to suit them, and I have picked up a new client as a result. I also sold the licence for the materials to a company in China who will translate them and run the workshop with a local trainer (it was completely impractical and not cost-effective for me to go over there to do it).
So my 'failed' attempt has not only resulted in the same amount of income as if it had succeeded, but it has also opened new doors for me. So if you run a small business, I would advise you to step out of your comfort zone and do something new and untested. It may succeed, it may fail. It may result in unexpected benefits, but either way, you'll be wiser for it.