Seth Godin talks about a recent trip to Home Depot, and why a "non-working" saw became the subject of a recent blog post. It's an important business lesson...here's a snipet from this insightful article:
It turns out (at this Home Depot, anyway), that whenever they don't feel like using the saw, they pretend it's broken. (Yes, technically, they didn't say 'broken,' they said 'not working,' which is sort of true. Except it was the saw operator who wasn't working.)
Sort of like the gas station that won't let you watch them in the garage because of "insurance regulations". It might be a great shortcut, but it can't possibly help in the long run.
Godin then makes a great closing case for what Home Depot really needs: Not "guaranteed low prices", but the option to pay a little extra to check out faster or extra to have someone help you find what you need when you walk into the store. Its a great idea! I've had the same thought as I spend twenty minutes wandering the cavernous isles looking for something the size of a small stink bug amongst all of the other stuff they carry there.
When I was a kid, I thought robots would be doing that kind of stuff for us by now...
The application for your new business? Make sure you're taking care of your customer, and certainly don't lie to them.