Think bigger, think smarter, with your business

AFPnewA client is struggling to figure out how to sell more tickets to its events, which right now have a primarily local audience.

The solution isn’t going to be more marketing to that local audience. We’ve got to grow the base, stretch outside our comfort zone to try to attract new people to our shows.

My guide here is experience selling tickets to professional-wrestling events. Fans from across the country came to our three local shows this year. Analyzing our sales data, ticket-buyers from outside a 45-mile radius of Waynesboro comprised roughly 60 percent of our total sales.

Which is to say, these events, all solid successes, would have been anything but had we not thought bigger and thought smarter.

There’s a lesson to be learned from this no matter what business you’re in. The more people who know about the great work that you can do once you start thinking bigger, the better your bottom line is going to look.

There may be logistical issues to figure out to make it possible for you to reach your business out to a wider geographic base, but that’s part of thinking smarter.

Scale is possible because of the changing business world in which we operate. The web and social media have made it possible for small businesses everywhere to grow beyond their geographical borders if they have the courage to think big.

Think bigger, think smarter – and give your business the chance to grow!

Chris Graham is president and CEO of Augusta Free Press LLC, a full-service web-, graphic- and marketing-services firm based in Waynesboro, Va. Email him at More online at

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