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Blog 306: Christmas Trees As Financial Plans

What business are you in? Don’t dismiss this question. There is a good chance you are messing this up, believing you are in one business but acting as if you are in another.

Do you sell trees?

Christmas trees and anything else that competes on price are commodities. Of course, they get cheaper the closer you get to Christmas morning, and on boxing day, they’re happy to give them away. Starting in November, you can find Christmas trees for sale in various parking lots around town.

The IKEA parking lot is the cheapest and most convenient place to get a tree where I live in Ottawa. They charge $20 for a REAL TREE and give you a $20 gift card if you spend $100 in the store. How many meatballs can you get for $100 anyway?

Artificial trees are made from plastic, and the price varies depending on the quality and non-artificial appearance. Like their organic cousins, artificial Christmas trees are sold on Boxing Day.

Do you deliver services?

You can pay a service to come and decorate your trees inside and outside your house for the holidays and then return to take them away when you’ve had enough. I don’t know, but if you prefer real trees, they’ll haul that away and sweep up.

This service would cost much more than buying a $20 Christmas tree from IKEA.

Do you stage experiences?

Or you can pay for an experience. You can drive your car to a tree farm in the country, park your car and tour the Christmas trees. There will be a little shack to sell you a hot chocolate and a sandwich, and then for the low price of $100 you can walk the farm with your family and cut your tree down, snap some pics for the memory bank and drive home with a story to tell and retell.

What business are you in?

Do people buy stuff from you? Then you compete on price.

Do they get you to do things for them? Then you compete on price.

Do you stage experiences that lead to transformations? You better.

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