I spent Sunday organising and running a car boot sale to raise funds for the theatre company in which I am involved. Getting up at 6.00am is not the first idea that comes to mind when planning my Sundays, but luckily it was a lovely bright morning which turned into a beautiful day.
What struck me was how many car boot sellers not only turned up and paid for their pitches – which generated cash for the theatre group – but also enjoyed it and booked future sales through the season. As usual, a number did very well and some not so well, but business was generated. Buyers also enjoyed browsing and picking up bargains. A small event, perhaps, but generating enterprise all the same.
It got me thinking about how I used my marketing skills to promote the event in the local press, on car boot and other web sites and by calling seasoned car booters. I also had to manage the cars and allocate spaces, collect pitch fees, hand out details of further events and act as marshall.
It made me think of all the different skills we have which we can call upon to make an enterprise successful, whether big or small. This is especially important in challenging times when perhaps we all need to work harder, be more inventive and develop our skills further. Like this car boot sale, sometimes it’s simply a case of applying skills we use daily for a different purpose.
One car boot sale won’t restart the global, national or even local economy, but it provided an opportunity for enterprising people to raise some cash through putting in some effort. Replicate that effort a hundred, thousand or million times and it can make a real difference to communities and businesses.
For me Sunday was a successful day of unexpected enterprise.