A friend of ours recently allowed her field to be used for a charity horse show. Now this field is in a prominent position at the top of a country lane near a busy road ideal for attracting passing visitors, at the other end of the lane, in the middle of nowhere is a recently opened equestrian centre with a tack shop etc. Its' geographical position means it doesn't stand a hope in hells chance of attracting passing trade, you have to know it's there to find it.
Signs for the charity horse show went up (incidentally they were removed /stolen by persons unknown) and the equestrian centre owner approached the organizer of the show asking her to consider cancelling it as it was a "conflict of interest". She also visited the owner of the field complaining about "conflict of interest" and demanded that she withdraw the use of her field for the event.
Needless to say the horse show went ahead and local equestrians turned up, competed and had a great time.
The equestrian centre owner missed out on a wonderful opportunity to promote her own business:
She could have had a trade stand for the princely sum of £10 (proceeds to charity) to tell a target audience about her facilities.
She could have promoted the horse show to her liveries with their own horses who could easily have hacked down to the show and had a fun day out.
She could have given her pupils the opportunity to compete at the show on her riding school ponies.
She could have competed herself.
She could have worked with the organizer offering a prize / money off lesson coupons to competitors etc
In fact she could have had loads of people at that show promoting her equestrian centre and tack shop for virtually no financial outlay and if she charged for the use of her ponies in classes she would have made a profit on the event herself.
But no, she had the "If they have, I'll have not" mental attitude and that's just what she ended up with. The moral to this tale:
“Most importantly, you need support from other entrepreneurs who are at similar stages as you are, and from others with more experience. The more connected you become with other entrepreneurs, the more normal your quest becomes. You’ll no longer feel crazy or alone, and you’ll realize that we all face obstacles just like you’re facing.” Think Traffic