By louis
Published: June 5, 2007

Thibeaux (pronounced Tee Bow) owned a small hardware store. It was no larger, better stocked, are much different than the other hardware stores in town. Thibeaux did a good business mostly because he was convenient to his group of clients. As time passed a few more hardware stores opened and Thibeaux started to notice a drop in sales. Not drastic at first, just a slow day every now and then.

Thibeaux’s wife suggested he mail out some flyers to his regular clients, which he did. This seemed to pick up sales slightly, so he figured he would make it a regular thing. He started mailing every three months and soon his sales were almost as good as they had been before.

In a while a large home center opened across town. Being across town he did not feel too much effect at first. Soon all the other hardware stores around the home center were dropping their prices. In a while they started to disappear, one by one. Thibeaux wondered if he should not drop his prices as well.

Eventually a home center opened very close to Thibeaux. His sales fell sharply and he thought this is certainly the time to drop my prices. Fortunately Achille (pronounced ah sheal), his brother stopped by. Achille reasoned if all the other stores cut their prices and went out of business anyway, this would not be effective.

Achille convinced Thibeaux that he needed to determine what he could do better than the home center and concentrate on that. Thibeaux went to the home center to take a look around. It was very large, well stocked and open a lot of hours. Thibeaux thought I could never have this much stock or be open this many hours. He also noticed some of the prices were almost at his cost.

While he was standing there worrying, he also noticed a man searching the shelves looking for some pipe fittings. The man looked totally confused and somewhat aggravated. He looked around but could find no one to assist him. Thibeaux, being a very kindly sort, asked the man if he could help. The man explained his problem and Thibeaux tried to help. He quickly noticed that some of the key pieces he needed were not on the shelves. Thibeaux, being familiar with plumbing suggested another way the problem could be addressed with what was available.

The man thanked him and said, it’s always like that when I come here. No one to help and no one that knows anything. I would be glad to pay more to not have to put up with this foolishness. The man then departed and went to stand in a long line to get checked out.

Voila, the light bulb in Thibeaux’s head had finally been switched on.

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