I just love this story out of SF Gate. "Big Bet pays of for Mary's Chickens" tells the story of a turkey farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California that was on the verge of tanking, as their product was only sold during two months out of the year. In addition their turkeys really weren't much different than the other birds being sold.
They made some changes like branching into chickens and not just turkeys. They changed the way the birds are grown and processed. They changed their marketing. Now they are doing great! This story is not just about chickens and turkeys, but a story of any small business that want's to do things differently.
Three things that stood out for me we're, they broadened their selection, so they could sell during the whole year rather than just Thanksgiving and Christmas. The second is that they grow and process their chickens differently than the larger concerns. Finally, "'even crazier, they paid cash - for everything. My grandfather grew up in the Depression,' David Pitman explained. 'He didn't believe in borrowing what you couldn't afford to pay for.'"
They grow heirloom birds not found elsewhere. They grow and process them organically, and with care. They market their birds differently than the big processors, and finally they pay cash and don't take on the bankers as partners. How could we use these ideas in our own businesses?