A Classic Barrier to Growth – Development of a Location Disadvantage


The PIXAR movie, CARS, comes to mind. Route 66 was bypassed by the new Interstate and the sweet little town of Radiator Springs drifted into obscurity. Or NJ may come to mind. Several of the diners in southern New Jersey have been located on important traffic circles.  PONZIOs dominated the Erlton Circle in Cherry Hill where Kings Highway and Route 70 intersect.  OLGA’s Diner owned the Marlton Circle where Routes 70 and 73 come together.  Palla’s Diner attracted more business than McDonald’s at the Berlin Circle where Route 73 meets the White Horse Pike. As the population and commerce grew in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties, transportation planners started to change the traffic circles (also referred to as “rotaries”) into multi-lane intersections with traffic lights and left turn lanes.  Elevation of Route 73 was involved in the replacement of the Marlton Circle.

The owners of the McDonalds store pulled out fairly quickly when change was eminent for the Berlin Circle. The long time owners of PALLA’s Diner chose to retire and sold their business. I hope they got a good price for it because they worked very hard for a long, long time.  The new owners of the diner renamed the diner THE PALACE Diner.  That was very bright because it simultaneously appeased long time loyal customers AND conveyed new ownership. But despite availability of a few small directional signs, the visibility of their diner dropped dramatically. Plus they don’t even have the benefit of McDonald’s high and easily recognized golden arches to compel people to bear right off of Route 73 as they head south.

If you choose to despite a location disadvantage, it doesn’t matter if it was your fault.  You must mitigate the disadvantage.  In my opinion, the owners of the PALACE DINER must step up their marketing to gain visibility and provide a compelling reason for people to view their diner as a destination…worthy of unscheduled right turns.

As a reminder, it is not just bricks & mortar-based businesses that can be slammed with a location disadvantage.  If your business is dependent on petroleum or other products moving in/out of the Middle East, blockades and wars pose a significant location disadvantage. And the dynamics of the Internet can also create location disadvantages. These days, what GOOGLE does impacts every business. Bureaus pay to position their speakers first, so a professional speaker, like me, don’t even own first place for our own names…unless we deal with it.


Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST®. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions.  Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieving accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search.  2012 is Ambler’s 8th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at www.GrowthStrategistShow.com. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.    

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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Since I’ve met and know most of the most respected strategic planners in the country, it is notable that I chose Aldonna Ambler to take us to the next level.

Roxanne Emmerich
The Emmerich Group, Inc.

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