Friday, February 6, 2009

The Advantage of the Small Business

There are some serious advantages of the small, independent business. These advantages can blow the competition away if they are effectively utilized. Here's an example of what I mean:

I went to Jos. A. Banks last week and took advantage of a very good sale to buy a sportcoat and a couple shirts. The manager waited on me and I got to talking with him about business and how it could be much improved.

I am on their email list and get at least one email a week about yet another sale. I don't mind getting them and most of them, I quickly open and then delete. The last one was a somewhat larger sale, so it got my attention and I went in. I expressed this to the manager and stated that they could have a great deal more business if they would approach these emails more personally. I said that I get them from the Men's Warehouse also, but not as often, yet no one is marketing to me specifically, but to a very wide audience instead. If they were to take charge of the emails and focus on a group of customers with different emails, they could seriously change the traffic into the store and get people to respond with regular purchases.

I said they might send an email to suggest certain things that I might have stated I would be interested in. I could always use a new belt or two, but I don't think about going in just for that very often. They could send me a email about a new belt selection they just received and that they have so many in my size with a special deal just for me. Or, they just got a fresh selection of shirts in that are in my size, or some nice new shoe selections just arrived in my size. How could I resist that? Even if I didn't really need it.

But they don't do this. I asked why not? He said, "it's all handled by corporate." I know this is true and it is a problem with a large corporation with multiple outlets. This will kill them eventually as it has many other companies. Yet, here's the cool part: It is a perfect opportunity for the small, independent business to get excited about! It is their way to shine! Do the things that the "corporate" stores are not willing to do, and you can make your cash register ring!

Get to know your customer and their preferences and then make regular contacts with them to make suggestions that will be of value to them. Create your own traffic! Need help? This is one of the things we specialize in. Give us a call at 707-480-0959.

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