HOW TO SUCCEED IN SPITE OF AMAZON
I spent Thanksgiving weekend in a small town in Northeast Arizona and, as usual, my mind was on small business. I noticed an unusual amount of vacancies in the small strip centers in town which seemed much more numerous than my trip a year ago.
Not being able to resist the temptation of talking to a small business owner, I stopped in a boutique retail store and was able to spend some time with the owner. Before I share my conversation, let me tell you a little about this particular store.
It has been a fixture in this town for, at least, the past 30 years. The merchandise is what I consider of good quality and it is geared mostly towards home decorations (with additional special seasonal displays)also some clothing, jewelry and fudge. My home in the pines has a lot of decorator touches from this store. Marketing has always been by word of mouth and a sign in front with the store name; the sign has not changed, except for a new coat of paint, in that time period.
Back to my conversation: after some small talk we got around to talking about the” state of the business”. The owner shared that the business volume has been dropping over the past several years, and I asked “WHY”? Immediately the answer came out, “It’s because of Amazon”.
I proceeded to ask a few more questions, with the first being “Do you have a web site?” The answer was a quick “no” and the reason being because they don’t have a large warehouse to compete with Amazon. The only printed marketing material I saw in the store was a business card with the store name, address and a telephone number.
On my drive home today I decided to offer my help. The main problem is a lack of marketing. I am going to suggest a website, some printed material to be handed out to customers. Perhaps a few strategic alliances with other small businesses in the area will be a benefit. . Hotels and restaurants also have the possibility of working with the owner; perhaps a 10% discount coupon can be offered.
This is going to be a new venture for me. Even though I will not charge for my consultation, there is a great potential for BizQuack in small towns, and this will be one way of validating my opinion.
Always keep an eye out for potential “out of the box” business sources. As a BizQuack member let’s visit about small town opportunities for your business. Please call or e-mail me.
“Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” Henry Ford
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