15 business strategies you can learn from your neighborhood shopkeeper

Have you ever taken your neighborhood shopkeeper as a serious business strategist?

Most probably not!

Well, most of you may be well-acquainted with some of your friendly neighborhood shopkeepers who have been there, most times, from the times when you were in the kindergarten. And they have been there all the time you rushed there for some of your daily needs, be it some stationery like some cheap pens, or others like eggs or bread.

They may have in their shops most of the things that you need on a daily basis. You can buy from them in the least quantities, or in bulk sometimes. Though most of you might not have spared a minute to think about their utility, or business strategy, sometimes you wonder that this guy had started in a very small scale, requiring replenishing his stock on a daily basis. And he had very limited range of things to offer for sale a few years back. And now it seems he has grown big enough to store most things any household may want to shop for, and he has very good sales too.

And probably, over the years, he has amassed a good amount of money, as you can make out from the way his shop looks now, compared to what it was when you started going there for the first time. And look at the car that he drives around, one of the costliest and trendiest in the neighborhood.

All these tell you that his business has grown by leaps and bounds.

And you look at your monthly paycheck, if you are the kind of person who is bound to the office-hour routine. It is hardly enough to pay the bills.

Or, if you are an online marketer who could not make it big, you confess that it would have been better to own a shop like this, instead of wasting time learning from various so-called professional marketers ‘the tricks of making big money online’ or ‘selling it big’ to laugh all your way to the bank just after finishing the marketing online course that you singed up recently.

Nice thoughts. But what pays well to make your own business, online or offline, is to analyze how this neighborhood shopkeeper made it big in a very limited sphere of his business.

The simplest marketing strategies and business success secrets that you can learn from your neighborhood shopkeeper are as follows:

  1. He carefully notes down what the customer wants but he could not supply, and makes sure that never a customer goes back because he does not have the stocks.
  2. His prices are lower than the shops at trendy upscale markets because he does not have to pay high rents, pay hefty paychecks to marketing staff, and similar expenses, as mostly the work is done by himself or assisted by his family.
  3. As he carefully follows what sells the most, he does not overstock his inventories, and reduces the unproductive investments on slow moving inventories.
  4. He does not pay for advertisements and other marketing expenses and the savings on such expenses are either passed on to his customers as gifts, discounts, reduced prices, etc. This in turn increases his sales and profits.
  5. His satisfied customers do all the advertising for him by word-of-mouth advertising. Though he never learned any marketing tricks, experience has taught him that a satisfied customer sends to him more new customers, and unsatisfied customers turn away hundreds of other customers.
  6. He welcomes his customers with a smile on his face, and promises to supply what the customer wants next time, if he goes out of stock, or does not stock what the customer wants. That is the essence of good customer care that brings in more sales, and thereby big profits.
  7. He targets repeat sales, and never aims at one-time sales at killer prices that can kill his business itself.
  8. He listens to customer complaints patiently, apologizes for the customers’ inconvenience, and promptly offers a refund, or replacement.
  9. He stops selling products that have brought in repeated complaints on account of quality, or any other aspect, and he finds better products as replacements.
  10. His shop will be open all the time the customers are expected to come, or the fixed timings he has announced as his business hours. If he cannot be personally present, he makes sure that an equally responsible person takes care of his shop.
  11. He does not give false promises, misrepresent the facts about the quality, quantity and other aspects of the items that he sells.
  12. He carefully watches the new trends in his customers’ choices and looks for such products of high quality that he can sell at affordable prices. This makes the customers stay with him as they always get things of the latest trends, technology, fashion, etc. (Customer loyalty!)
  13. If there is any decline in his sales, he analyses the reason by himself, and ask the customers what their choices are and what they would like to have from his shop (customer surveys). Based on such facts, he makes changes in his inventories and business strategies (self-taught).
  14. Knowingly or unknowingly he builds his own brand, like ‘Smith’s Groceries’, or similar names (brand building).
  15. By practice, and learning over the years, he learns good accounting practices and keeps a healthy balance of his figures (like purchases, sales, profits, etc.)

Well, these are randomly noted aspects of a neighborhood business from my own perspective. I think these very aspects are relevant in online businesses too, if applied with slight modification wherever required. Look for more points from your own perspective. All these business and marketing strategies can be useful not only for neighborhood shops, but also for small businesses (online or otherwise), home-based businesses, and online businesses.

Video: How to Generate AdSense Ad Code

Well, I think the masters of making money with Google AdSense may feel it is silly to place a video from Google telling you how to do simple things like creating and placing AdSense ads on your website or blog. But I feel it otherwise! For instance, it was three years ago that I had the first taste of enjoying “FREE MONEY”, after having websites and blogs for many years.

To narrate my first experience in trying to generate money from targeted content-based advertising from my sites/blogs, I have to tell you something that I feel is foolish today.

The first time I thought of AdSense was in 2006 when I set up my own website with my own domain name, hosting, etc., after wasting time with several free sub-domains and free home pages. In fact I was not business-minded, or I had no one to tell me what to do. So, I just searched for services like AdSense and reached Google’s AdSense site. I filled up the form opened my account and placed a banner ad on a couple of pages and relaxed. I used to check up my AdSense account and found that nothing was being credited.

I was disappointed first! Then I stopped checking my AdSense account and then one fine morning I removed the AdSense ad codes too from my site.

After six months or so, when I had a sizeable number of visitors to my blogs, say about 100,000 hits per month, I just placed a tower ad in my blog and, checked if it was working or any one had clicked any of the ads. To my surprise, within a few minutes I had a few clicks and about $1 was credited to my account. I was on cloud nine, not because of $1, but because it told me for certain that I can make good amount of money from AdSense.

From then onwards, I spent a few hours per day to read about AdSense and watch videos like the above one to understand how the whole thing works. And I placed Ads sensibly and I have never looked back again.

What I did initially was wrong placement of ads and not placing them enough where it matters. I hope this helps you. I would like to learn more from those who are knowledgeable and tell beginners how to make money from Google AdSense, even while you are sleeping or on a holiday with your family, girlfriend, or boyfriend!

So, watch the video and understand for yourself. It is very simple. Still, if you have doubts, please let me know. I will help you. Just leave a message if you have problems, or use the comment box to write your problems. You will get my reply within 24 hours!

6 Ideas for Viral Marketing

Here are six ideas to help you start your viral marketing campaign:

  1. Purchase the branding rights to a viral E-book. Allow people to give away your free E-book to their visitors. Then, their visitors will also give it away. This will just continue to spread your ad all over the Internet.
  2. If you have the ability to set up a forum or other bulletin board, you really have a great tool. Allow people to use your online discussion board for their own website. Some people don’t have one. Just include your banner ad at the top of the board.
  3. Do you have a knack for web design? Create some templates, graphics, etc. and upload them to your site. Then, allow people to give away your free web design graphics, fonts, templates, etc. Just include your ad on them or require people to link directly to your web site. Make sure that you include a link back to your site in the copyright notice and require them to keep your copyright notice in tact.
  4. Write an E-book. Allow people to place an advertisement in your free E-book if, in exchange, they give away the E-book to their web visitors or E-zine subscribers.
  5. Write articles that pertain to your product or service. Allow people to reprint your articles on their website, in their E-zine, newsletter, magazine or E-books. Include your resource box and the option for article reprints at the bottom of each article.
  6. You can easily find products on the Internet that will sell you a license allowing you to distribute the product free of charge to other people. Look for those products that provide “branding rights”. That is where you can include your own name, website, and contact information.