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.

Can You Really Use Articles To Build Your List?

Getting customers in your site should always be ranked as high as the importance of the quality and the excellence of the product and the services you provide. They should go hand in hand in providing your customers the satisfaction they get in exchange for the money they have paid for them. Customer service should as well be as fantastic so that the customers are provided with the same satisfaction.

One of the ways you can combine marketing and customer service is through opt-in marketing. With an opt-in list you get the opportunity to introduce your site and products on a good time basis. Opt-in marketing strategy is a marketing strategy that is virtually low cost and not time consuming. Here, you get the consent of your website visitors to subscribe to your newsletters and other promotional materials such as catalogs and free promotions.

Opt-in marketing uses your list of subscribers to send e-mail to. These e-mails will contain the materials you will send to your subscribers. It is essential that you present your promotional items in a manner that will catch the interest and the eye of your subscribers to keep them wanting for more. The best way to do this is to provide fun, entertaining and informational articles.

Well written articles full of content and useful information will help in building your list as more subscribers will be enticed your list. When they have read the samples of your contents in your sites, they will be intrigued as to what will come next. Subscribing to your newsletter will offer them a glimpse of what you have to offer next.

Many sites and companies have captured the importance of articles and this also aids in search engine optimization. As more people are heading towards the internet for their information needs, serving the right information to them via articles in your site will increase the flow of your website traffic. With more traffic, the percentage of your sales will grow. More sales turn into more profit.

There have been the rise for the importance of well written, information enriched and keyword packed articles for the content of their site as well as for newsletters. These articles provide the information many are seeking in the internet. If your site has them, more people will be going to your site for information and research.

Well written articles would also boost your sites reputation. If they are filled with many information you will be regarded as well informed and an expert on the subjects that you tackle. Your articles must be well researched so that the people will trust you. When you have gained their trust, they will always come for you for their needs on that subject.

In connection, you must write articles or commission them to tackle subjects that are closely connected with your type of business. If you have a site for a medicine tackling a certain disease, your articles must be about the diseases. Or if you sell materials for home improvements provide articles with those themes. Most articles searched for are tips, guidelines, methods, manuals and such. If you provide these articles to your customers and you have their trust, they will always go to your site for help and advice as well as for your products.

With the loyalty of these customers, they may subscribe to your opt-in list to receive all the information you have. If you provide them with the answers for that need, they will be happy to be receiving your newsletters as well as other promotional materials to keep them well informed. Others may even forward your newsletters to other people when they find a certain article interesting.

You should provide links in your newsletter so that when other people are reading it and wants to read more, they may click on the link and go to your site. With the articles you have in your site that are good, they may decide to sign up as well for your opt-in list. This will build your list and make it bigger.

Make sure to keep your subscribers happy and interested in your newsletters and promotional materials. Keep on posting and writing good articles for your site and newsletter. If you are not interested in writing them or if you just don’t have the time, there are many available well experienced and knowledgeable writers available to help you out. This is an investment that will pay for itself in time.

5 Things To Consider When Publishing A Newsletter

Providing a newsletter for your opt-in list subscribers provides many benefits in terms of driving traffic into your site as well as boosting the sales and profits of your site and company. This is a marketing ploy that will not hugely dent your marketing budget and will not also require many man-hours in developing this project.

With a newsletter, you can inform the public about your company and products as well as services. You can keep them posted and updated about what’s going-on with your company as well as many of your promotions and offerings. With these, you keep on reminding your subscribers that you are still here and is willing to offer them good deals and services.

Newsletters also allow you to impress your subscribers. It can show your expertise and knowledge about the topic at hand and the many benefits you can offer them. When you impress people, they will become potential customers and another great thing is that they can recommend you to their friends, colleagues and family. All of them could very well be customers in the future.

If you do not have a newsletter or publishing one for your site, then you may have to consider about researching and be well informed on how to publish one. It is not as easy as it seems but if and when you get the right idea and process, it will be smooth sailing from there on. Try to take the time to learn what you need to learn and get that newsletter ready and good to attract subscribers to your newsletter as well as traffic to your site.

In the next few paragraphs, I will provide you with some things to reflect on when you decide to start your own newsletter for your site. Here are five things to consider when publishing a newsletter.

  1. Make sure that the content of your newsletter pertains to and closely associated with your business or the theme of your site. Do not dwell too far on what could be regarded as your field of expertise. You have started a site and your theme for your site will always be something you are knowledgeable about. For example; if you have a site that sells auto car parts, your newsletter must contain articles or content like photos that pertain to cars, auto parts and such. You may also include content about your company and your staff. Remember that visitors of a certain site are there because they are interested in what the site has to offer. If they sign up for an opt-in list or for a newsletter this means that they want to be updated for that certain theme or subject. Be sure that when you publish your newsletter you are providing for the need of the subscriber as well as their interests.
  2. Ensure that you have well written, information riddled and content rich articles. You articles will be the body of your newsletter and that they should be able to excite your readers as well as provide information. Articles should be well written and checked for errors such as spelling and grammatical errors for it to look professional and believable. The trust of your client to you and newsletter is at stake here.
  3. Fact-check your articles. Make sure that you provide true facts and figures so that your reputation as an expert and knowledgeable in that field is not questioned. If you lose the trust of your subscribers these may persuade them to unsubscribe to your newsletter. You will lose many potential sales this way.
  4. Provide fresh and new articles that can provide new information to your subscribers. If you publish stale and old news in your newsletter, there is a tendency that people or your subscribers already have read and known about them. This will lose their interest in your newsletter and they wont get to read what is most important, your ads. They may not open or read any of your succeeding newsletters losing your intention in writing and publishing newsletters, to get them to visit your site and make a purchase.
  5. Never use copyrighted materials such as photos and articles. This is outright plagiarism, you may get into a lot of trouble for this. You can lose your business and get sued over copyright infringement. If you do not have the time to write your own articles, there are many willing and able professional article writers that can do it for you for a reasonable fee. All your investment in writing and publishing articles will be well worth it when you see your list build up and your traffic increasing.