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.

How To Grab Your Readers Attention With Your Subject

The race for supremacy in the internet based businesses has been really heating up and many sites have been put up to help others to get ahead for a small fee. But there are also ways in which you don’t have to pay so much to make yourself a good list of loyal followers. Having a satisfied web traffic and visitors allows you to put up a foundation wherein you can build an opt-in list and make it grow from there.

An opt-in list allows you to provide newsletters to your subscribers with their consent. When people sign up, they know that they will be receiving updates and news from your site and the industry your represent via an e-mail. But that doesn’t mean that all of those who subscribe read them at all. Many lists have been built due to an attachment with free software or for a promotional discount and such. Some are not really interested in receiving e-mails from companies and just treat them as waste of cyberspace and delete or trash them without so mush as opening the e-mail and scanning them.

You can change all that. While forwarding an email message is relatively after producing your newsletter. Getting people to open them is not as easy. You don’t want to waste all the time and effort used in making the newsletters, you want people to read them and have their interests piqued. Interested enough to go to your website and look around and most especially purchased and acquire your products or services.

One of the numerous ways you can tempt or persuade your subscriber is by providing a well thought out and well written subject. The subject of an email is what is often referred to when a person or a recipient of an email decides whether he or she wants to open or read an e-mail. The subject could easily be regarded as one of the most important aspect of your promotional e-mail.

Your subject must be short and concise. They should provide a summary for the content of the e-mail so that the recipient will have basic knowledge of the content. This is really vital in grabbing the attention of your readers and subscribers. You want your subject to instantly grab the attention of your subscriber and get them to be intrigued to open up your mail. Remember, it is not necessarily true that a subscriber opens up subscribed mails.

A good subject must always be tickling the curiosity of your recipient. It must literally force the recipient to open the mail. A certain emotion must be ignited and get them to open the mail. It is essential to use specific words to get the reaction you need. Keep in mind that the recipient or subscribers spends only a few seconds looking over each subject of the e-mails he receives. You must grab your reader’s attention right away.

There are many forms you can use for your subject. You can provide a subject that says your e-mail contains content that teaches them tips and methods on certain topics. An example of this is using keywords and keyword phrases such as, “How to” , “tips”, “Guides to”, Methods in and others like that.

You can also put your subject in a question form. These may include questions like, “Are you sick and tired of your job?” Or “Is your boss always on your case?” Try to stay on the topic that pertains to your site so that you’ll know that your subscribers have signed up because they are interested in that topic. This form of subject is very effective because they reach out to your recipients emotions. When they have read the question on your subject, their mind starts answering the question already.

You can also use a subject that commands your reader. Statements such as “Act now and get this once in a lifetime opportunity”, or “Double, triple and even quadruple what you are earning in one year”. This type of subject deals with the benefits your company provides with your product and services.

You may also use breaking news as your subject to intrigue your subscriber. For example, if you deal with car engine parts you can write in your subject, “Announcing the new engine that uses no gasoline, It runs on water”. This creates curiosity with the reader and will lead them to open the mail and read on.

How To Build A List Of Eager Subscribers

Every online business provides great service to generate satisfaction among their customers. As each and every customer receives satisfaction over their products or the services they get, there is a great chance that they will become a return customer and buy again. Better yet, they will recommend you to other people that could generate more business for you and your site.

As more traffic is driven to your site, you can entice many of them to subscribe to your mailing list or opt-in list. This is a list where in website visitors agree to be sent promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogs and such that could keep them updated about your site or the niche of your site. These promotional materials are sent via e-mail to the members of the list in different time intervals.

When using e-mail as the media of your marketing and advertisements, you eliminate the need for high costs. Email is free and if you can manage to make your own promotional advertisements you can also save a bundle there. With an opt-in subscribers list, you are pretty sure that what you are sending out is received, viewed and read by the subscribers and not simply being deleted. They have signed up for service and have consented in receiving it.

This means that there are constant reminders to your subscribers about all your products, new products and services as well as any promotions and special deals you are having. There is also the chance that they can be forwarded to other potential customers as they tell their friends and families about you and your site.

Of course you should be also aware that a subscriber may unsubscribe when they feel that they are not getting what they want or expected. Make sure that they are satisfied with your opt-in marketing strategies and keep them excited in receiving your newsletters and catalogs. Here are some tips that can help you build a list of eager subscribers.

Make your promotional materials interesting and fun. Try to use a little creativity but not too over artsy. Build around what your product or service is about. For example; if you are selling car parts, put some pictures of what is new in the auto parts world, a new wing door possibly that can fit any car and make it look like a Lamborghini.

Try to research what people are looking for, these way, you stay one step ahead of them all the time and you will be their bearer of new tidings. They will be eager to receive what you are sending them because they knew you always have fresh and new things to share with them.

Write good articles that can be very informational but light at the same time. If your subscribers enjoy your articles, they will go to your site by clicking the links that you will be putting on your newsletter to read some more. You can provide articles that can connect to many people. Be diverse in your articles. Put something humorous, then put something informational, then put something that has both.

Are you wary about this because you don’t like writing? No problem, there are many professional and experienced article writers that can do the job for you for minimal fees. They know what they are doing and can provide the need that you have for your newsletters, the money that you pay for your articles are going to be met by the many sign-ups and the potential profit from the sales that you will get.

Create and send an E-book to your customers about anything that is related to your business or site. Use your knowledge and expertise in the field you have chosen to help other people who are similarly interested. Offer this e-book for free. You can write about anything informational and helpful to your subscribers. For example; you can do manuals and guides in so many things. This e-book could be used as a reference for many people.

Share this e-book with everyone, even other sites; just make sure that they don’t change the links in the e-book that will lead people to your site. If you want, you can always get some people to write it for you just like your articles. Your investment once again will be covered by the great marketing this will generate.

Add e-coupons in your newsletters that will help them avail to special discounts. Put a control number in your e-coupon so that they can only be used once. When people get discounts that can be found in your newsletters, they will be eager to receive your newsletter in anticipation of what you are promoting next.

If your subscribers can get benefits from your newsletters, they will be very eager to receive them. Just don’t flood your mailing list with mails so that you don’t annoy your subscribers.