Rethinking Your Small Business in a Tight Economy

Happy Monday!

To begin the week I thought I’d share some insight from the world of kitchen and bath design. In the August issue of Kitchen and Bath Design News, Jerry Johnson offers some thoughts on expanding your product offering. [Note: The link is to the “columns” page on K&BD’s web site. As of this morning the site was still featuring July columns. Jerry’s column should be up there soon.]

He tells of meeting a customer who had just purchased a new kitchen from his company.  He asked her, “Can you tell me why you decided to buy your kitchen from us?”  She responded that a few months earlier she had been shopping for some small items and that Jerry’s showroom was the only one out of four that she visited that would take the time to help her.  She decided then and there that this was the company that would get her remodeling business.

There’s no doubt that customers today are taking much longer to make a positive buying decision, and they are visiting more companies to see what they offer and how they work.  The dollars are not as easy to get.

That annoying small-ticket customer, you know the one who takes up your valuable time for a few dollars profit, could be your next big sale.  Or she could refer her friend(s) to you for their large purchases.   Rather than spurn those small transactions, maybe you should cultivate them.  Get the word out that you’re the store that’s willing to go the extra mile to provide parts, accessories, and complimentary items.  Become the place to shop for anything related to your core business.

Quoting from Johnson’s article again,

If you’re just going to be the cheapest bid, well, good luck.  You will never outbid the lowest bidder.

And, why would you want to anyway?  Making a few low-profit sales now, establishing your business as the one who cares enough about the customer to give world-class service on a $10.00 sale, will make you the go-to place for high dollar, high margin business later on.  Doesn’t that make more sense than passing on the little sales and having to compete on price for the big ones?

I’m just sayin’…………

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