Monday, August 27, 2007

Small Business Success is elusive at Best- what to do?

Small Businesses Have More Challenges Than Ever To Succeed.

The facts are clear:

Fact 1: The Retail Marketplace is crowded- there are more places for consumers to find goods and services than ever before. Big Box Stores, the internet, there are more choices than ever before and this is leading to a generation of shoppers that has little or no store loyalty.

Fact 2: Consumers are bombarded with messaging. The reach of marketing today extends well beyond the traditional newspaper ads or radio spots that many independent retailers succeed on for years. Internet advertising, outdoor advertising, even cell phones are places where consumers now receive information about goods and services they might be buying

Fact 3: TIME matters to customers- Gone are the lazy strolls down main streets across America that led to customers walking in your front door and making an impulse purchase. Purpose driven shopping trips rule the day today and it is harder than ever for merchants of all size and shape to get customers into their front doors without any solicitation to get them there!

Fact 4: Competition is fierce. The growth of the big box retailer as well as the internet only merchant is carving a piece out of the independent retailer’s market share today. With online purchases expected to grow at double digits over the next 5 years, and big box retailers entering the marketplace from around the world, this trend are only going to continue.

Success today requires retailers to deliver an “experience” to their customers. Retailers of all size must “move from a single transaction mindset to establishing ongoing relationships” with their customers. That means retailers must PLAN to attract new customers, they must effectively PLAN for ongoing marketing campaigns and sales programs, and they must PLAN to utilize technology to attract new customers and to retain current customers all the while delivering a personal customize interaction to any customer the store may have.

In effect, retailers today must actively and continuously plan to garner a larger “share of wallet” from every customer they have. Another way to look at this new paradigm shift in the world of retail today is to suggest that “retailers must shift from what moves product to what moves people”

So just how do you move people to purchase in today’s retail environment? That is the question that requires time, energy, research and a well executed response from independent retailers everywhere. Ask for help from a professional if you need to, but DON'T ignore the signs-
Assume that consumers will continue to change--- success today requires you interpret these changes and implement them accordingly for your business!

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