Creative Ways to Make a Big Business Impact in Any Local Small Business
Pay attention to your local demographic.
1.Product offering. This little cafe in Brooklyn is very cool. It has superb coffee, but it’s got some really fabulous, healthy deserts too. The desserts don’t have white refined sugar in them. They’re fantastic tasting anyway. It also has a juice bar and will juice pretty much anything that’s not pinned down, including your car bumper. Good roughage.
2. Customer behavior. Pay attention to how your customers engage with your business. Using this little shop again, the bathroom had a really wide, sliding door. Great for people in wheelchairs, but also great for mom’s with babies in strollers. They also had a stroller rack where mom’s could hang up those space hogs. There was also a banquette in the back of this narrow store to accommodate small groups. It was a simple place, well designed for the purpose.
A bakery in Portland, Maine had a kiddies table where children could play with real dough. They had kid-sized baking pans and everything. It was like a auto-play date.
The kids loved it, moms and dads loved it. They came for coffee and stayed forever. The bakery became a destination place. It was a clever way to attract all the stakeholders in a family.
3. Employee Knowledge and Attitude. The counter people at this little cafe were terrific. They were very knowledgeable about all the types of coffee, tea, juices, deserts and other savories. They described the food such that, I wanted one of everything, with a double latte. Good salespeople will whet your appetite.
4. Give them a reason to come back. This little cafe wasn’t just a coffee shop; it was a local institution. How does a business become that well-known and loved? First, it greets people like human beings, not like walking ATM machines. Feeling valued is a big deal today. People don’t forget it. Its menu is consistent with the tastes and preferences of the locals. And it’s always changing. The recipes are unique to the shop owner/ chef and each one will make your mouth water. Wow, I wonder what new health bar they’ve created this week?
5. Give people real value and they’ll return. Believe it or not, people don’t buy price, they buy value. Price is just what you have to shell out to get “the thing”. Value is the whole experience; the ambiance, the coffee, the attitude of the place. A smile is worth a whole lot more than most businesses realize.
Regardless of which creative methods you choose to grow your local business, you always want to be paying attention to inventory management and cash flow. They are the life blood of your business.