Mom and pop shops
In the wake of the ever expanding, ever increasing Walmart giant series of stores, one has to wonder…”Where have all the little guys gone?” What happened to the days of the “mom and pop” stores? Well we are here to tell you they may have dwindled but they are not gone for good! This site is dedicated to teaching small business owners how they can thrive in a retail giant type world and produce a viable income without become a mega-chain.
First off, I think we can all agree, the saying “bigger is better” doesn’t always hold true. What about the first computer ever made? It took up an entire room just to house all the parts! Or what about the first cell phone. Yep bigger not better for sure! I’ll gladly take my much smaller iPhone 6! Bigger just isn’t always better.
What do small businesses offer that the giants cannot? This is where you will need to focus. Not trying to become them. You don’t want to! What you offer is character, charm, and a unique experience.
Even Walmart is beginning to recognize this. America’s largest supercenter is scaling down: Wal-Mart has announced plans to scale down their sprawling establishments so as to cast a larger appeal to communities around the nation. Wal-Mart, which has received endless criticism for their expansive buildings, is going to start new store concepts over the next few years. Instead of building the enormous super centers (which average 187,000 square feet), Wal-Mart will be featuring smaller versions which average 40,000 square feet. (Taken from spokesperson for Walmart.com)
Hopefully this will be a step in the right direction for this discount retailer. Personal attention and customer satisfaction is something that is becoming increasingly more popular and Wal-Mart knows it needs to accommodate those interests!
How to get found by customers
So you have the charm, you have the sparkle, things Wal-Mart and others could never compete with. But there is one area that you are going to have to become proficient in–and that is being FOUND. We live in big cities with lots of stores. Peoples eyes are naturally accustomed to looking for big stores. And how can they not. The huge retailers have tall building that take up massive amounts of space. It really drowns out the little guys with his mom and pop shop 2 doors down. Most people don’t even know all the store that exist in their local strip mall.
You MUST become a viable presence on the internet. People MUST be able to find you when they search “coffee shop Scottsdale.” Google is the #1 search engine (89% of all searches originate there) and if you aren’t on page 1 of google.com then you can just forget about being found. Gone are the days of the yellow pages! Most young people don’t even know what those are!
50% of all searches originate from cell phones. So you must have a mobile responsive website as well. These are all things that many local stores don’t have time to learn how to do themselves and so they get drowned out. I recommend hiring a pro and that’s exactly what we did with our sites. We use Derek Abello (www.derekabello.com) and have been very pleased with our results and all the new traffic it has brought us to our site.
So what’s the take away today? Bigger isn’t always better BUT we must also find a way to be found. Focus on what you do well, turn up the charm and uniqueness, but still take advantage of modern day technology, like getting yourself on page 1 of google, getting a decent website made, and making sure it is mobile responsive. And never ever give up! America needs you and what you have to offer!
Do you agree that mom and pop shops can offer better service than retail giants? Is less really more? We’d love to hear your comments!