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Setting up shop - how to make a small store profitable

This is about surviving as a small store.

Where I live, stores open and close with such frequency that the streets are barely going to be recognizable if you would be away for six months.
That's really true.

Sometimes I get the urge to walk into one of these stores and tell the staff;
–”Why won't you tell people that you have a store here? I live around the corner and I didn't know about you until today. What are you thinking?”

But instead it has become a game. I go home to my wife and say:
–“Now they have opened a new café/kids shop/flower shop/kiosk around the corner. 100 bucks says they're gone in five months.”

That's how old and tired I have become.

Why? Because it's so easy to make a little noise and survive as a shop owner.

Here's the plan for anyone thinking about starting a small independent shop:

* Check the competition in the area – is there is a gap for you to fill? If not – forget about your plans. You start a business because there is a need, not just because there happens to be a vacancy in the neighborhood.

* Check if there is anyone in the area who might be interested in buying what you intend to sell (customer base). Is it the right place for what you intend to sell? Will the right people find the store when you have opened?

* Check how many people pass by the premises you intend to rent if you are going to sell something that other people are selling as well. Sit in the car and count the number of people passing by during the day.

* Tell everyone you know in lots of different ways that you are thinking of starting up a store. Distribute flyers, both in mailboxes and directly to people on the street (you should continue doing so even after the store is open).

* Always have a campaign up and running. Always!

* Make sure to get the customers' addresses when they visit your shop - e-mail addresses and physical addresses so you can reach them easily with new offers.

* Launch a website and sell what you sell in more than one place.

* Always ask customers what they lack and what you can sell more.

* Learn to love selling.

* Never give up marketing efforts. When things go well, concentrate even more on marketing, instead of vice versa. You should never stop promoting your store.

Print this list and stick to it, you have a much better chance of survival as a small store owner if you do!

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.