So, you’re thinking about opening a small business. Or you already have one. Maybe you have a fast-food restaurant, or a dry cleaning business. Or you sell women’s clothing, skateboards, office supplies or the latest, greatest widgets. No matter what kind of business you have there’s one thing that matters most when it comes to your ultimate success: whether or not customers show up and buy your stuff (or services). Oh, it might be really great stuff. At a really great price. And your store might be really, really fancy. But maybe you’re missing out on some business. And you can’t figure out why.
I’ll tell you why: you’re too close. You can’t see your business with the eyes of your customers. This happens with writers all the time (which is why we have editors–to read our words with the eyes of readers). William Faulkner is rumored to have said, “kill your darlings,” meaning that writers must axe some of their words (even if they’re fantastic) if they don’t work well. Stephen King claims that, “It’s always easier to kill someone elses darlings than it is to kill your own.” Why? Because you’re invested in those words. You wrote them with love and it took you a long time and your house was messy and your kids were neglected the whole time you were crafting them. So once you finish writing the last thing you want to hear is that some of it isn’t any good. To a writer, all of her words look fabulous. Even when they’re not (which is more often for some of us than others, but that’s a different blog).
This same concept applies to your shop. Maybe some of what you have and love just isn’t working. Or there are some problems that you can’t see. You need someone to look at your business with the fresh eyes of the consumer and help you do a little editing where necessary. And that’s where I come in.
My name is Harper Grey and I’m a savvy consumer. I’m not a small business expert or a marketing guru. I’m just an average girl with an average family and an average income. I live in the suburbs of an average-sized city and shop both in the ‘burbs and downtown. I like a good bargain, but I like good customer service and a pleasant shopping experience even more. And I am coming into your store (or stores like yours) with the eyes of a consumer to give you some retail insights and tips.
Every Thursday, I’ll bring you a story or two about my experiences out there in the world of everyday shopping. Sometimes I have good experiences; sometimes not. I hope that my stories will help you see your business through my eyes. Maybe you’ll see that you’re doing everything right… or maybe you’ll see that you have a few things to fix. At the very least, maybe you’ll laugh or cry or be entertained in general. I hope so… my house is a mess and my kids are neglected on your behalf and I’ve murdered a whole lot of fabulous words.