Adapting to the New Age of Selling
Business View – December 2019/January 2020
Whether online shopping, a shrinking media market, being saddled with more debt or even up-cycling, there’s no denying today’s successful retailers are being forced to adapt a new business model to stay in front of new and existing customers.
Rule number one, according to Danette Richards, director of small business development for the Mobile Area Chamber, is a hyper-awareness of one’s customer base and what they want.
“A business owner has three options, and they must get them right to succeed,” said Richards. “You need to figure out how to recruit new customers, retain customers or upsell to your current client base.”
Small business is more pivotal to a community’s economic health than its ever been. There are a number of reasons for this, but one, according to Quint Studer, author of Building a Vibrant Community: How Citizen-Powered Change Is Reshaping America and founder of the Studer Community Institute, is that over the past few decades, most communities have lost the “pillars” that once sustained them. Globalization caused locally owned institutions such as department stores, hospitals, banks, grocers, television and radio stations, and newspapers, to be bought by large corporations.
Richards points out that successful small business owners like Reney’s Honey Butter, Harvest Jewels, Joe Bullard Automotive Group, Tony’s Tejas Salsa and McAleer’s Office Furniture are committed to adapting to a new way of selling. One example she gives is a furniture store selling new and used sofas and chairs, where it once only sold new items. Selling new and gently used gives a store owner an opportunity to increase his or her customer base, build brand loyalty with quality service and then bring that customer back into the store for future higher-end purchases.
These five Mobile-area business owners are innovating and shaking it up to keep the cash register ringing. Read about them in the December 2019/January 2020 Business View and watch part of their interviews here:
About the Mobile Chamber
The Mobile Chamber is a private business organization with more than 1,700 members and the economic developer for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The Mobile Chamber’s focus is to provide members with networking, marketing and professional development opportunities, expand jobs in the area, develop the local workforce, advocate legislative priorities and offer resources to help small businesses grow. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.