UP AGAINST THE WAL-MARTS How Your Business Can Prosper In The Shadow of the Retail Giants AUTHOR: Don Taylor & Jeanne Shalling Archer PUBLISHER: Amacom Books DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2005 258 pages
THE BIG IDEA What can you do to keep your business afloat – and thriving – when mega-retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot offer thousands of products under one roof, and at impossibly low prices? Up Against The Wal-Marts gives you proven strategies to transform your business into a true David in a world of Goliaths.
WHY YOU NEED THIS BOOK This essential book gives you a huge selection of tools to help you spot new trends, trouble shoot financial issues, gauge customer satisfaction, leverage promotional opportunities , and more.
BECOME A DAVID You can survive. Even if you’ve lost customers, you can win them back. You can prosper and grow . We know you can because we’ve talked with hundreds of independents just like you, and they are becoming successful competitors. They are learning how to counter the giant’s strengths. Owners are becoming smarter, faster, tougher, and more focused on running profitable businesses. And they are improving their businesses, increasing sales and profits, and some are setting all-time performance highs.
BECOME A DAVID They may have had their backs to the wall, but they’re no longer backing up. They are going forward with determination and vigor. They refuse to run, and they won’t hide. They are armed with information. They are winning because of their positive attitudes and because they are learning how to fight. So read on, gather up some new information and reenter the battle. You can win. You can prosper and grow.
FOURTEEN SUCCESS STRATEGIES <ul><li>It’s still about the customer . All businesses, regardless of type or size, have one common reason to exist: to serve the customer. All of the successful companies studied, appreciate and understand the worth of their customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Great companies have great people . The successful companies unanimously agreed on one point: They could not have grown successful businesses without great people. In fact, no business ever attains a higher level of quality than the quality of people who work there. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
FOURTEEN SUCCESS STRATEGIES <ul><li>Add obvious value . Customers define value in their own ways. They weigh the quality and quantity you offer against your price. Customers make this judgment every time they shop. </li></ul><ul><li>Become a master marketer . Define marketing as every action you take to create, satisfy, and keep customers. In practice, marketing must attract new customers, completely fulfill their needs, wants, and expectations, and establish a relationship to bring them back again. </li></ul>
FOURTEEN SUCCESS STRATEGIES <ul><li>Eliminate waste . Thomas Edison said, “Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.” One of the keys to controlling waste is to plan your spending. </li></ul><ul><li>Get accurate, timely management information . The new breed of big-box merchants have all invested heavily on technology. The advantage they get from their investment is management information at their fingertips. </li></ul>
FOURTEEN SUCCESS STRATEGIES <ul><li>Become a power nicher . The big boxes have become successful as mass merchandisers. They carry large selections that appeal to wide audiences. By trying to have something for everyone, they leave hundreds of retail and service gaps that we refer to as niches. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on improvement . Change and improvement are two different words. While change is necessary to improve, improvement does not always follow change. For example, you could replace your modern bathroom with a primitive outhouse and achieve a major change, but not improvement. </li></ul>
FOURTEEN SUCCESS STRATEGIES <ul><li>Study the Success of Oth ers. It’s simplistic, but true: If you want to be a smart business person, study smart businesses. The smart ones even ask a lot of questions, keep their eyes wide open, and adapt good ideas whenever they can. </li></ul><ul><li>Become a “Hands-On” leader . It’s a common situation among small business-owners. They work hard, achieve some success, and then take more and more time off. They, in essence, become absentee owners. </li></ul>
FOURTEEN SUCCESS STRATEGIES <ul><li>Conduct your business with integrity . There is no foundation for success as solid and secure as integrity. Businesses are built on relationships, and relationships are built on trust. Nothing inspires trust more thoroughly than a lifetime of honesty and integrity. </li></ul><ul><li>Take control of your attitude. Attitude is the state of mind with which we approach any given situation. When the competition seems unbeatable, your employees grow unbeatable, and the customer becomes unsatisfiable, remember this: You are still in charge of your own attitude. </li></ul>
FOURTEEN SUCCESS STRATEGIES <ul><li>Be nice . Contrary to the old saying, “Nice guys finish last,” the nice factor carries folks to the top. It’s a common trait among winners. </li></ul><ul><li>Become results-oriented . Beware of the activity trap. Sometimes folks who seem to be busy all the time get very little done. They often become victims of the activity trap. </li></ul>
SEVEN SERIOUS SIGNS <ul><li>No matter what your management team tells you; if you see the following signs, you know you’ve got a lot of work to do: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The business lacks customer focus. </li></ul><ul><li>The business knows very little about its customers, and has no clear description of its target customers. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>3. The business has no proven methods for reaching its target customers. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
SEVEN SERIOUS SIGNS <ul><li>The business knows little about its competitors , or doesn’t understand that a competitor is anyone who is going after the same consumer dollar. </li></ul><ul><li>The business cannot identify a competitive position . </li></ul><ul><li>The company is slow to take advantage of marketing opportunities, including marketing with technology. </li></ul><ul><li>The company thinks of marketing as “selling and advertising,” and ignores the product, price, position, people and place components of an effective marketing plan . </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
KEEP THEM COMING BACK Good service is the best form of marketing we know of. If you follow the Four P’s and do a great job in each area, your reward will be happy customers who will be loyal for life . Word-of-mouth referrals – marketing – will help you generate business without spending a dime on promotion. Each encounter with a prospective customers or an existing one is an opportunity to acquire a lifelong fan. As Stanley Marcus, the father of retail said, “Nobody owns anybody anymore.” All business is competitive business, folks, and you’ll be assured of many repeat opportunities.
WHEN IT ISN’T WORKING: HOW TO FIRE FAIRLY How do you know when it’s time to fire? You use the MOP Test to determine if your employee’s actions are putting you and your company in jeopardy. M = Morale . Is the problem employee having a negative influence on the morale and attitude of others? O = Operations . Is the problem employee affecting operations, causing a decrease in productivity or increases in costs? P = Profits . Are profits dropping because of the employees’ actions? Are you losing customers, sales, or orders? All of these will eventually lead to a profit decline.
A FINAL WORD As a closing thought, we would like to share a little poem that we’ve used over the years. We’ve seen a number of different versions of the poem, but do not know its author. We believe that it sums up not only how to beat burnout, but how to be that competitor who can take on any business challenge and succeed. We share it with you with the hope that it will inspire you as much as it has inspired thousands of others.
A FINAL WORD If you think you’re beaten, you are, If you think you dare not, you don’t. If you’d like to win, but think you can’t, It’s almost certain you won’t. If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost, For out in the world we find, Success begins with a person’s will, It’s all in the state of mind. -Author unknown
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