Take your customers back to Kindergarten.
As a local small business owner trying to make a connection with your customers, take your approach back a few years and remember the basic lessons that you learned when you were in kindergarten. It's been a while for some, but the simple rules we learned way back when, still apply today. In fact, more now than ever before. Here is a list of 10 important kindergarten lessons you need to implement, in order to run a successful brick and mortar shop:
1. Be nice to people
It's such a simple thing, though rarely implemented these days. Online retailers are blowing locally owned small businesses off the map. Let's face it, the only thing a small business owner has over an online retailer is human connection and engagement. Take that out of the equation, and a locally owned small business owner has nothing. How many times have you walked in a small business and the staff is too busy on Facebook to lift their head up and say hello. Or how many times have you felt like you were getting glared at by the sales rep at a fancy boutique? Those days are done, and so are the small businesses who don't value their customers.
2. Say please
When you are working with customers, you need to mind your manners so if you need someone to move for you, remember to say please.
3. Say thank you
Your customers are keeping you in business, so make sure to thank them even if they don't buy anything.
4. Take turns
In a relationship with your customers, you want to let them know that you are willing to let them have a tun too. Remember the old saying, give before you receive?
5. Be willing to share
In a small business, it is nice to have something that the customers can be a part of. Maybe you have a popcorn machine or something else that the customers can enjoy while they shop. Maybe a coffee bar or even a glass of wine. Make your customers feel like family, it will come back ten fold.
6. Listen to others
This is not only about the customers, but also about your co-workers. If you are making sure to listen, then you will get the connections that will grow your business.
7. You are not always right
This is a tough one for many small business owners. But the fact is, you are not always right. You may make some mistakes, but the biggest mistake that you can make is to try to ignore the mistake. Accept it and move forward.
8. Recess is an important time of the day
Make sure that you are having fun with your customers so that it is more than just business. Enjoy your interactions and be a part of the community.
9. Mind your manners
We already talked about please and thank you, but make sure that you keep your manners in place when you are interacting with your local customers.
10. Be nice to people
Oops, did I already say that?