How do you think you would feel if you operated a small mom & pop shop then suddenly one of those massive retail giants sets down in your area? You’d feel dread because you already know they have the branding and pricing that will attract the local crowd. The future for your business may look bleak.
However, small shops can do more than offer some flashy marketing campaign and dirt cheap prices (for dirt cheap quality products). A small mom & pop shop has character; it’s a place where when you walk in they know you by name which keeps people coming back and improves the lifetime value of the customer.
Even though you have these going for you it still means you’re in an uphill battle to keep the locals coming to your shop. Using outdated systems, marketing campaigns, and sticking to the small business mentality may actually be what ends up closing the shop.
Here are some of the ways to modernize your small business so that you may take on the retail giants trying to scoop your piece of the pie:
Point-of-Sale systems are becoming common place in small businesses because it allows the shop owners to accept all kinds of payments with nominal fees.
Using modern POS systems also come with backends which allow the business to collect user data, sales reports, analytics, and keep a purchase history. The information the POS system collects can be used to create a business newsletter where you could send out promotional offers to keep people coming through the door, encourage them to follow on social media, or share their experience through reviews.
All of these bonuses lead to great marketing for a small business that doesn’t have the kind of budget as the big retailers.
Unique Stand-outs and Designs
Though a large retail business has the power to swoop in and take over a small town, what they lack is personality because all of them feel sterile and similar. You walk around them and they feel no different than the one in the next town.
As a small business owner you are in a great position to create an eclectic feel to your store. By creating customer-centric in-store cardboard display stands you can cater these designs to the feel and branding of your shop so each nook and cranny feels homey and inviting.
These displays are perfect for the end-cap where much of the attention shifts to as people wander the shop. They are also perfect at the counter during checkout to catch those last minute, impulse purchases which could quickly raise your bottom line.
The big retail shops like to claim they are doing great for the community but let’s be honest and admit that although they’re donating it’s still driving down the viability for small shop owners to exist. When the mom & pop shops shut down there’s a certain “soul” that is lost within the area.
Operating a small shop gives you that ability to give back to the community where the retail giants couldn’t because of all the procedures and legality from corporate. For example:
· If you want to sponsor a little league team you can
· If you want to have a workshop you can
· If you want to hold a party at your location you can
These small gestures makes your business feel like it’s truly part of the community, which the retail giants could never achieve no matter their budgets. By creating this love for the community the community will love you back. You become a staple and people will go out of their way to do business with you rather than save a couple bucks throwing it at some corporation.
Do you own a small shop? What do you do differently than the big retailers that are keeping people coming through the doors?
Share your story with our team @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are you and what do you do in 30 words or less?
I’m a living soul here to inspire and empower others to liberate their souls, unleash their message and speak it with unapologetic, undeniable, unstoppable confidence on every marketplace platform.
How do you remain empowered as an entrepreneur?
People often ask me how I do it all and my quick response is how do I NOT do it all; meaning that if you have a dream, a vision, a mission, a passion or a calling in life, it’s not going to unfold and just happen – you’ve got to get up, suit up and go get it every day. When you are truly hungry for your dream you will find a way to eat and feed your passion. I’m naturally driven from within and although I have moments of despair and doubt when that dream starts grumbling in my stomach I find creative ways to feed the dream within.
How do you remain equipped as an entrepreneur, where/how do you fuel your growth?
My grandmother used to say “a closed mouth don’t get fed.” I ask for what I need. I seek out creative possibilities and solutions to solve challenges and get help, guidance and support from friends, colleagues and mentors. God gave me a gift and instructed me to use it to transform the world. When I think about this divine privilege I show gratitude for this gift, by being spiritually obedient, walking in my purpose and finding a way when it seems there is none. Specifically I empower my gifts my strengthening, polishing and mastering them. In order to be the best at what I do I must stay inquisitive, creative and innovative.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration to me means to be within spirit. When I’m consistently connected to my spirit, my God and my intuition, I receive divine downloads that guide my next steps and big ideas. I’m often inspired by music, when I’m cooking and creating and by other people who refuse to quit, give up on their dreams and those who are excelling in their passion.
What is your “WHY” —- why do you do what you do?
I believe every living person and soul has a uniquely important message within. We are here to share that message to heal, inspire, empower and transform lives and when we don’t share it our soul is unfulfilled and the message dies. Beyond the titles I AM here to help people unlock their message, unleash their voice and speak it and share with authentic confidence. Growing up I didn’t know (and still don’t) my father. Consciously and unconsciously I felt invisible to him. I’ve always been driven from within as a result to never be unseen, unheard, own my power and honor the value of ME. One of my biggest intentions in life is to empower others who feel invisible to do the same. We all are valuable. I wake up every day excited about helping as many people as I can believe they are valuable and what they have to say matters.
What is your #1 tip for other entrepreneurs?
Make the choice to BE unapologetic about who you are, create an authentic, undeniable brand from the inside, work the hell out of it and leverage it to create the life you desire to live. There is NO one like you and when you really realize that you cannot be duplicated you gain the mountain moving mindset that you are irreplaceable. That means having a brand-first mindset, building and growing your business with a brand-based business model and embodying and living your brand with every breath you take. BE and rock the brand of you every day.
Show UP, SHINE and Do the Damn Thing!
Catrice M. Jackson, the truth-telling BOSSLady of Branding helps entrepreneurs clearly identify their soul-purpose brand and confidently unleash their Irresistible Trademark (IT) so they can unapologetically show up in the marketplace, shine and do the damn thing! Catrice is most passionate about helping business owners crank up the volume of their voice to be undeniably seen, heard, loved and hired by clients they crave. She is a master-message mentor who turns mediocre marketing messages into social media sales succulence, an international speaker who empowers women to step up to the mic, speak their brand and sizzle and loves helping entrepreneurs BOSS their brands by creating a 3-D sensory brand experience clients are hungry for. She does it all with her signature coaching secret-sauce, Catriceology, the irresistible psychology of branding anchored in truth, authenticity and freedom.
* * CONNECT WITH CATRICE * *
Catrice M. Jackson, M.S. LMHP, LPC
International Speaker, BOSSLady of Branding & International Best-Selling Author
“Show UP, SHINE, Rock the Brand of YOU and Do the Damn Thing!”
The #EntrepreneurInspiration blog series is another way that the TEWCrew can help spread the entrepreneurial cheer throughout the universe. Our mission is to empower, equip and inspire aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs to unleash the entrepreneur within #unleashthebiz! We do that the best way we know how, and that is by telling stories of our experiences, and the experiences of our community and our colleagues. Enjoy!
What is a mini-pitch and why should you have one?
by: Michael Luchies
Sending the right message is everything when you need to make a sale or land investors for your business to survive and grow. An elevator pitch is often tied to a competition, but how do you change your pitch out of the competition format and why should you?
Elevator pitch competitions tend to feature entrepreneurs who are representing their idea or business through a 90 second pitch. Although it may be appropriate to talk for a minute and a half straight in a competition, in most business situations it’s not. So does this mean that you need different pitches for different situations? Well…YES!
This article will cover the mini-pitch – a short concise pitch that will effectively represent your business in a clear manner to any audience. A mini-pitch should be a maximum of 15 seconds and should give the audience enough information to understand what you do, encourage them to ask questions, and have them wanting more.
When to Use
The mini pitch is perfect for a short introduction, when someone asks “What do you do for a living?,” or when cold calling or approaching a prospect for the first time. Save the full pitch until you know that your audience is dedicated to listening to what you have to offer. Using your full pitch during an introduction is equal to telling your life story within the first 5 minutes of a blind date. Give them a little information, but make sure to find out what they are looking for and what they want from you.
How to Create
Step 1: What is the basic function of your business? This is easier said than done for applications and technology based businesses. For a brick and mortar store, this is as simple as apple pie. For technology based companies that may be hard to explain so that everyone can understand what it is you do, you may need to fine tune your message.
Ex 1: The Coffeehouse offers premium coffee and bakery items to college students in Minnesota.
Ex 2: IcoffHouse shows you the highest rated coffee shop within a 6 block radius OR IcoffHouse is Google just for coffee.
Step 2: What makes you unique? The first step gives the basics so anyone gets a clear understanding of your primary function, now you can start to sell it. Step two is what sets your business or yourself apart from current offerings in the marketplace.
Ex 1: Student created coffee flavors and baked goods
Ex 2: (IcoffHouse) Based on each user’s coffee preference
Step 3: Opportunity or Market Size
Ex 1: over 100,000 people in a 10 mile area
Ex 2: 50 Million coffee drinkers in America
Step 4: Recent sales, outlook, or bonus piece of information.
Ex 1: 30% growth every month in our first year OR 700 students surveyed said they would visit every day
Ex 2: 200,000 signups in our first month of operation OR secured 1M in investment in our first round
Put it together and say it out loud:
Ex 1: The Coffeehouse offers premium coffee and bakery items to college students in Minnesota through student created coffee flavors and baked goods to a market of 100,000 in a 10 mile area and has seen growth of 30% every month in our first year.
Ex 2: IcoffHouse is Google just for coffee and finds results based on each user’s coffee preference for the 50 million coffee drinkers in America, and 200,000 of those have already signed up in our first month of operation.
You can pack a lot of punch in a 15 second pitch. Need help with your mini-pitch? PitchJam is offering 10 free 30 minute consultations where we will help you perfect your mini-pitch! No commitment needed and no risk. Contact us at Info@pitchjam.com.
About the Author
Michael Luchies is a co-author of The Entrepreneur Within You Volume 2 – coming this June!
We were recently in touch with a divine blogger, the Breezy Mama. She gave a great review of TEW that we’d like to share here:
Or read the text:
Book Review: The Entrepreneur Within You by Julie M. Holloway
Written by Amy Boyington on November 14, 2013 Leave a Comment
The Entrepreneur Within You is an inspirational guide to harnessing your entrepreneurial skills and taking full advantage of them. Author and entrepreneur Julie M. Holloway is a designer and marketer who took it upon herself to quit her less-than-empowering job to become her own successful boss. The Entrepreneur Within You is full of business and practical advice to allow you to do the same.
Holloway begins the book by telling about her decision to quit her job and the inspirational conversations that followed her decision. As a full-time employee turned stay-at-home mom and blogger, I could completely relate to her story and a lot of what she said resonated with me. Every once in awhile, there comes a time when you just have to follow your gut and make the best decision for you. In doing so, Holloway discovered that she was ready to embark on a whole new chapter in her life: becoming her own boss and running a successful business she created.
Holloway reviews her own job performance as an entrepreneur on the 1st, 30th, 60th, and 90th days of her beginning her business. Her review of herself not only provides pointers to others who wish to become successful with their own businesses, but also provides inspiration – it really can be done! Other topics Holloway and her “TEW Crew” cover include:
The power struggle and defining yourself as “the boss”
Overcoming obstacles in entrepreneurship
The effects of procrastination on a successful business
The Entrepreneur Within You is very comprehensive and organized well. I appreciate that it has the viewpoints of several entrepreneurs to make it a well-rounded, insightful, empowering book. You can purchase your own copy of The Entrepreneur Within You from theentrepreneurwithin.org for $16.
The Entrepreneur Within You Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
As I am working on an article for an upcoming publication, I felt a strong need to have a discussion with my fellow entre/intra/corporate/preneurs about work/life balance.
Here’s a peek at the interview:
Q: How do you achieve work/life balance as an entrepreneur?
Well, I talk about work/life balance (W/LB) a lot in my chapter in The Entrepreneur Within You, and on social media platforms such as facebook and twitter. During the first year of running my business full-time from home, I had absolutely zero life, and absolutely zero balance. However, one of my contributors, and very close friends has a blog called www.mylifestylezen.com. I found myself reading it very often actually searching for clues on HOW to achieve balance. I read many blogs, sites, books, and talked to many of my co-entrepreneur friends. We have made some conclusions about this “W/LB” however, it takes a few to keep each other accountable to whether we are really achieving it. Due to the fact that many of us do not do so well in this area, we created a signature t-shirt line and facebook page called the #theysleepwegrindcollaborative – where we check in late-night to see who’s up, by doing ‘roll call’. Here’s a link: facebook.com/theysleepwegrind.
Now, back to the question at hand. It has literally taken me a year and a half to be able to consciously achieve W/LB. I was not doing this for a long time and it was causing a bad strain on my productivity and on my marriage, to be honest. My husband and a few close colleagues had to really get it through my head that I was way too much of a workaholic. I quit working full-time to NOT be a workaholic, and my workaholism got worse!
So, here’s how I achieve W/LB currently:
- Keep an accountability partner close to me (my very good friend and consultant)
- Ask others to let me know when they see me falling out of balance (my mommy tells me often and she can spot it from a mile away)
- I promise myself to listen to my body when I need rest or need to back off work for a bit
- Listen to my children, hey they tell me when I have worked too much in a day or on the weekend
- I have begun to plan 1 weekly meeting outside of the house with a client or friend, so that I can get out and play a bit
- We have planned one fun date a week for hubby and I, when the kids are now back in school full time
- I take myself on dates for tea, coffee, or shopping just to enjoy myself and reflect
- I began a workout regimen that I had not been doing before
- I love coffee, but 3 years ago switched to a ‘healthy’ coffee to reduce my migraines and jitters which has interrupted my work flow many times
- I allow myself creative freedom to help build my own artistic voice and portfolio at least 2 times a week (non-client work)
- I began drawing and soon to be, painting again (my first love of art)
- I began voicing my experiences as an entrepreneur to share stories and testimonies with others, so not to feel so alone
- I collaborate and connect with others online as much as I can – I love my Facebook community
- I have learned to outsource a bit and hired 2 consultants to help me grow my business in sales and marketing; it’s working tremendously and I feel less stressed
- After a year, I have finally embraced that hubby (who was a stay at home dad for 10 years), is here to help with the family business, he’s helped tremendously
- I have helped my children 6 and 11 to launch small businesses, publish books, design t-shirts and play in ‘art’ as often as possible to encourage creativity in the home
- I have coached quite a few other designers and authors of late, and find it encouraging to be able to support others’ endeavors
- Most of all, I have learned from a coach, to “fill my cup first, before I pour into my business, or into others” and it’s working wonders. She says, “you cannot pour with an empty cup.”
All of these things combined have helped me achieve a fun/amazing/encouraging and exciting W/LB over the past year.
Q: You said that you attend a variety of events, where do you find the time?
Well, when we published The Entrepreneur Within You almost one-year ago, I promised myself, and the “brand” that I would either plan 1 event monthly or participate in another organization’s event where we could promote the book and the movement. So far, we have, and sometimes more than one per month. For the events we have planned such as book signings, book brunches, TEW jr. meet-ups, live author workshops, picnics and more, I have always had my side-kick, daughter Jasmine (11) who is such a mini-event planner. She loves helping me plan the logistics, get creative with party details and embrace others assistance in the process. We always have great deal of sponsors and volunteers which is amazing.
I recently found that my 16 years as an executive assistant still shines when planning events. I absolutely love it and it gives us something to look forward to outside of work once per month. When we have an event coming up, I often end up working late nights, early mornings and finding time to coordinate things while I’m half asleep, but it’s all worth it in the end. We have had some great times collaborating this year with the TEW Crew!
I look forward to reading the full interview once it’s available, and of course we will share it with you!
For now, please visit our facebook page and let us know how you achieve W/LB!