How to Save Your Business

August 19, 20130 Comments

Michael Burger for The Relevant Report. We think it is crucial for you to stay keenly aware of any shifts in customer buying habits so that you can adjust your business model to stay relevant to the people who give you their money. Today, I’ve got a great example of a small business that did just that. It’s a lesson for all of us.

This is The Border Store in Westminster California…or at least it is for now. This store is closing in a couple of days. Why? Because their business model had changed – and to adapt to the market, they had to change too. The store started at a flea market for roughly 4 years. They followed with a retail store – ran it for 15 years and during that time they also started a website. Over the years the store sales went down…and Internet went up. “It just made financial sense when 80% of your income is Internet and 20% is walk in”, said the owners Lisa and Michael Arnell.

For the owners of The Border Store, it was obvious that the landscape of the wallpaper business was scraping itself off the walls. So they decided to face reality and close their brick and mortar store. By doing so they actually saved money.They saved $30,000 in rent, $20,000 in advertising and $15,000 in staffing. So how in the world do people buy wallpaper online? The owners said there is a limit to what you can sell online, but this couple was very smart. Along the way, they created original border designs…and those CAN be sold online…and they can’t be stolen because these designs can’t be found anywhere else. 40% of their sales come from their private label. When asked what to do if your business is at the crossroads, Michael Arnell responded, “If your business is making a profit, it can continue to do that…if you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life. I’ve love what I do so this is like being paid to have a home.”

So the lesson is this. If your customers have changed the way they want to buy from you, DON’T QUESTION THEM! – be humble and follow THEIR wisdom. Be empathetic and Follow THEIR needs. And for the sake of your business. Be smart and FOLLOW THEIR MONEY. The good news is, their online business is thriving, and because they are online they’re available to their customers 24/7 365, defining themselves as an urgent company staying relevant.

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