Three days ago, I met with a woman who’s been working in an eyeglass store and has figured out a way to open her own store. I can’t tell you her twist on it, her niche, just that the target market is older and on the affluent side.
So far, she has come up with a name for her store. She has someone working on her logo. She’s scheduled a trip to Vietnam to locate a good source of frames. She’s done her job on the machinery she’s going to need. She’s raised the money for it.
She’s also looked at locations. She’s picked two. One close to where she lives and one close to where she works. Both slightly off. She expects to get foot traffic and the affluent, older people she’s after are located and shop in great numbers in a neighborhood some 2 miles north of the first location, 1 mile east of the second one.
The second one requires going across a highway and a couple of train tracks into a neighborhood that’s perceived as being less affluent and more residential.
She’s done a lot of things and a lot of them well. But did you notice that she did not even think about how she’s going to reach them?
Many entrepreneurs do that. Presumably because they’re technicians or manager by nature. In this case, she’s a technician who’s bright enough to have notice that the store where she works is not covering one niche.
Also, she did not think much about how to set up the business. I mean, she knows she needs a store ye big, with room in the back. And she knows she’s going to have a couple of sales people and one of them will also be the receptionist, an optometrist.
But she did not think of all the functions and which job will cover what functions. And she did not think of how to set it up so it works without her.
For a good discussion of setting up a business properly, see Michael Gerber’s E-Myth.
But back to marketing. You really need to establish that there’s a crowd who buys what you have to sell and how you’re going to reach them.
All I managed to elicit from this client is that the glass frames she wants to sell appeal more to older people than to younger and that she wants to sell them for more money than a bunch of stores. She had specific stores in mind.
Yet she’s spent a lot of time and some money already.
What she did not understand was that her main business wasn’t going to be to sell eye glass frames but to market a business that sold such items.
Small business marketing strategies help you most when you understand that as a small business owner, you’re in the business of marketing your small business. The business that has the best marketing systems set up wins.