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I don’t run a business with a shop front. But I am aware – and every day I learn a bit more – but I am aware of the basics of customer relations. I am aware that it takes a long time and a lot of care to build trust and confidence to attract new business and even more of the same to keep customers.
But I don’t have a shop front.
Shop fronts cost money. Shops cost money. NEW shops need to be fitted out at a cost of… well, obviously it depends on the type of business – how much equipment needs to be purchased etc. I’d imagine, but I don’t know, that it would cost a good 100k to take on a franchise of McDonalds, or Domino’s Pizza or even Costa Coffee.
There is a new shop in Mill Hill, North London. It is very bright and very pink. Perhaps I won’t name and shame at this point. But it’s the brand new one next to Pizza Express that looks bright and pink – oh and sells frozen yoghurts.
That’s all it sells. No drinks. No food. Just frozen yoghurts topped with little lumps of fruit or chocolate (alright, I know that’s food, but really!). The point I make here is that they are appealing to a smallish specific clientele – and, eh… warm weather.
Good Luck to them on that particular venture – they’ll need all the help they can get. And the girl who served us – lovely girl, very friendly.
So, I thought I’d give them a little help. I took Weedy for a frozen yoghurt treat. After all, it was a warm-ish day.
It wasn’t busy – quelle suprise.
They had bright pink seats indoors and a few seats outside the window. That’s the shop window. That’s their main point of advertising their business. If there is a 6ft by 3ft area anywhere else in the whole wide world that is a better place for them to advertise their business, then I can’t think of it.
So, I look up, and there, sitting by one of the tables outside is a guy eating a chicken leg and chips out of the bag he just purchased from the Shitsville Fried Chicken shop across the road.
And I’m thinking – what would the manager think? Or rather, what IS the manager thinking? Because there he is now. Young guy, smart casual. He goes up to the chicken-guzzling machine outside, says a few words, then disappears – ACROSS THE ROAD TO PURCHASE HIS OWN CHICKEN LEG AND CHIPS FROM SFC AND BRING BACK TO HIS OWN TABLE OUTSIDE HIS BRAND NEW FRESH LOOKING FROZEN YOGHURT BAR – and the two of them sit and sabotage their business. Unbelievable!
I use the word sabotage advisedly. Nigel Botterill coined it as far as I know. And really, what else are these people doing but saboutaging their own business?
I repeat the message. It takes a lot of time, care and attention to build a reputable brand – and it takes one (or two) idiots 2 seconds flat to kill it!
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Word of Mouth specialist. If your customers are saying nice things about you - let's all hear it - get testimonials visible and working for you