HOW TO GROW A SMALL RETAIL STORE IN DIFFICULT TIMES

 Lee_Broom

TELEMARKET YOUR BUSINESS

 

In the eighties and nineties I owned retail stores. In my twentieth year of doing business, I became ill and required emergency surgery. My three employees fled the main store from which I manned three businesses and two non-profit ventures but not until after confiscating all cash on hand and certain collectables, one of which outranked market value on the entire rest of my Base Store inventory. It was the only thing in the safe and the safe was gone.

A friend of mine whose first name was Bill, had just retired from his position as Southwest Regional Manager for a major insurance firm. Within a short time after retirement, Bill and a friend named Ed put together a training program which they offered to Merrill Lynch and companies of their ilk. Their training program revealed new and reportedly better methods for using existing client intel to increase revenues at a faster than expected pace.

Bill and I were jogging partners and together each morning we pounded sand as onward we ran on the historic Arizona Canal. We discussed recipes, we compared ideas on the possibility of acquiring control of The Hassayampa Inn and we talked about the success of his new business which within a month of launching and with only one account was grossing more on a three-day-a-week series of seminars than all my businesses combined per year.

After being discharged from Veteran’s Hospital it took a month or more to get things running efficiently. I re-organized and by eliminating other stores and removing myself as Vice president of a children’s theatre was generating a small profit. The store that I kept was huge in space and high on volume if not profits. I built a beautiful apartment in the rear of the Main Gallery and plodded slowly forward.

Back on the canal I answered Bill’s questions about the progress of restoring the popularity of lee Broom Gallery. “How would you like to double your gross in a couple of months?” asked Bill.

I challenged his credibility with that question and reluctantly agreed to watch a video he had prepared for his clients. Not wanting to risk losing clients who had been with me for two decades but agape at the possibilities, I agreed to try his method. Using my own data at first, we began a repeat and referral campaign which evolve into a larger campaign combining a limited advertising budget, hiring two telemarketers and eventually selling limited edition works of paper borne, original artworks to new-to-the market art collectors across the country.

The company thrived, my friend Bill died of cancer and I retired to become a writer whose business memoirs grace these pages on a fairly regular basis.

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