In my early days in natural foods wholesaling, when we were making sales calls on small but rapidly growing independent natural products stores, we would talk about the concept of first giving the retailer warm fuzzies. Warm fuzzies are comforting words and phrases designed to put the buyer at ease. Innocent topics like the weather, sports or some lighthearted shared observation or experience of the moment.
We have arrived at time when customer service has taken to the Internet and is a pivotal tool in how business is done. Most stores, mom-and-pops included, have a Twitter or Facebook presence or have been featured on a Yelp or Google Plus review. But, what happens when that company receives a bad review from a customer? How does the company go about addressing it?
It’s getting harder to make your store stand out in the crowded natural organic marketplace. If you honestly assess your competition, you will likely see your customers can get most of the same products you offer elsewhere; perhaps even more selection in certain categories.
The concept of a workplace has changed for many companies lately, moving toward a more casual and flexible experience. One word that may be a bit odd to see thrown around, though, is “fun,” but as it turns out, making your store more fun may be exactly what you need.
Is retailing a dead-end job? Many people think so. But if you were one of them, you wouldn’t have opened your store. So, how can you communicate your enthusiasm to current and prospective employees, most of whom likely work out of necessity, not aspiration?
The natural products industry is home to numerous family businesses. While many families love working together, friction can surface when several family members are involved in the business and everyone isn’t on the same page.