Common small business mistakes have become a regular series here. Here’s the example of the day:
@DonnaPapacosta, via Twitter
Ouch! You want to gain more business; you want to beat the big chains. In order to do that, you have to be at least as good as the chain store, if not better. That means accepting returns, doesn’t it?
OK, before we bog down in a debate over accepting returns, I know that sometimes there are good reasons why not. My liquor store, for example, is legally barred from it, because it is considered “purchasing from an unlicensed wholesaler.” So I have to be creative to make customers happy without taking returns.
But here’s the bigger question: how are you doing? Are you comparing every service you offer, every policy you use, to the chain stores that compete for your business? If you loosened up, for the customers’ benefit, is it just possible that you would retain more satisfied customers, and be more profitable in the end?
Do you have examples? Together, we are going to try to help each other out of these most common, deadly mistakes. You can use real world examples, real small businesses. Write it up, take a picture, or shoot a short video. Take care not to embarrass the offenders! Key point: include suggestions on how to do it right!
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.