Sep 25, 2008

Scrapbook Store Primer: How NOT To Do Business

I really think I need to write a book of how NOT to run your business. I hear more stories than you can imagine. Not every store owner is doing it wrong. Many are doing it right. And, that's why they are probably still in business after more than a few years.

But, I do hear lots of stories about businesses like THIS recent one where I can clearly see the writing on the wall for that store. I think engaging your brain is a skill many people lack.

So, here's today's entry in the "What Not To Do" Files:

A ScrapBiz member recently had a reporter and photographer come to her crop to do a story on the local scrapbooking scene. She was THRILLED to have them there and asked at ScrapBiz what she should do. I suggested she give her some products and make sure she had a good time at the crop. The reporter had such a great time that she asked to come to future crops - just for fun.

At the end of the crop, the reported confided in this ScrapBiz member a story about the story. She said she had contacted a local Scrapbook store and asked to come to her crop to do a story and the store owner insisted the reporter pay for the crop. The reporter let her know that she wasn't interested in scrapping, but the store owner was insistent that if she touch any scrapbook products that she would have to pay. The reporter said, "I promise, I won't scrap" and the store owners reply was very lukewarm, "Okay, I guess." And, the reporter didn't bother to show up.

Where is my "DUH" board???? A local newspaper wants to give your business publicity in your community and all you can worry about is that the reporter might not pay for $5 worth of products she might use? So, the cost of the story WAS $5 (or whatever the price of the materials), but what was the cost of NOT having the story run about your store? Probably much, much higher. The store owner could only see what she was going to LOSE by having the reporter come and didn't think about what she might GAIN.

I would venture to say that when the story about this home-based scrapbook business runs, the store owner's head will split open and she'll be angry at the home-based scrapbook business for hurting HER business. Really, though, she should be angry at her own arrogance and stupidity for letting a great opportunity for free publicity slip through her fingers for the cost of some paper and a seat at her crop. If the store fails, I assume she'll cast blame and point fingers. But really, it's clear where the blame probably lies...

No comments: