Ok, so that's a lame title, but what do you expect? I just came back from vacation! It has rained everyday since I came back. I want to be back at the beach. Enough complaining. Thanks to the Mik Chiks for the guest post while I was gone. They had me cracking up as I read the post! There was a point to this post today. What was it?
Oh yeah! I went to several tackle stores while I was down at the beach. I love to visit other sporting goods stores. I get a lot of ideas of what to do and what not to do. One thing that amazed me was the differences in each one:
One was cramped. Two dogs, and a bird inside the store! They were constantly busy though. Location was great, right off a river and marina. They sold fishing, marine supplies, bait (live and frozen), as well as, rod and reel repairs. They even lined reels! Also, they had a gas station. Not sure how I can add that to my current store. This store was the messiest of the three I visited, but yet the most busy.
The second store was a smaller shop almost across the river from the first one. They had general fishing supplies, bait, but also a restaurant! The guy was closing when I arrived and still sold me the bait I was looking for since the first shop didn't have it. I like when the owner of a business accommodates a customer that way. Honestly, I didn't know he was closing, or I wouldn't have went in the store. Sometimes, we business owners have to get somewhere quick. Like maybe getting your kids soccer game that you are coaching... Wow! I told you I am a little out of it today. I can't keep on track. Anyway, I appreciated his help!
The third store was a newer store in a more established business closer to the beach. It was actually the second store being opened by an established business. I actually was able to speak to the owner of that store. We commiserated over distributors and their lack of customer service. I even gave him the name of a distributor I love. This place was immaculate, but only one customer came in while I was there. It also was a different time of day when I visited this store. One thing I loved was that the owner admitted he didn't do much saltwater fishing and was always looking for recommendations from people.
So what did I learn? People are not necessarily looking for the most immaculate place, or the one with the most stuff. They are looking for a place to get what they need. They want to be able to get their license, supplies, and maybe some advice about what is biting while they are there.
I guess all of this gave me a lot of hope. I do hope that I can compete with the big box stores and the countless online businesses. Sometimes it's discouraging to be a small business owner, but I came away encouraged that my store was just as good as the ones I visited. Plus we have the best logo!
I had to throw in this pic. I really do fish!