Small businesses and tiny shops have no idea how much more sales, profits and revenue they can generate simply by avoiding this mistake.

It is big political scene, rallying against corporate retailers, that’d squeeze small businesses to death. I’d leave the politics part out, and talk the business. Apart from rallying and raising slogans against mega retail chains, they can start doing this and it will give better results.

The mistake tiny shops makes is this: they fail to market!

With exception of a handful, every small shop out there makes this mistake (of not marketing their wares).

How a Shop is Losing Sales

There is a certain corner shop hidden behind other shops near a busy street. On the first look it is a video library. And that is what anyone who visits the place will see.

While I was at the library, a woman came asking for a packet of milk. I was very surprised when the guy opened a refrigerator to produce a milk packet. I had no idea there was a big refrigerator there, with a few packets of milk inside.

Just like I failed to understand the shop sold milk, everyone reaching the place have a hard time finding the shop. It is not easy to find. You have to walk about 15-20 ft through a narrow corridor.

I asked his guy why he didn’t place a board outside the corridor, advertising both the video library and the milk stall. My thought was, this will attract dozens of more people to the shop – both for renting videos and for buying milk.

The shopkeeper guy who singlehandedly manage the shop was not very happy at the suggestion. His reply was: ‘I am doing business for 12 years at the same place…’, leaving a lot unsaid.

I can almost hear his thoughts: ‘Who on earth are you to tell me how I do business? Get lost you idiot from my shop!’

I don’t have anything against this guy. However, not placing a hoarding outside is costing him several sales every day.

He is also doing a disservice to people who want to watch some new movies and/or people who want a pack of fresh milk on their way home.

This is one mistake small businesses and local shops need to avoid. Bad marketing.

The opposite of this also happens.

Learn How they Fill this Shop with Affluent Tourists

This shop is hidden away from the main street, yet filled with tourists ready to spend. Read on to learn how they do it.

Once in Madhura (Tamil Nadu), a long time ago, as we were walking down the streets, a young man approached us and asked if we would like to buy some fine t-shirts.

He then took our team (of about four guys) through a narrow alley, a few hundred meters, to a decent textile shop. The only way an outsider could reach the shop was by someone showing the way in. And, this shop appointed several guys to tell the tourists about the fashion items available in the shop and to bring them in.

Although it is extremely difficult for an outsider to find the place, the shop is doing brisk business – because of the guys out there in the busy street, bringing tourists back to the shop.

Now, that is good marketing.

I am not asking shop owners to send kids to the street to bring tourists back to the shop. That is one extreme step taken by shops that didn’t get prime real estate.

Big shops too need marketing. If you don’t market your place, you sabotage your own business.

Shops need marketing. They need to attract people. They need to tell people about their existence.

If your shop is not the center of attraction at a busy street, you need to work harder.

Raise a hoarding. Stick some posters in the neighborhood. Attract customers. Make sales happen. If you think you can get all the customers you want without doing any marketing, that is the biggest mistake you can make and the biggest disservice you can do to your potential customers.

Next article will be on a marketing mistake small businesses and tiny shops make with the people who walk in.