Thursday, August 11, 2005

Why you read and write retail business blogs

At Inc. magazine, Hillary Johnson has an article about "Why I read business blogs". This paragraph about a retailer's blog is great:
It's done the same for a lot of small-business owners. A friend turned me on to a blog by a mother-daughter team who operate the Cracked Cauldron, a bakery in Oklahoma City. Aside from posting snapshots of yeast formulas as if they were baby pictures, the owners have blogged their personal journey, freely discussing how they used to be homeless and what led them to want to start a bakery. They didn't have any expectations when they began their blog, but through it they found a retail space, connected with suppliers, attracted customers, and started correspondences with other entrepreneurs from as far away as Ghana.

Build your retail business with a blog. Give it a try. What do you have to lose? You can create one free right here at Blogger.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Charles' comment above: it's perfectly reasonable to expect that a specialty retailer would be an expert in their field. Because most retail stores are local in nature, the majority of readers could be assumed to be outside the retailer's trade area. This could be made obvious, perhaps by maintaining a list of stores in other markets that deal with the same merchandise.

Even in speaking to one's own trade area, the blog could focus on the products in use rather than touting one product over another. So, for a clothing store the blog could have tips on proper care of wool sweaters (regardless of brand/retailer), colour matching, etc.

Lastly, there is still a lot to be gained from using the blog to discuss the issues faced by a retailer. Aside from sharing ideas with other retailers, customers who read the blog will understand more about the business, the human beings who run it, and the reasons for problems like inventory stock-outs. It's a lot harder to get angry when you feel like you know the person, a lot easier to involve yourself in solving the problem.

8:05 AM  

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