Running an independent bookstore is a difficult task these days: you're squeezed by the bookstore chains, the superstores and online retailers, all of which offer books (the bestsellers, at least) at a discount.
So I was interested to read an article in The Guardian newspapaper today about an independent bookstore in London, England.
Here's a quote from the article. (The bold text is mine.)
"For us the idea of a bookshop is that your hardcore customers, the ones who keep you alive, who buy 50-100 books a year, they want to come in, chat to us about books, see books they haven't seen before - they want to feel like their passion about books is being reciprocated. A friend of ours, John, who runs a bookshop in Crystal Palace, had a great saying about Harry Potter. It's not a book - it's a book-shaped tin of beans."
This attitude is, I believe, key to succeeding as a small, independent business. And what's more, I know a newsletter can act as a catalyst to multiply the results you get from the passion you put into your business.
- It's better to have a small number of hard-core customers than it is to have many who buy only once. This is because the cost of acquiring a new customer is so high.
- So you need to nurture your hard-core group of passionate customers.
- One way to nurture them is by sharing your passion.
- You can share this passion even when they are not in your premises by writing a newsletter.
- Then you'll continue to build your relationship over time and over distance.
- Indeed, you will build a community of hard-core customers who feel their passion is being reciprocated.
- You'll then be able to share your new product discoveries with them. And it's likely, because they are part of your passionate community, that they will purchase those products.
- And so the relationship deepens, and your success grows.
That's why I believe every business should have a newsletter. And it's why I'm giving one away every month for free that you can customize and use.