A Basket to Carry Water?

imagesA friend, let’s call him Johnny, came to see me recently. He manages a small business, which, in changing the needle to protect the record, I’ll call an office furniture store.

Let me share a bit about his situation and then let’s see what advice we should give him. OK?

Johnny’s business is debt-free, has adequate inventory, but only a handful of customers, and needless to say, the owners are conservative and wealthy, and this business is not very important to them.

The product range is narrow. Brands are well-known but priced for the upper end of the market. Johnny’s got no marketing support whatsoever, except for two FB blasts last month. He operates from a main street address in Kingston but his store is at the rear of a commercial complex. His staff consists of one bright young sales rep and adequate back-office support.

What about the competition? Everyone knows of the two dominant outfits. They control 90% of the market with Johnny having less than 1% share.

Now as the saying goes; “Johnny was a good man, never did a thing wrong.” Pleasant, well-connected, skilled in the art and science of contemporary selling strategies, and determined to succeed in this hostile environment. And he needs a sales strategy. Now.

Is Johnny attempting to carry water in basket; or can he transform this into a viable business?

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