The Number One Question Customers Ask Me Answered
The question customers ask me the most often is, "So how's business?"
I always reply with enthusiasm. "It's going great!"
Now, there are a number of reasons I get asked this question. Sometimes, I think, people are just making conversation. In our country's culture, we tend to ask questions like, "How are you?" or "Are you done having kids?" without thinking that actually, these questions are pretty personal. I admit, this is how I feel about the question, "So how's business?" But I know people are being friendly and conversational.
However, I know that some of my customers ask because they are genuinely concerned that paper and ink books are going away like LP records did or newspapers are working so hard not to. They worry that technology is taking over and they've seen other bookstores go out of business because Amazon is The Big Bad Wolf. But I'm going to tell you a few secrets about why I know paper and ink bookstores aren't going anywhere.
- I don't have to and can't compete with Amazon. However...
- I am building a business like the third little pig, brick by brick. Every customer, every monetary exchange, every book that passes through my hands and is shelved, I consider a brick.
- I am not naive. The market is based on supply and demand. If there is no demand for my product at my price point, I'm not going to be able to build a business. However,...
- Customers of all ages come through my door and want the paper and ink bookstore experience. Paper and ink are technologies that has been around for millennia. Books began to be available to the masses over 500 years ago. People who read paper and ink books still read to their children and grandchildren. Books and the experience they provide are passed down through generations.
- The bookstore experience is also deep in the cells of readers. We want a brick and mortar place to go to discover treasures, to hold the book in our hands (and often smell them!), and connect with other readers.
"So how's business?"
Running a business is not easy. It takes skills I have and some I'm learning, but most importantly, it takes showing up day after day after day after day and laying down bricks of value for others. Some days it pays in monetary form more than others. But if I continue to offer value and you are in my store asking me that question?
Business is going GREAT!
See you soon at Paper & Ink Books. Are you an Outlander fan? Don't forget to purchase your ticket to our Season 3 Premiere Party. There are only nine tickets left and they are only $10. Your cost includes an Outlander-themed event in Jenny's home and it is going to be a verra special evening, ye ken. Don't miss out!