Small businesses bring vibrancy, color, and uniqueness to the marketplace. Not only do they make the economy more varied and diverse, but they also are beneficial for the environment. According to Paul Nugent’s article on Shopkeep, “small businesses clustered near residential areas may reduce automobile use and traffic congestion, resulting in better air quality and less urban sprawl.” Clearly, small businesses have both local and global benefits. By championing small businesses, we can help to reduce traffic flow and increase the spirit of personal entrepreneurship. In today’s Small Business Spotlight, we highlight a thai food restaurant located in beautiful Philadelphia, PA. Their home-made cuisine delights their regulars, and their simple and genuine philosophy is both inspiring and ingenious. Here are three themes that stood out during my phone conversation with their manager Locket.
1. Specialize your services. Locket explained to me that their small business had a small menu. This was not a drawback, but was rather a strength since each item was made to order. Customers knew what to expect, and they loved it. If you’re considering branching out and offering more services, make sure that your expansion is not at the expense of your specialized services. Ensure that your customers feel seen and valued, and you will be well on your way to success.
2. Make your customers feel welcome. Locket described her restaurant as “another kitchen” for her regulars. Whether or not you’re in the restaurant business, this is helpful advice. If you run a hotel, for instance, make it feel like another home. By focusing on how to make customers feel at ease, you will be creating relationships that lead to regulars. Perhaps you can add some flowers to your lobby, offer water to customers sitting in the waiting area, or learn the names of your regulars. What’s one small change you can make to make customers feel more welcome this week?
3. Vouch for your items. Locket was certain that her menu items were delicious because they were all homemade. Make sure that all of your items have been tried and checked by trusted employees before selling them to customers. One important aspect of the relationship between businesses and customers is trust. By ensuring that your products are tried and tested, you will be maintaining that customer trust. Are there any products or services you provide that you need to double check before offering to customers? A conversation with small business manager Locket at Ratchada Thai & Laos Cuisine highlights the importance of specialization, atmosphere, and reliability. In addition to implementing these principles, think of ways you can support small businesses around you. As Locket enthused, customer support during this time is more important than ever. Encourage people to pick up their favorite foods from local eateries, and to continue shopping locally. Fan favorite at Ratchada Thai & Laos Cuisine: Panang Curry

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