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Starting my first "offline" venture

advice welcome!

5:24 am on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I've been working on the web since I graduated from high school. Everyjob I've ever held has been web related....but starting January I will be opening an Old Time Soda Fountain. This will be my first non-web venture and am looking for any tips, advice, anecdotes, warnings, etc. from those who've been in the brick and mortar business world.


3:17 pm on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member shak is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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good luck in your new venture

the web has a few benefits which are unforgiveable in the bricks n mortar business.

presentation of yourself and staff, no more working in your underwear.

as with all businesses:

customer SERVICE
always exceed customer expectations
dont go in cheap to win business

and read The Tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell, along with a A Richer Way by Julian Richer

2 very good books

keep us informed


8:10 pm on Dec 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hire people who can make change even WITHOUT a computerized POS. And a reasonable facsimile of good grammatical English at least while working would be nice....

And be sure that if you expect them to clean restrooms you spell it out in the job description!

9:56 pm on Dec 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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You could take the non-ww theme into your marketing. Try to prevent any mention of your shop on the internet, and go for an "old-fashioned" theme in all your advertisements. Make a point of proclaiming it on signage as an UnWired business (a reputation that will spread via word-of-mouth). Local news reporters might pick you up as an inspiring human interest story.

Make sure you hide your computer in the back room where no one can see it :)

[edited by: lawman at 10:46 pm (utc) on Dec. 21, 2004]
[edit reason] speeling [/edit]

6:12 am on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A friend and I just started a manicure/pedicure business for our wives here in Bangkok. Advertising can be expensive but we invited some local magazines around to see the new shop. Some of them published articles about the shop and the free advertising worked wonders.

Make up some flyers about your shop (when it's up and running) and fax them to all the local magazine/newspapers inviting them around.