I hope that Donald checks in to see what he has gotten in feed back here.
You guys reminded me of a couple things; inventory! Keep up with it and order before the hook or bin that holds the items are empty. Following through; when you tell someone you will order something you must do it at that time. If you find you can't get the item you must tell the customer so.
It really doesn't matter what business you are in, to be successful you must be competent and efficient. You don't have to be the worlds nicest guy, but personality helps. However you can be a very nice personable guy while being incompetent at the same time.
I would say a beverage fridge. In all seriousness now I say the staff are your first biggest asset good or bad. After that having the right inventory for the area and the ability to special order items and in a timely manner.
Great stuff guys. Nothing off my radar, but I like some of the specifics. Particularly, asking to see someone's fly-box. I'm not opening one myself, but I have a good buddy considering it, and there is a long list of failed attempts in my area.
Some would say we don't have the market for it, but I think some of the problematic areas mentioned were more the cause. I'm open to any more input if it hits you guys.
ted...trout bum/wandering monk
public water 20"er
public land pope & young
Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à f́reach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire. a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
...and old gaelic proverb...
Lots of good stuff here. For me it is more nebulous. It is the generally feeling of the shop, as a whole. It may take a couple visits to know or just one. I have been to a lot of shops a lot times. The one I've chosen to return to more than any other, the one I consider "my shop" is because of guys that own it. Because they are always there and when I started going there they were working out front. They learned my name and made me feel welcome. The first time I walked and Jim said "john! What's up man?" that was it.
Today, I don't think a fly shop can even try to keep up with stocking all the inventory they everyone might want. The internet has ended that. And honestly all of us can buy anything we want delivered to our door, ordered from the couch. So it comes down to being knowledgeable, passionate and welcoming. And then wanting to honestly get to know your local customers. I'll always make my major new purchases - rods, reels, waders, boots, vise, etc. at my local shop. As well as the vast majority of tying materials.
You can't be all things to all people. But you can be good, and honest to everyone. Corny maybe, but it's the truth.
Friendliness is important in any and all business.
Store personnel who are elitist in their thinking, cold, and aloof
aren't going to see me by more than a few convenient tying items.
Pushy sales people suck.
Not having the inventory I want is a big no-no.
If you are in the business, you better have it. One was already mentioned.
Why not have Silk Thread if you are in the business?
If I drive clear across town to get some, and you don't have it,
you got a serious problem with one dissatisfied customer.
Many shops do not know how to "cultivate" a customer, especially those with a very modest income. They try to rush the customer into big sales, instead of cultivating their interest, at their level of income for a year or two, and then upgrading the customer to that highly esteemed $500.00 Rod and/or a reel of very high quality.
One of the faults of this failure to cultivate a relationship, is the tendency to approach the customer with the attitude of....
Another classification of customers could go like this:
(a) A defensive person, slow to warm to people, curious and having questions, but wanting to remain impersonal.
(b) An open and congenial fellow, eager to talk, drop all barriers
and open to all of your ideas.
One of the strange things about human nature, that I started examining years ago, was the syndrome of
You could also call this SHOOTING--YOURSELF---IN--THE--FOOT.
That refers to public places and public personalities who presume to
"want you" or your business, but who do something that is a complete contradiction to their stated purpose.
Here is one way in which Fly Shops and their personnel do this.
They deluge the clientele with a virtual encyclopedia of data, and propose that the customer learn all of it.
This is not so hard to see. Take the Flies for example:
#1 Dry Flies #2 Wet Flies #3 Nymphs #4 About 4 to 6 different insects / foods that fish feed upon, many in several different stages of life, and so on and so forth.
Offering Fly Tying classes at a price well over $50.00.
I joined a club for $35.00 / year. I get 3 Fly tying classes for a total cost of $10.00. I learn to tie 3 flies each night. I get 3 classes.
If I am in an information intense business, the instruction should be free.
That's how a customer becomes attached to your business.
If you want to charge the customer for instruction, in an Information Age,
the customer can justifiably look up the instruction on the Internet.
That's the reality.
It's just my personal opinion, but I think a shop should be a place nice to hang out in. A couple of comfy chairs and some magazines to look at would be a great idea. A smart businessman (in my opinion) wants people in a store. One of the turn-offs that is seldom mentioned, is when I, the customer, walk into a spotless, immaculate, cold, empty facility, void of people, and one clerk or staff person smiles, and says hello, and asks if they can help. Well its obviously to me they aren't "helping" anyone, and probably help few people if ever, so why should I browse. All they want is a
"Drive-Through" customer. I like to explore ideas and possibilities in a store.
If I "have-to" be looking for something specific when I come in, I feel their pushiness for the sale, right away.
Some of these Fly Shops open for business, and I can foresee their failure in a few years. There are people, lots of them in this ole world, who have this simplistic attitude, that says: "All--I--Gotta--Do---Is--Open--My---Store---and---..."
It ain't that easy. A store is a way to Bring---The---World---To---People.
If you cannot Bring the World to People, the operator ain't bringing much to his Sales Counter. He becomes a simplistic little functionary, not much different from the sales clerk at K-Mart, who asks "Didja Find Everything?"