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Create Alliances Within Your Community

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


To help boost your store's "wow" factor, don't forget the importance of creating alliances with community members, says Robyn Spizman, New York Times best-selling author. Here, Robyn suggests alliances that can increase your chances for success—starting in your own back yard!

I believe that to become successful you have to start at home. Start small, with the market next door or a local business association. Think "What do I belong to?" "Who knows me?" "Who will bring traffic into my store?" Also, know your customer base and their interests and causes. Know if they're involved in UNICEF, schools or childhood diabetes. Think about who you're giving to, and how and why you're giving.

• Try providing your store as a meeting place for local organizations.

• Give out a monthly "XYZ Store Giving Award." If you sell picture frames, put the winner's picture on your counter. Maybe even give the winner a framed picture.

• Think about how you can give back and make a difference. Try an event called "Holler for a Dollar for Haiti." Get permission from area Girl Scouts to sell cookies in your store. Help a family that just lost their home.

Determine what you can afford to do and repeat it. Once you create an alliance and begin a project, people start to depend on it and want to see it happen again.

Note: To purchase "Where's Your Wow? 16 Ways to Make Your Competitors Wish They Were You!," visit your local independent bookstore. To list your store on Spizman's TheGiftionary, log on to

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While coloring books and related products were all the rage in Stationery Accessories last year, this year it's back to basics: note cards, journals and planners.

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