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You don't know what you're missing

It's an expression you've heard a million times: "You don't know what you're missing."

I think of that expression often when I think about many retailers' reluctance to get serious about business-to-business relationships.

Let's face it: Many retailers only focus on walk-in traffic. That's great, because you want to do everything you can to make sure those customers have a unique shopping experience that keeps them coming back to your business day-in, day-out, year after year.

But it's not enough if you're serious about bringing as much revenue as you can to the bottom line of your balance sheet each year. (And, every small business should be dead serious about its bottom line.)

You really need to be asking yourself, Do I have a product or service that works for business-to-business relations? And, can I grow my business that way?

Get creative. You'll be surprised how far your reach can -- and should -- be. For instance, say your business is custom-made baby clothes. You're probably thinking there's absolutely no business-to-business opportunity whatsoever. Especially not on the local level. But, you'd be wrong.

I was talking to a friend not too long ago who said her law firm is constantly buying baby gifts for associates who are having children. So, why wouldn't you, as a retailer, target a business-to-business opportunity like that? The result would be a steady stream of business and, more than likely, plenty of referrals coming your way.

The truth is, almost every retail business can have a robust business-to-business component.

So, jump in with both feet this year. And do it sooner rather than later.

You won't believe what you've been missing!

-Kelly Sharp

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