Stay fresh and informed.
In the early years of her business, Hughes says she devoured magazines, books and newspapers to stay abreast of the latest natural food trends. Today, she also gathers intel by going on info-seeking missions to other stores. When she sees something she likes, she isn’t afraid to use it. “Every place I’ve gone, I’ve stolen some idea,” Hughes says.
Your best advertisement is you.
Help make your store part of the community by getting involved. Hughes never turns down an offer to speak at schools or other local events. “You have to get your name out there,” she advises. Think of your attendance at community meetings and activities as a walking advertisement for your business.
Focus on your skill set.
Running a small business often means becoming the master of all trades. But, Hughes says, trying to do everything yourself isn’t always the best use of your time. Even though you could technically paint the store’s bathrooms yourself, it’s probably better to hire a pro. While the painter is painting, you’re in the aisles selling supplements, and the results will be better all around.