Recently, I have been introduced to the segment of closeouts and remainder products. This is a segment of business that, to be honest, I was completely unaware of. And yet – it is an amazingly interesting and fascinating business. The amount of money that changes hands and the way that business is transacted is fascinating. It is not something you learn in business school. In fact, if anything, it is something that you study in business school as if it is an “old school” way of doing business. But yet, there is so much to learn from these businesses.
Here are two of the lessons I have learned so far -
Your reputation is everything
In the world of technology, we often talk about reputation online and what it means to a company and a brand. No more is this self-evident than in this sector of business. Deals are done based on reputation. Loyalty far exceeds anything we could have ever imagined and respect for the individual and organization are tantamount to success. Preserving your reputation is potentially the most important key to success and survival.
Products vary, buyers do not
How can it be that there are loyal buyers to companies, when you cannot be 100% certain from week to week what products that company will be selling. The reason is – loyalty and reputation. Customers keep coming back – interested in what you might be selling this week. I see in it my folks – they are loyal shopper of the Christmas Tree Shops. I never understood why, but they would go there week after week – to look around and see what might be selling this week. What brings them there is not the products but the company itself.
So – what does this mean outside of this business segment…
I think these lessons are ones that we can all learn from and use in our daily business lives. We often debate – is it the product or the people or the company that we should be stressing. We have seen lots of companies that have built success on the back of products and product brands. But now we are seeing companies built on the strength of the company itself and the loyalty to that company seems to be stronger in many cases than the loyalty to the products. In times like these, reputation and loyalty are everything. Think about that. Focus on that. Build a company with that in mind.