When you say Mom and Pop store, most people will describe a store with gas pumps out front. However they, Mom and Pop, are basically old school entrepreneurs.

Sadly the business world doesn't treat new entrepreneurs any different than old school entrepreneur. There in lies a good part of the problems the smaller business faces against a big chain retailer. We have to lay the blame for that line of thinking right at the feet of some of the big box stores and a new generation that has never not had a big box store down the street.

The small mom and pops have to change the way they do business. They can beat the big box and regional chains. They just need to fill the void the big box and regional chains have left in their wake.

When was the last time you were in a chain store and it took just about forever to get someone to help you only to find out they didn't know what you needed to buy for your project. Next time try the smaller store down the street and you'll find out they have the expertise to get you just what you need in one third the time.

Here are a few basic things that cause 8 out of 10 small mom and pops to fail. I know you'll say, well this is common sense. It may be to you but not to everyone in business as a Mom and Pop.

Here are a few things I've done over the years in my industry that have worked for me;

1. Stay in close touch with your customers. What is it they want from you that you're not providing. Ask them and they will tell you.

2. Unique Selling Proposition - What is yours?

3. Be sure to state what your USP is in clear concise and compelling terms.

4. Be a leader no matter how small or large your Mom and Pop business is.

5. Don't try to be all things to all people, FOCUS,

My thanks to Eric T. Wagner, contributor to Forbes. Eric's article caused me to go back and rethink about the success I have had and not had over the 40 odd years of the broadcasting industry. I have used  all of what I've pointed out  and it works but you have to be better at it than your competitor of they will clean your clock. Remember the following started out as a Mom and Pop:

Dick's Sporting Goods

White's Farm Supply









More From 96.1 The Eagle