The rummage sale is a classic small business story. Acquire inventory, strategize on pricing, prepare the showroom, advertise to the public, negotiate deals, collect your profit, close down operation. Running a rummage is hard work, with long days and late nights, getting dirty & frustrated, dealing with difficult customers, etc. Anyone thinking of starting a business should first run a rummage sale.
Everything about a rummage is so simplistic, but so important. Signs on the street, a mention on Craigslist or a local rummage tracker website, the way products are displayed and organized. Nothing complicated, just basic, fundamental business and marketing practices at work.
Successful rummage sales do a great job with sign location, visibility and wording. Items for sale have been cleaned and/or fixed, then organized by categories like housewares, CDs & books, clothing, etc. Perhaps they offer bottles of water for $0.50, or a shade tent, bags to put purchased items in and so on. Unsuccessful rummage sales look and feel like people literally took their “junk” and threw it out in the yard, then slapped a sign up at the end of the street.
When you look at how you market your small business, make sure you’re doing all the small, simple, seemingly unimportant things right. Don’t over complicate it. The rummage sale is proof that even the smallest of small business, when done right, can be a successful operation.
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