I found this old typed memo from my grandfather who founded Toy House in 1949 while sorting through the archives. It was stapled to the top of some mimeographed sheets (remember the mimeograph and it’s purple ink?) of a business plan outline.
I think this alone could be the blueprint of a business plan for many retailers.
For those of you who can’t read the picture above, it says:
Dominance of the trading area is to be achieved.
Sales are the results of poor buying.
Never inflate the markup.
Never stretch the truth.
Stress realism — no Santa Claus with a false beard.
Further legends only in a truthful manner.
Never hesitate in refund or credit transactions so as to give the impression of questioning the integrity.
Tell the story of tools versus novelties.
Although I disagree with the giveaways, there is a lot of sage wisdom in the remaining statements. I especially like the second to last one.
If you want to create a positive lasting impression, don’t question the integrity of your customers. Sure, there will be one or two that try to screw you. But in the end, those will be far and away offset by all the customers delighted by your treatment of them.
Powerful stuff indeed.
PS I also love how he started with Dominance of the trading area. Never shy about his goals, my grandfather always said “Plan for success.” What is your plan for success?