For my first shop, though, I was clearly doing well - the shop was busy seven days a week.
My staff were mainly “resting” actors and actresses (I trained them to imagine they were on stage when a customer walked in - and they loved it!)
They were magnificent - I’ve always believed in really looking after my people - they’d stand outside the stations on a morning and evening handing out leaflets - they’d do everything to get the business, so long as it was decent, honest and truthful.
I paid them a very high basic, no commission - they were then able to sit with customers and discuss what was best for them, not what was best for the sales staff, which went very well.
Anyway, the shop immediately to the left of mine became vacant and a rival company bought it.
They plastered their shopfront with posters reading “Best Offers”, “Cheapest Phones”, “Lowest Prices” and similar - they didn’t even bother putting a name sign over the shop - they concentrated on getting people to their shop instead of mine - and they did rather well, to my embarrassment.
Then, lo and behold, only 7 weeks later, the shop to my right was turned into yet another phone shop.
They clearly thought there was enough business for 3 shops (trust me, there wasn’t!).
They also covered their windows and the sign over the shop with more posters, but they went a bit upmarket, boasting “Best Service”, “Fully Trained Staff” and so on.
Business was getting desperate, for all 3 of us.
Arriving for a spot visit to my staff one morning, I noticed that only my shop had phones fully on display in the window - and it quite stood out from the other 2 shops, which were quite intimidating, as you could barely see inside.
I ordered even more lights and more window displays, showcasing the range of models.
Over the door, I put a huge sign, with big fluorescent yellow arrows pointing to the doorway.
My sign read “Main Entrance”.
Within 6 weeks, the other 2 shops went bust.
And I sold my 3 stores a year later for over a million pounds net, part of which, rightly, I shared with the wonderful staff of my first store.
Never give up, there’s always a solution - you just need to look for it.