For some reason, many small business owners seem to think that if they have good merchandise and are knowledgeable about their product, they will be successful. While there is no denying the importance of both traits, there is a great deal more to turning your small business into a successful operation. Good business owners, the ones who are able to stay in business for years, are the ones who also have a sound understanding of customer service, local government, and the industry. Most importantly they know and understand the subtle nuances of retail marketing.

Experts who have devoted their lives to studying why some small retail business thrive, while other fail have determined that there are four basic things that small businesses owners need to do in order to keep their retail dream alive.

There is no denying that having good customer knowledge and customer loyalty as well as an excellent product are important factors in the success of a business, but neither of those things will mean anything if the small business doesn't get any foot traffic.

If people don't know that a business exists, they aren't going to be stopping there to make purchases. Big splashy sales, loyalty cards, community involvement, and fliers are just some of the ways a small business owner can let the world know their business is ready for customers.

Once the customers are inside the small retail business they are going to need some encouragement to make a purchase. Having good quality stock is a solid step in the right direction. In addition to letting the merchandise sell itself, the business owner should also offer discounts and sales gimmicks or even a reward program that will encourage the customer to purchase something instead of going elsewhere.

Now that the business owner has come up with a marketing strategy to get the customer into the store and spending money, they need to devise a method to get them to purchase the products that generate the most profit. The success of the business depends on the owners ability to market their big ticket items. Markdowns, price matching, and loyalty one programs are some tools a business owner can employ when they are trying to influence a customer.

Anytime a customer becomes a repeat customer, the business benefits. Repeat customers are golden. While a business wants to constantly gaining new customers, keeping their old ones happy is more important. Things like good customer service, deals for repeat shoppers, and customized marketing are methods a small business owner can use to make sure people continue to come to their store instead of taking their business elsewhere.

The business owner should not get so wrapped up in retail marketing that they ignore their functions in the community. Business owners who are active community members are almost always the most successful ones. Each time the business owner steps out into the world, they are creating an opportunity to network and gain customers. Wearing clothing with the company name is one practical way to advertise a small business, but an even better way is meeting people and talking to them. Don't forget to listen too; you never know when you may hear something that you could incorporate into your business plan.

E-Commerce SEO Strategies: Mastering the Art of Online Retail - An infographic by the team at Catalyst