Three tips from a maverick

Tony Wheeler and his wife created a £90 million business, Lonely Planet, by simply doing what they loved – travelling. They recently provided the FT with a list of 10 success tips, three of which make interesting reading for local shopkeepers.

  1. Keep appealing to young customers. The 18-year-olds could be with you in 50 years’ time, the 68-year-olds won’t. Good advice but probably advice that you want to flex. Your young customers are probably people in their 40s and 50s and your aim is to have them shop with you from 60 to 85, when they won’t need to make a weekly trip to the supermarket.
  2. Make work as much fun as possible. I’ve always been proud that people say we’re a company that knows how to party. It pays off, even when the party’s over. For local retailers, what opportunities do you have to apply this advice? How do you make more of them?
  3. Engage your customers. They come up with great ideas and there’s absolutely no better promotion than word of mouth. Remember, most of your shoppers are local people. Ask them what they want and deliver more than they expect.


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