In 1945, Sam Walton, at age 27, opened his first little store in Newport, Arkansas. At the time, it seemed as if the whole town had gathered to watch the presentation of a "branch" of the then-unknown Ben Franklin franchise company. Certainly not because the locals had never seen such lilliputian stores. They wanted to see the man who had ventured to compete with the great Mr. Sterling himself, the entrepreneur of the only big store in the county, for no one had ever walked past his store.
After watching the modest opening ceremony of the new store, the customers, as always, went to Sterling's.
Yes, it was a bad start. And it was at that moment that the budding merchant realized he needed to... smile. He would personally greet visitors on the doorstep, and talk to them as if this was the one his shop was open to. Sometimes Sam would spend hours talking to each customer. They talked about everything, about Robeson's one-year-old son, about life, about the weather. And in less than a year, an angry Sterling had given Sam Walton his first place in all the financial summaries.
After borrowing the money, Walton bought an ice cream stand for his store, and for the first time he tasted real success. Kids lined up in long lines for the delicious ice cream.
Sam Walton's 5 universal precepts of success
1 Always be committed to the business.
2. Don't forget to share the profits with your store staff.
3. For your competitors, become unpredictable.
4. Problems that arise should be discussed with the staff. It is during discussions that good solutions come.
5. Start exceeding your customers' expectations.