The Profitable Small Business Story:
This is the profitable small business story of Mr.Chandre Gowda.R who has been in the photo copy business (famously called as Xerox Centre in India) since 12 years. I know Mr.Chandre Gowda since 2008. He was the one who printed all training materials in bulk for my students while I was conducting programming classes in Bangalore.
For any of my xerox needs, Mr.Chandre Gowda will be my go to person. Even being surrounded by hundreds of other xerox centres, his shop attracts customers because of his competitive pricing, friendly customer interaction and on-time delivery which none others can match.
The first thing I admire in Mr.Chandre Gowda is the warm welcome that he extends with a waving hand whenever me or my team visits him. He is a very down to earth person and treats customers as his God. Though uneducated and very much shy in nature he is a rock star in business. Several training companies reach out to him for bulk printing needs. Most of his corporate clients are repetitive customers. Though his shop looks tiny, located underneath the staircase of a big commercial building of less than 20 square feet area, his client list and aspirations are too big. He can be a case study for the subject of great customer experience (before and after sale) that any budding entrepreneur should take up. Mr.Chandre Gowda makes sure – once he has a big client, the client remains his client for life.
After working in a xerox centre for few years, he started off on his own with an initial investment of 50,000 rupees which he borrowed from his ex-employer Mr.Venkatesh. He says, his ex-employer was very instrumental in helping him set up his xerox centre and considers him as his role model. Since then, there is no looking back. He works all 7-days and takes off only when family demands. He says, the only way to beat his boredom is to do business in the shop. He is truly an inspiration for anyone who wants to start a profitable small business.
Quick Look Into Their Business:
Business Name: Sumanth Copy Centre
Business Owners: Mr. Chandre Gowda.R
Location: Malleswaram, Bangalore
Industry Type: Printing Business
Value Provided: Photocopy, Printing, Binding, Lamination
Waiting Time For Availing Service: Depends on your order. Bulk orders should be given atleast a day before.
Very Good At: Quality xerox copies on time
Timings: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm ( You got to be early ) – 7 days a week
Customer Interaction: Very Good ( Ratings: 3.5 / 5 ) for repetitive customers.
Unique Selling Point: On-Time delivery of photo copies, Competitive pricing
Strange Fact: He does business in a 20 sq.ft. area underneath a staircase of a commercial building. Does not believe in attractive looks of the shop. Prioritises customer satisfaction in terms of printing and delivery.
- Taking photo copies of less than 5 sheets becomes a problem as the machine draws huge power for small number of prints. Customers are annoyed when such orders are rejected.
- Machine maintenance is a big problem, especially when various parts of the machines remains unavailable.
Customers: Training Institutes, school/college teachers, students
Customer Relationship After Sale: Invites repeat customers to his shop during Dasara/Deepavali Puja and offers sweets.
Business Inspiration: Ex-Employer, Mr.Venkatesh.
Marketing Strategy: Completely rely on word of mouth publicity.
Any Scaling Plans (If No, Why ?): No. Fear of paying huge rent in a commercially crowded area, fear of not maintaining the quality.
Number of Employees: Takes care of the business all alone.
Learnings from this profitable small business:
- Customer retention can be achieved through healthy customer relationship and high customer satisfaction.
- The size of the business premises should not limit the size of our thinking. Though, office looks would play a role in attracting customers, it can be overcome by providing great customer experience.
- I understood, making customer happy with quality service is the only way to flourish the business. No amount of marketing can equal word of mouth publicity.
If you run a business that can be an inspiration to other fellow entrepreneurs, you can write to me at email@example.com or comment below. I will publish it on BusyMonk.com.