Neighborhood Watch

Seeing Is Believing

Sight on seventh optical store has come a long way since its first months in business when the mailman was its most frequent visitor. Owner Myron Michaels credits a combination of repeat business and referrals for the steady growth of his busi-ness since it opened in 1993.

Although somewhat negatively affected by the closure of the nearby Barney's store, which drew clients to the area, Sight On Seventh is still very much in business. "We've developed a positive reputation," says Michaels.

The store is located near a subway stop, which Michaels believes helps make it accessible to a great many customers and may offset the lull in passersby created by Barney's closure.

Competition among the area's optical stores has increased since Sight On Seventh made its debut. Though several new shops have opened during the past four years, Michaels is staying ahead of his competitors by focusing on the things that keep customers coming back. "We try hard to provide excellent service, good products and competitive prices," says Michaels.

Michaels' strategy for maintaining business is simple. "We put most of our ad [budget] into our inventory. When people come in, the inventory is here and that creates word-of-mouth," he says.

In the past three years, busi-ness has tripled; sales last year were just under $1 million. Says Michaels, "I'm still here, and I'm smiling."

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This article was originally published in the March 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Neighborhood Watch.

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