(PRWEB) December 8, 2004
In 1999, Mike Little was a high school science teacher who wanted to buy a microscope. He found a really good deal, but in order to get that price, he had to buy several microscopes. He ordered them, and put the extras up for sale on eBay. They sold so quickly and brought such good prices, he saw there was a need for more of this kind of product line. So he ordered more and sold them on eBay.
From that little part-time venture in the evenings, business at The Microscope Store grew dramatically. It wasn’t long until he saw that he needed a website. He contracted with another Virginia company, Global Exposures Digital Services (http://globalexposures.com), to create a website (http://microscope-store.com) that was user-friendly and would be indexed by the search engines. Combined with some creative marketing techniques, this online store has been very successful, more than even Mike anticipated. This year they have sold over $ 1 million in products, and have five employees. The product line ranges from various microscopes, binoculars, telescopes, camera adapters for microscopes, and accessories like lenses and cases and lights.
He says, “The most remarkable thing is how fast this business has grown. Each day we start out wondering what (or if) we will sell anything, and we’ve sold something every day we are open. We have sent microscopes to every continent except Antarctica, and even to the most northern research lab in the world.”
Part of the business growth has been research and development. They have developed several microscopes for specialty applications as well as innovative lighting systems unique to The Microscope Store.
But Mike attributes the success of his business largely to God. He says, “From the beginning I made God a partner. Each purchase we ship includes an offer for a free video, magazine, CD, or DVD that concerns the choices we make, and the future those choices offer.”
He anticipates a good holiday season, as he senses parents moving away from toys into more practical gifts for their children. Sales are coming in for holiday gifts, homeschool studies, and educational and medical/laboratory sales are strong. He’s learned that there are many who need a good microscope, like engravers, for enhancing detailed artwork. Electronics work involves inspecting ever-smaller circuit boards as well as building circuit boards in a process called surface mount.
“Watchmakers find our scopes aid in repairing the more complex contemporary watches. Jewelers can view inclusions and highlights not easily seen without magnification assistance. Just recently, one coin collector found some new die stamp errors and made a lot of money selling the coins by first taking photos through the trinocular port of a scope he purchased from The Microscope Store.”
How much more can the business grow? Mike says he doesn’t know, but he’s enjoying the process. “I probably jumped into situations a smart person would have avoided, but it worked! I think our personal customer service makes a difference, because 25% of our sales are repeat customers or referrals. Offering good quality microscopes and accessories at reasonable prices is only going to help. Everyone likes to get their money’s worth.”
The Microscope Store (http://microscope-store.com) is open Sunday through Friday and can be contacted by phone at 540-489-4786.
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