I’m not sure about you, but when I go to the shopping centre it is clear to me that bricks and mortar businesses are not dead — try getting a car park on a weekend! Running a retail business can be challenging, so here are some tips to make it a little easier.
1. Invest in an integrated solution
I recently worked with a retail business that had invested in a totally integrated point of sale system. From a sale, the stock was updated, the customer purchase was noted against the customer record, hourly sales delivered and matched against sales targets. Imagine the time saved with a system that does all this work for you! It left the owners free to focus on other important areas of their business instead of worrying about numbers and stock.
2. Always take care of your best staff
Your employees are the face of your business when you run bricks and mortar, so it’s crucial that you have great staff. Retaining good staff is always a challenge, so it’s up to you to keep them happy.
Try having regular staff meetings at which they can to voice their opinion on all things in the business – and ensure that you take action where appropriate. This goes a long way to keeping them happy.
3. Go green
Look at ways to reduce or recycle waste, invest in energy efficient equipment — especially lighting — and turn down or turn off your utilities when it suits.
Other ways to green your business and save money could include optional packaging and receipts, a switch to natural cleaning products and shopping around for the best price for your utility costs.
4. Find suppliers that offer the best value
When it comes to suppliers, most of the time we think about the cost. But if you choose your suppliers carefully, they can actually save you money in other ways.
Think about what you need from your suppliers. Of course cost is important, but on-time delivery, quality of product, reliability or return policy might also be priorities. Matching your needs to what a supplier will offer goes a long way to helping your business. Do you know that if you have payment terms with a supplier, it’s in fact an interest-free loan? It might pay off to find a supplier that will provide extended payment terms.
5. Get online so customers can find you
A bricks and mortar business is all about the customer experience, and you work hard to provide the best service to your customers. However, many customers research before they buy and having a website will help your customers find you. If you use this channel to engage them — such as by providing tips on how to use your product or service — they will be more likely to visit your business, where they can get that great customer experience.