Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Even a Small Shopkeeper Can Be a Great Retailer

Orangeville, ON (Jason Mead) Great retailers think big, even if their store is small. If their instincts tell them to try out a new category they do it. They’re not afraid to pull categories that aren’t doing well. They will take chances that average stores won’t. Everyone has great ideas. Great retailers put them into action.

The people in your business are your greatest asset. You must evaluate them and make changes as required. The success of your business relies on your people. Having the best skilled people in the proper positions is a sure way to excel in business. Focus on your team and evaluate their performance. Assess their strengths and also determine their weaknesses.

In preparing for growth, you need to know where will you need extra talent. You must decide who you need to promote or replace. Learn where your team is stressed. You should also determine what skills are lacking and what training might benefit employees.

Anyone can say that their number one priority is the customer. But great retailers never forget to act on it, no matter how busy they are or how bad their day has been. Everything stops when a customer says, “I NEED HELP.”

It’s a proven fact that shoppers gravitate to bright storefronts. Well-lit banners are a must. But don’t forget to light up the entire facade. Try seeing your store as the customer would. Stand back 50 feet. Stand back 100 feet. If you are in a strip mall, how well does your store compete for the customer’s attention? If you’ve got product on the sidewalk, is it neatly organized?

If the product in your window display is starting to yellow from exposure to sunlight, it’s time to change. Window displays should have “walk-in” appeal. Use inexpensive props as focal points. A paint-splattered ladder as the centre of a paint display, for example. Always create seasonal displays and fill in the rest of the year with categories you are promoting and niche items that you specialize in. Fans are a popular prop. They create movement and that always attracts the eye.

The store that opens for business at 9:00 a.m. and simply expects the customer to walk in, is soon out of business. Great retailers look for ways to boost sales. If their focus is Do-it-Yourselfers, they look at expanding into contractors or industrial. If they only sell product, they look at offering more services to build traffic. They thrive on innovation.

The future of retail is in open space. Customers don’t want to walk among skyscraper sized aisles. The more they can see from any aisle, the better they’ll feel. To understand this point, go stand in one of your aisles in the middle of the store. How much wall can you see? If a customer needed a specific item, could they find the correct aisle quickly? How wide are your aisles?

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