Retail BusinessDo you run a retail outlet? Have you ever wondered what is required to really ramp-up the returns? With even the giant national-scale retailers reporting hard times and profit dips. It's clear that if your livelihood is dependant on the profit your shop or outlet produces things can become hard to handle. Where a supermarket giant can simply absorb a drop in profit, for the sole-trader or micro-business it means people that cannot properly afford their own requirements. In a day and age when people can order pretty much anything from an on-line outlet what is likely to aid your store which already presumes that people will visit in person to make their purchase... This blog hopes to give a few pointers aimed at retailing your way to a worthwhile income.


The core of any retailer is their stock, the good that you offer to your customers, while it's easy to make some assumptions on what to stock, assumptions can lead to havnigt he wrong stock. In the modern retail world consumers are generally quite well informed, and more often than not they're seeking to acquire certain things which may be 'in favour' watching trends and correctly understanding what your customer wants to buy is paramount.

Stock Control

Buying one snow-shovel ahead of a weekend forecast for blizzards is a bad idea, likewise rushing to buy three dozen snow-shovels after the blizzard has passed and the forecast suggest milder weather might also be a negative concept. It is important that within your budget you buy the right stock, at the right time and in the right quantities. Stock Control is directly convertible to cash flow, in a smaller retail outlet it's vital to be on top of the details.

Know Thy Enemy *ahem* I mean "Customer"

One benefit of smaller operations is that you'll have the benefit of regular interaction of your customers, Knowing who you serve and what their commercial interests are will go a long way. While you probably aren't in a position to instantly stock any requirement your customers are likely to have, you can take steps to pre-empt their demands just by knowing even a little bit about your customers.

Also; Know Your Future Customers

We'll you can't actually 'know' them but you can certainly gear your operations to ensure you draw new custom, spend time researching other outlets that may be in competition with you, see how you can serve 'their' customers, what things you can do that will mean your retail outlet is the one people choose. Looking outward around you can help your own business understand what is required of it.

The Price is Right! ... Right?

If your goods aren't priced adequately you're probably already on a downward slide, price too high, not enough custom, price too low, not enough income. The importance of proper pricing is such that it can make or break a retailer. Now more than ever when a consumer has at their fingertips all the data about the price of something, you as a retailer should also maintain awareness and probably to a finer degree. Another thing to consider when pricing; in our often rushed modern lifestyle, convenience can sometimes be quantified in cash return. A great example is the Tesla group, they offer a free recharge of their electric cars or for a small fee, a much faster 'battery replacement'. This means less time waiting for the consumer. The thing that is being sold is the convenience.

Be Good At What You Do

If you retail specific products, get to know them such that you are confident advising others of them, Be courteous and friendly, be interactive as a person. Shopping on-line is a bland experience by comparison, if a person has entered your store there is a reason. That alone is enough that you must be the epitome of retailing excellence and afford each customer the same professional courtesy. Be Amazing. So, let's assume that you've stocked the right stock, in the right quantity, drawn in the right consumers, you've priced correctly and upon entering your store people are blown away at just how great you are. What else could possibly be done to make your retail venture better?

Cost Cutting

Have you considered what your business has to pay out? Look at your bills, and always be seeking a better offer. While some things like business rates are pretty much unavoidable do your utmost to ensure your business is getting the best value for the things it consumes, such as energy suppliers or even looking to alternate stock supply channels. If you cannot reach out to different stockists, can you broker a deal for discount? It's hard work, but if you spend time to dot the 'i' and cross the 't' eventually you may just have it. Not all of this may be new to you, I hope you've read this article and thought to yourself "I already do that..." but if just one point stands out, I hope it can be of some use to you as you move forward. As always, If you have a business that you are worried may not be able to continue trading, we're happy to discuss your options. We're specialists in business closure and turnaround and offer a 30 minutes worth of consultation for free, just call us with any questions you may have about struggling or declining business: 0845 409 44 71
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