Seven Savvy Steps for Starting a Store

As a retailer, you already know that you are in a highly competitive industry. This means that you have to remain as up to date in the practices that your customers like as possible. There is a reason that self service checkouts are so popular, and it’s because sometimes people don’t want to wait ages to queue and have to make small talk when they are buying their shopping. 

If you have adopted self service checkouts in your retail store, then you already know that you are more present and current in what customers want than most other companies. Your retail business is not going to thrive unless there are key areas that have been met. You need to make sure that you have the right products, the right placement, the right social media presence and even this smart POS so that you know that people are going to be able to pay efficiently in your store. Below, he will find a checklist of seven savvy steps to help you get started with opening your store.

Image source: Pexels

  • Consider your product offering. It doesn’t matter whether you are offering one particular product in a niche market or you are offering a range of products in the same way as a supermarket can, you need to know what you are selling and make sure that it’s relevant for the market you are targeting. With your product sales data, you can look over your range and determine which products are the most popular. From here you can determine whether you can add more of that range to your inventory and when you need to restock. You can use surveys and conversation with your customers to determine their feedback when they’re making purchases.
  • Do you know where the market is? You need to check whether your business model is the right one, but mostly you need to sell whether it is really a market. Retailers will increasingly sell their products online and this will help them to widen the distribution channel. Your physical brick and mortar store may look pretty, but being online allows you to give a much more expensive reach to your customers. Make sure that you invest in a responsive website and figure out where your customers are in the world. There is nothing wrong with planning to go global.
  • Do more with your marketing. What’s your current marketing strategy? Is it working? As a retailer you need to be on top of whether your marketing strategy is working because it’s your marketing that is going to give people inside scoop about whether your business is worth attending. Word of mouth is still one of the most popular ways to market your business, but you should also consider Google Adwords marketing with your website and Facebook for business. Social media is where the conversations are happening, and if you are not involved on social media with your business pages intact, you’re going to be losing leads. Checking out your competition can also help you to learn more about your customers, so make sure that you have this as part of your marketing plan because then you can decide whether or not you have enough for a competitive edge.
  • Check your systems are working well. What are you doing with your current ordering system? Is it efficient? This is another good reason for customer feedback because they will be able to tell you whether your current systems are working well. What if you’re ordering systems for your inventory are faulty? You need to make sure that your inventory doesn’t have defects or poor quality. You can use inventory software to help you with this, but that’s not going to help you if your inventory software systems are not working.
  • Don’t overdo it. Checking out your capacity is important. If you’re getting more sales than you handle on a daily basis, then expansion may need to happen earlier. Bigger premises, more employees and longer opening hours can help. You need to know what your break even point is and recalculate that to accommodate your growing business.
  • Make sure that you are on top of your key performance indicators. This is where an accountant or a financial advisor can help. You need to make sure that your sales forecasts are on track so that you can continue to predict your sales and make targeted business decisions based on them. If those forecasts are inaccurate, you need to determine how you predict sales and the costs and make them more realistic.
  • Don’t fall behind. Lastly, a successful retailer is doing more and more to ensure that they are connecting and contacting customers regularly. Don’t fall behind on this because you can easily click onto social media whenever you want and make sure that you are engaging with your customers. That engagement is going to drive business your way and it’s a very savvy way of making sure that you are aware of what customers want, customer trends, and whether your sales tactics are working.

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Keith Rainz

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Along Kafue Road, Chilanga, Lusaka Zambia.

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