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10 Simple Steps To Improve A Retail Business

Updated on July 17, 2011

Are you struggling with your retail business? Are you thinking of starting a retail business? Be it forces beyond your control, seasonal sales or reduced foot traffic, all retailers experience slumps in sales at some point. This article gives a few simple ways you and your staff can improve your retail sales. The ten basic steps which can improve your sales and business are as follows:

1 - Analyze Yourself

Starting a new business is not just sitting in the shop and selling to customers. You need to have the right character matched to the right business, so analyse yourself and determine which business you should be in.

Business is about purchasing, promoting, accounts, preparation and much more. Do not have enough knowledge in financing, marketing, planning, sales, delivery, inventory and all the other things? Do you have the determination to succeed? You can succeed, anyone can. You just have to do it.

2 - Keep a Plan and To-Do List

Your business plan is to convert business ideas into profit! Yes? Simple! If you want to succeed, plan all the little things you need to do as well as the big ideas. Keep a to-do list and do it.

3 - Study Your Competition

Know the important local, national and global competitors in your business sector. Which products are in demand. Which way is the market moving. If you were a tube manufacturer for televisions and didn't know which way the market was moving... bye, bye.

4 - Study Your Customers

Markets change. You need to change with them. Talk to your customer, analyse their purchases over time. Are sales of a product increasing, decreasing or static? Are sales seasonal. Know your market. Remember, you are here to serve your customers, they do not buy because they need you.

5 - Constantly Monitor Cash Flow

Insufficient liquidity is a disaster for your business. Insufficient cash flow equals bankruptcy. Always have enough money in your account.

6 - Continuously Improve Your Image

Your business is the image you present to your customers and potential customers. Would you go to a grocery merchant or a nappy manufacturer to buy a Roles Royce? I don't think so. Wrong type of company, wrong image. Present the image customers need and expect. A good image will bring more customers.

7 - Setting the Right Price

Setting the right prices for your products is a combination of science and art. Product prices are determined by the type of product, its scarcity, its popularity and your profit margin. A popular or scarce item can be sold with a much higher profit margin.

If you manufacture your own unique products then charge appropriately. A unique product commands a higher price.

Is the product selling? A dead product is just taking up space. Sell it at any price.

Too many small businesses close their doors because they get the pricing incorrect.

8 - Control Inventory

Inventory control is a must in any business venture. Just in time management is a priority in this day and age. You obtain the good just before you sell them. No storage needed. Get a good system for inventory management so you can maintain the optimal level of stock, preferably zero. Minimum inventory means better cash flow, high stock levels mean you could have problems with cash flow.

9 - Promote At Every Opportunity

Promotion is the key to marketing. Marketing is the key to success. Success brings wealth.

Good advertising needs to be placed everywhere. Promotion opportunities which can be free include: the internet, local Yellow pages, Thompson Pages, the local press, local and national radio (if you have a good, newsworthy story), local events... the list goes on.

Paid promotion in newspapers, magazines, radio and television can be expensive and should be considered only after careful consideration and much planning. Basically take every opportunity to promote your business and don't forget those special offers, business cards, brochures and flyers.

10 - Get Help If You Think You Need It

Are you doing too much? Do you get time off? Are you working sixteen hours a day?

Too high a workload will simply drag you down and make you ill. Sometimes it's better to get help if you think you need it. Remember, not all help will cost you money. Some advisory councils (just do a Google search for your area), especially government or council run will cost you nothing. Same applies to your local business club which can be a godsend when you need local help. Reciprocal help can benefit all parties involved.

Conclusion

Well, I hope you found something useful and enjoyed this article, please don't forget to let me have your thoughts. More information for online business solutions can be found at my website, King Solutions – eCommerce and WordPress Business Solutions. See you soon.

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