This is advice we first shared many years ago. We have updated it, updated it more, and updated it again this morning.
We think this is the best advice we could give any local small business retailer as it focuses you on what matters most – nurturing daily value from your business.
Everything you do today has to about making money today because what you make today may matter more than what you make when you sell your business.
Let’s get into it:
Retail business advice: make every day your pay day.
It starts with the mindset of every day being your pay day. Every decision needs to be considered in this context.
Here are some suggestions for making every day your pay day:
- Make your shop happy, appealing. Play good music. Smile. be happy to be there. Greet shoppers. Offer free samples. Be engaged.
- Make sure your sales counter maximises the opportunity. Keep it efficient. Pitch products that are easily understood and easily bought on impulse.
- Charge more every time you can. Where you can, charge more. Even and extra 1% or 2% can make a difference. In our experience, price is often not the factor retailers think it is. So, look at your prices for opportunities to increate margin.
- Get people buying more each visit. Look at what you have where and make sure that key traffic lines have impulse purchase opportunities along the way.
- Stock what sells. Use your data. Make sure you don’t run out of good selling items. 75% of retailers miss revenue by not having items shoppers want when they want them. Buying stock based on evidence is more valuable than buying based on emotion.
- Be cleverly frugal. When you are considering spending money, think about the value for the business from the spend. Think about the return you could get and the speed of the return. Have some checks and balances in spending decisions to slow them down.
- Seek out new customers. New customers are the future lifeblood of any retail business. Attract them with smart and entertaining social media posts, a window display that plays outside what people expect from your shop.
- Run with the leanest roster possible. Just about every retail business we review has capacity to lower labour costs. Trimming the roster can come at a cost for the owners – putting in more hours.
- Bring people back sooner with a thoughtfully calibrated loyalty offer that funds itself, and drives value. Every retail business needs a core action designed to bring people back. A timed loyalty offer, which expires, is a good way to do this.
- Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more. Today, retail is not about may I help you. Rather, it is about engaging with the products and subtly showing them off, like theatre.
- Have at least one stunning display that attract people from outside the shop, a display people talk about.
- Buy as best you can. Take settlement discounts where possible. Pick up supplier offers. never pass on your better buying to customers, unless it suits for some event you are running. Oh, and with this advice about buying – only do it for items you know you will sell for buying product at a discount and having it on the shelves too long is too much of a cost for the business.
- De-clutter. Sometimes the best way to be able to see your business and what it can do is for you to have less to look at. This means getting rid of dead stock, dead fixtures, dead corners of the shop. Always be trimming, cleaning and looking.
- Change. Every day in your shop change something. Get known as the shop that is never the same. This can be a reason to visit for some shoppers. If you run a business that rarely changes, you give people a reason to walk on by. So, every day, make a change or two. Encourage your team members to suggest changes. By moving a small stand from one part of the business to another could get it noticed and boost sales.
- Stop all busy work. It is easy in a local small business retail to get caught up in doing things. Often, things can be what you do to be busy. Being busy is only good if it is profitable, productive. Declutter your schedule.
Be responsible for the profitability of your business. Don’t blame your suppliers, your landlord, your employees or some other external factor … it all comes down to you – the decisions you make and the actions you take.
By making every day your payday you bring focus on what matters today and what will matter when you’d decide to sell your business.
Doing all this relies on your measuring the performance of your business. The Tower Systems POS software helps with this. It is easy.
My name is Mark Fletcher. I am the owner of Tower Systems. I also own retail shops and several online businesses. Every day here at Tower Systems we live what we say, in our software company and in our shops. We make mistakes, and learn from them. It’s some of those mistakes that got us thinking about this, about the approach of making every day your payday.
While our core mission is to grow the customer base for Tower Systems, we know that key to achieving this helping retailers. Plenty of the help we provide is not software related.
In sharing this advice we demonstrate a care for local small business retail and a transparency as to the advice and help we provide.