How to stay on top of your retail’s ever-changing environment
Consumers shopping habits have dramatically changed in recent years, and for retailers, the competition is getting tighter. Businesses need to raise their game to drive growth. Below the Forum has created seven top hits for retailers to follow to ensure growth with their business.
- Know Your Business
The retail industry is growing increasingly competitive with more and more new businesses setting up either on high streets or online. Businesses that have a high income know their business inside out so they can plan a trading strategy. Successful businesses will be able to capitalise on their strengths, respond quickly to missed opportunities and know which parts of their business are not as successful such as a new product.
- Make The Most Out Of A Monday Morning
One of the biggest challenges for small retailers is the lack of time they have. Having a list of multiple tasks can become overwhelming for any retailer. The most important task is looking at your numbers in detail every week. Monday is known to be the best day of the week for this. Spend a few hours quietly working out what the figures are telling you. This will then help you plan your actions for the next seven days of trading.
- Embracing The Detail
Whilst looking at the top line performances gives you a positive feedback, this won’t tell you the key factors that are losing your business profit. When analysing your sales, always look beneath the surface by researching product category, supplier and brand to discover which ones are the clear winners and losers.
- Noting The Figures
Research your sales and stock, which were your best sellers, what product groups or brands were the best performers, where you overstocked or understocked and which lines sold out. Write and document all your findings, ask why and then react to what you have learnt.
- Look At The Wider Picture
When reviewing your current performance, build up a history of what happened in the previous week’s performance. Don’t forget to consider outside factors of the business such as weather, roadworks, traffic, and town activity – basically anything that could have an impact on your sales.
- Structure And Plan Your Buying
Having regular performance reviews with documented findings will drive your trading and buying strategy forward. Set up buying plans using hierarchy and base them on your history, induvial product sales, missed potential and new trends/products. Failure to buy into this way can lead to your net margin being destroyed, down to unnecessary markdowns and missed opportunities that will eventually and severely limit your business’s growth.
- Seek Advice
If you are in doubt seek help, there is plenty of advice you can find through a variety of sources. The Forum of Private Business can help with our dedicated helpline and business guides.
If you wish to find out more about how the Forum can help your small retail business grow, please get in touch with us, where our membership advisors can advise, support and protect your business.