Setting up a retail business is a fantastic venture that allows you to be your own boss, as well as pursue something a passion that you enjoy. That being said, retail businesses can be difficult to run, and with today’s tough economy, many are forced to close before they’ve even found their feet. Understanding some of the difficulties that come with running a retail business could help make it easier to manage your business and turn it into a success.
Not giving tasks the right priority
As a retailer, you will have many different tasks that need completing each month. From ordering inventory to managing displays, you need to make sure that all tasks are given the correct priority. This means that the tasks that may not be as interesting as others are given just as much priority to ensure that work doesn’t fall behind.
A good way to do this is to schedule them in your calendar and to give yourself deadlines for each task. Working for yourself means that you’ll no longer have someone telling you what to do and when to do it by, so it’s up to you to set these tasks for yourself.
Clunky or outdated PoS systems
Using the right PoS (Point of Sale) system can make it easier for you to manage your business. It can help you with your reporting, your inventory and makes it easier to avoid mistakes with pricing and sales. Linking your PoS system to barcodes attached to your products will make it easier to manage your transactions and prevent customers trying to claim refunds on products that weren’t bought at your store.
Some people have concerns about investing in digital PoS systems, but they can be a vital asset to your business. There are also different options available to you to suit your budget. If your systems suffer any issues, you can get expert Zebra barcode printer repair quickly and easily to help minimize any disruption to your business. An affordable PoS system will also enable you to accept debit and credit card transactions, which is a key requirement for many shoppers today.
Not moving your business into the Cloud
Wired recently ran an article that said that there were ‘sunnier days ahead for retailers that use cloud computing,’ and it was a valid point. Cloud computing not only makes it easier for retailers to manage their stores remotely, to help staff access rotas and payroll systems but also to perform more strategic tasks. As more and more physical retail businesses seek ways to compete with e-commerce, cloud computing is something that can prove to be very useful.
Cloud computing can make it simple for you to analyze consumer and competitor data and allow you to react accordingly. This can help you stay ahead of your competition and entice customers away from their computers and back into your store.
Being afraid to deputize
One of the hardest things about running a retail business is knowing when to let it go. It’s not uncommon for small business owners to suffer stress, but there are some ways you can ease it. Having a reliable deputy for your retail business will mean that you can take days off, work fewer hours and go on vacation feeling more confident that things are being run smoothly in your absence.
Even if your workforce is small, having one person who you can leave your store in safe hands will make the difference to your emotional well-being and work/life balance. It can be difficult to let go of the reigns temporarily, but for your own sanity, it’s necessary.
Not having an effective and ongoing marketing strategy
A marketing strategy is important, no matter how small you retail business might be. Knowing who your target customers are and having a plan for how to attract them is important. You can set your marketing strategy for the year ahead to give you targets and plans as well as to help you spend your marketing budget evenly.
Having the right strategy can help you plot out key periods in the year such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, and work out some other opportunities which may be key crunch points for your business.
While operating a retail business can be unpredictable and challenging, it is a wide-ranging industry that can offer a lot of advice to someone in your shoes. You’ll find useful information in this article on money saving tips for small businesses that will help you manage your finances as well as help you to run your business more easily.