It was one of those dreary, dark Melbourne July days in 2017. I had just set up a workshop which I was running for two retailers. The old saying “If I only knew then what I know now” came to mind.
These two independent retailers, Frank and Gerald, had engaged me to help them do some business planning. Both guys were delighted, they had all their information together and the mood in the room was very jovial.
However, within the first 30 minutes, Frank leant back in his chair, stretched out his arms and said, “Holy hell, if this information is right, I’ve got a problem in my business in about three years’ time!”
Faced with the cold, hard reality of the negative figures showing in the profit and loss from the data entered, my client was understandably gutted.
The good news was that we were now in a position to do something about it.
Retailers today do not have a crystal ball to create a vision for the future. So many of them are still relying on the old methods of retailing which are centred around opening the doors, stocking and presenting your shop well and giving great customer service.
The challenge with this model is that it can be and is, replicated and duplicated by anybody.
I’ll be delving more into the topic as a business speaker at this year’s 2021 Naturally Good Expo on from May 30-31 at Sydney’s ICC, and will be addressing how can the recipe be tweaked to get a better outcome, as well as what actions need to be stopped and started so a different outcome can be manufactured.
The fact is, you can grow your business and you can check out with confidence, whether that is selling or just reducing your week to four days. The secret sauce is confidence.
There are three pillars to growing your retail business:
1) Balance – Have the life you love
To understand what your business is saying to you, you have to learn to listen to what the numbers are saying. Balance creates choices in your business operation. Here are some recommended tools:
- a plan to follow
- mastery of your business financials
- a dashboard that feeds you data and allows for informed choices.
2) Freedom – Develop a team that works so you don’t have to
Freedom from all the jobs in a modern retail business comes from you learning new leadership skills and mastering how to get your team to follow you and eventually act on their own.
3) Sell for profit – With serenity and forward momentum
We think we know what our customers want but often the facts tell a different story. A retailer that has a defined niche just oozes confidence.
A business with a defined niche knows who their business is there to serve. They don’t waste money trying to attract people into their business that are not in their target market.
The potential purchaser will pay a premium for a business that has the ability to adapt to changes in your marketplace.
When you build a business that can adapt to market changes; has a clearly defined niche; is not trying to beat the big chain stores on price only; is picking trends as or before they happen; and knows what not to do by learning from others’ mistakes; then you will have a compelling business for buyers.
Picture yourself with your potential purchaser, a big smile on your face as you say, “Come and let me show you how this business actually works.