Running a business is a dream for a lot of people. Starting a small shop gives you a chance to sell your own products or simply a range of products that meet your values.
There’s still something special about brick and mortar. Although the popularity of high-street shopping may be declining and the number of store closures continues to climb, small shops still play an important role in supporting local communities.
Bringing your vision to life can be incredibly rewarding but you need the right skills and knowledge to turn it into a success. Here are some handy tips to help you do that.
Customer Experience is Everything
Finding ways to compete with larger companies can be tricky for small businesses. You’re unlikely to beat them on price, delivery options or the convenience of online shopping. However, you can almost always do better at customer service.
Focusing on the customer experience that you can deliver is your trump card because you can offer a personal service and human touch that many larger competitors just can’t. Their customer base is probably in the millions. Yours is much smaller, allowing you to focus on the needs of each customer.
Know Your Inventory
Managing your inventory is crucial to driving forward your business. Over time, you’ll be able to identify patterns in the goods you’re selling and, equally importantly, the goods you’re not. Utilising this insight will help to boost sales and cut waste, which is significant for profitability.
Keeping tabs on stock levels can be done with inventory-management software or more traditional but time-consuming methods. It should help you to optimise your forecasting and streamline the process of ordering new stock ready to meet customer demand. Reviewing whether you have the appropriate level of shop insurance may also offer peace of mind should something unexpected happen and you lose precious inventory.
Engage With The Local Community
Each customer is important for a small shop, as is the local community. You’ll likely rely on them for the majority of your trade and they’ll rely on you to meet their needs and wants. As such, marketing efforts targeted towards the local area should be much more effective than more generic approaches.
Community partnerships, sponsorships, local advertising and social media engagement will be crucial in building brand awareness and targeting consumers in the surrounding area. Working with local suppliers and business networks is also a good approach to bolster community spirit and give you another defining feature to showcase.
Sell The Right Products
A small shop needs the right products to sell. Otherwise, you won’t satisfy consumer demand. Do plenty of market research and consider what the area needs. Product ranges don’t have to be extensive, just targeted well to attract customers and build loyalty.
Quality products are more likely to drive repeat sales, so don’t fill a gap in your shop for the sake of it. Take time to find the right goods that your customers will appreciate and that align with your own values. Good luck!