Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Retail Business Trends for 2015

Your business needs to stay relevant.  Sometimes we get caught up in the passion of the business that we forget to keep our operational efforts moving forward.  The new year is a perfect time to evaluate and launch new endeavors. Stay on top of your game with these must have items for your retail business.

Software system
Gone are the days of hand written appointment books and ringing up purchases by price tags.  A retail necessity is a software system that allows computerized tracking of bookings, services, and financial information.  These systems can run all types of reports to help you keep focus on the business verses the books. You will know what is selling and adjust your marketing plans as needed. Reach out to similar businesses for the systems they recommend.  Look to your professional associations. Generally they have a few software partners they work with.  You could score a discount and have access to expertise to overcome potential hurdles for a new system launch.

Digital Marketing
The pace of technology isn’t slowing down. We are all on our mobile devices, tablets, websites, text messages and emails almost all day long – some people occasionally stop to sleep.  Your business needs to communicate where your customers are.  Do you have a mobile friendly website, do you an email marketing schedule, are you texting clients to remind them of appointments? Reach out to students or reach out a community college for support. Another option is partnering with a marketing agency.  You work to create the marketing plan and tactics and they set it in motion.  Have a monthly check in and evaluate results.

Your business can’t be everything to everyone.  Offering specialized products or services can be one key to success for smaller retailers.  If you are a day spa, become the expert in facials.  If you are baker, be the cupcake extraordinaire.  Reflect on what your business does best.  Use that special product or service and promote it on all your marketing efforts.

Retail Revamp
Take a hard look at your product lines. Do you have items that aren't moving? If you have items for a significant period of time, its time to mark them down and move them out.  Review all the products that you carrying.  Considered your own private label line.  Speak to your staff, survey customers, and look at your competitors.  Use this info to make educated decisions on your next bit sellers.
Fight complacency in your business. Stay on top of trends and business best practices.  It will keep your business growing and your profits rising. 

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