In the retail business, like other type of business, there are many misconceptions on what it takes to be successful. Such negative information can have a weighty impact on business decisions. Read on the following myths on the retail business:
1. Money comes naturally
Even if you have the right product mix, product strategy and store atmosphere, your retail business will do no good if your customers do not know that you exist. Many retailers fail to properly market their business. Lack of funds and wrong advertising campaign can keep your message from being heard. Even during the hardest economic times, advertising can be a very effective tool.
2. Small stores don’t have a match for chain stores
Of course they still can! By maximizing the uniqueness of the business, exceptional customer service and a cozy atmosphere, small retailers can take a fair share of the market.
3. Your best customer spends the most
There’s always that customer that comes in occasionally and spends more than the average shopper in your store. But that doesn’t instantly make them your best customer. Your best customers may be those who spend little in your store but tells their friends and family about your business. Referrals and repeat customers are highly valuable and may add up to much more than the big-spenders who only shops with you twice a year.
4. Retailing will be replaced by online shopping
Sure, online shopping may be easy breezy compared to retail. But there will always be consumers who would want to try things on, feel and inspect the quality of the merchandise and some shoppers still prefer the security of paying products in person.
5. Moving your store will hurt your business
Not all the time. Relocating can be expensive and possibly disruptive, but with some careful planning it can be the best thing for your business. Start early and make a checklist to keep the relocation organized. Be sure to plan your relocation marketing focus around retaining your existing customers, as well as making new customers in the new location.
6. The government has free money for your business
The government only has grants available for particular projects but these are generally for non-profits and educational business, not for individuals who will use the proceeds to start their own retail business.
7. The customer is always right
No, the customer is not always right. Sometimes, they’re wrong too. Customers make honest mistakes and sometimes they want something for nothing. While the customer isn’t always right, it’s our job as retailers to make them feel like they are always important.
8. Good help is hard to find
It may take you a lot of time but it is possible to find excellent employees. You can start by writing a thorough job description. Establish a review system to carefully weed out candidates that don’t fit the bill. Learn interviewing techniques and prepare a comprehensive training program. To keep good help once you’ve found it, learn how to motivate your employees through pay and promotion. Staffing your store is easy if you have a plan.
9. You Can’t Make a Living in Retail
Totally false. The small profit margin for most retail items may prevent one from becoming rich, but good sales can generate a healthy income for someone operating their own retail business. And for those not interested in entrepreneurship, there are many, many positions in retail other than store manager or clerk. Some retail career fields include buyers, merchandisers, logistics and sales.