If there is a fire in your store, do you and your staff know what to do? How about if you suspect a customer of stealing. How do you tackle the subject (pun completely intended!)
No one wants to find themselves in an emergency situation. And for that matter, what actually constitutes and emergency situation? And just exactly what steps should you and your staff take, when the situation arises?
As a small business retailer, there’s a good chance that you’ve overlooked some processes. Not deliberately of course, but simply because you’re so busy doing so many roles in the business, and no one has brought them to your attention.
It’s your legal responsibility to ensure a safe environment for your employees, and your customers, so I’m asking you to mark a date in your calendar, where you will sit down and map out your emergency procedures.
Find out more at www.salenaknight.om/retail-45
Kim Krajci plays well with words. As a professional writer, social media marketer, public speaker, and podcaster, she uses words to shape
ideas. She publishes blogs and produces podcasts, including her own On the Table - Topics for Toastmasters http://onthetablepodcasts.com and
As a result of her involvement with high school speech and debate programs and Toastmasters, she strongly believes that communication is
the foundation of leadership. This has become her message in her professional speaking career.
Kim lives with her husband and family in Ohio, USA, in a household that is slowly reducing in size as the kids head off to their own adventures.
She's good with that.
Everyday, we have to make thousands of decisions. From when to brush our teeth, what to wear today, what to make for dinner, through to all the decisions you have to make at work. All of this before lunch time! It’s no wonder that so many customers suffer from indecision and the lack of purchasing power.
When you’re under stress, your body reacts in several ways. Your attention span gets shorter, you can have increased anxiety, and, quite often, have a fear of making decisions.
Couple All of these external influences that your customer is making everyday along with being bombarded by the same information from every single retailer, and your customer, can move into a state of stress and anxiety. And this leads to overthinking the purchasing decision, letting fear creep in, and eventually, just walking away from the whole buying experience.
So, how can you, the retailer, conquer the indecision barrier?
You have to pull down those barriers. What you need to do, is create a zone of security and here’s how you can do it.
Find out more at: www.salenaknight.com/retail-44
Trade fairs are a whirlwind of people, products and hopefully, sales. You’re high on excitement, surrounded by thousands of potential customers. You’re ready to sell anything and everything. But trade fairs are a funny thing. Customers are oftened hyped up and ready to spend, and the old fear of missing out, drives them to buy things that they may not normally have purchased. Now, the reason you do trade fairs, is mainly to attract new customers, right? But a new customer once, is not going to change your bottom line.
I’ve seen Megan speak before, and I remember that her insights into retail were very different to what other people were spruiking.
Coming from a background in business, Megan grew up in pubs.
She recounts many stories, such as riding her tricycle around the ballroom, how her dad taught her that you’re never to senior to pick up a broom.
And how watching the cash being counted in the evening, how she said to her dad ‘look at all that money, you must be rich’.
And how her father took that stack of bills, and showed her how much went to wages, overheads, restocking and rent, and the small amount that was left over.
Whilst I was listening to her talk, I could see this picture in my mind, and I immediately thought ‘what a fantastic way to show a child the meaning of money’.
So much of what Megan had to say, had me recounting my time in business, and how as retailers, we often overlook key areas of business, because we aren’t confident enough to stand out.
As the co-founder of net-a-porter, the super luxurious, online fashion store, Megan’s love for expensive handbags, her eye for style and her introduction to the internet put a wild idea in her head.
I was very lucky last week, to be gifted a ticket to the total summit event, here in Sydney, by my friend, the product-prenur expert, Catherine Langman.
It was a 2 day event, culminating in a mammoth 3 hour session by Tony Robbins. I was excited that there were 3 women on the speaking buill, that I was super excited to hear from. Carolyn Creswell, founder of Carman’s muesli, Naomi Simson, the founder of Red Balloon and a shark on Australia’s Shark Tank, and Melanie Perkins, the founder of Canva. Plus, Megan Quinn, the founder of net-a-porter also popped in for an amazing session.
I often forget about how important it is to go to events like these. We get so busy, wrapped up in fwork, family and the eleventy billion other decisions that we have to make on a weekly basis.
Taking time out to meet new people, in an inspirational environment, just does something to your brain, and your energy. You come away renewed, with so many fresh ideas. You have clarity of what you want, and you may just meet someone who can change the whole course of your business, or even your life.
So I urge you to find some events that you think will light you up. Write them in your diary and commit to making them happen.
For more, visit:
Can a retail store earn income from affiliates?
The margins you have in retail can often only be changed by either upping your retail price, or negotiating discounts with your suppliers, so what is there was another way of earning extra revenue in your business, without purchasing products? Wouldn't it be awesome if you could have extra cash coming into your business, without outlaying for products? Imagine if you could offer products and services to your clients that for whatever reason, you can't stock in your store? Well, you can. It's called affiliate income. [Tweet " So what exactly is affiliate income?"] Essentially, it's where your company is paid a referral fee for selling a product or service for another company. Now before you run off thinking pyramid selling, or multi level marketing, that's NOT what affiliate income is about. The key to making this work, without looking all douche bag salesy, is to find products or services that your customers could clearly benefit from, and that you truly believe to be in line with your brand.
You then advertise this service on social media, in your newsletter, in store - wherever your customers are at with a special link that your supplier will give you. When your customers purchase the item, you are automatically given a referral fee. Perhaps you're a children's store. You could team up with an in-home styling, or parenting workshops. The amount that you get paid is either going to be a set fee, or a percentage of the amount your customer spends with your affiliate. As such, you need to think about how much you could potentially earn, versus how much time and money you will put into advertising your affiliate. Be warned though, you can't just put up a sign and hope for the best. Like any product in your store, the affiliate has to be sold to earn its place in the store. Now you can rotate the offers, to be in line with your monthly editorial calendar, or maybe you just have one thing your customers repeatedly want. Either way, there is the potential to earn significant revenue streams outside of just selling the products in your store. In addition, you're providing a better experience for your customer base, and best of all, are being completely different to your competitors. I'd love to hear what you sell and one product or service that you could investigate right now, that your customers would benefit from. Comment below and have a fab day!
Banking fees are a part of business, and you should build them into your margins. Make sure you Accept multiple payment options. Cash, debit card/eftpos, credit card, paypal, stripe and even bitcoin! By only accepting one form of payment, you may well end up losing a sale.
Some people see gift vouchers as a liability, because they need to remain on your balance sheet for a set amount of time. However, gift vouchers being bought is cash flow into your business. The bonus is they will often bring in new customers, as your faithful, loyal fans seek to spread the word about how fab your store is.
I'm not suggesting that you open longer. What I'm talking about is having an online platform where people can purchase products when your store isn't open. If you don't have a website, you should. Whilst a website may take some time to set up, in less than an hour, you could set up a store on your facebook page with your most popular items, including gift vouchers!
I don't always advocate not being paid upfront, because it can cost you time chasing up people to pay. However, if you sell higher priced items, the ability to offer a payment plan may be the deciding factor as to whether a customer decides to purchase from you or not. My suggestion here is to make sure that the amount is large enough for you to justify holding the inventory/chasing payments.
So, you’re on your way to your first ever trade show as a buyer. You’ve heard all the stories about how beautiful the stands can be and you’re excited to be able to see so many suppliers in one place.
Today we’re talking about what to expect when you attend a trade show as a buyer. I remember my first ever trade show that I attended as a buyer. I felt so important, with my name and business name on a lanyard as I waltzed around the stores. But, I had a very big shock waiting for me.
Most trade shows will require that you pre register. You’ll have to fill out an online form, and usually provide some kind of proof of business registration. Once you’ve been accepted, you’ll get an email, and either your registration lanyard in the post, or you’ll pick it up on the day. To avoid any surprises, Be sure to check out start and finish times, transport, parking fees and whether children can attend. In many cases children are not allowed at trade fairs, or may be required to be in a baby carrier or pram. Here’s a little tip – you can often pre book parking, or get parking validated at the show for a reduced fee – even as a guest. Just sayin’
When you enter the trade show, you may be overwhelmed. Grab a guide and circle the suppliers you’d like to see the most. I recommend hunting those places out first, so you don’t accidentally walk past them in the hustle and bustle. Vendors will often have show specials. A word of advice. Think before you order! And if you order on the day, keep track of how much your spending.
4 weeks after my first trade fair, I was receiving whopping invoices from things I’d forgotten I even ordered. Ask suppliers what they provide. Do they supply images, Point of sale or merchandising items, are their stands available for awkward products? What are their trade terms and warranties? Can you return or exchange stock that doesn’t move? You’ll often get your lanyard scanned by everyone who’se stand you show an interest in. Be aware these people WILL email you, so be prepared for an onslaught in your inbox. Remember to ask yourself if this would really suit your ultimate customer, or is it just something YOU like? I guess what I’m saying is to just be mindful of what you’re buuing and how much your spending. Most of all, have fun, enjoy the opportunity to be a business owner, making decisions that will grow your business. Use this opportunity to connect with suppliers and develop a relationship with them. You may only get a few minutes, but have something noteworthy to discuss if you want to foster your relationship. Some suppliers will even let you book meeting times with them.
Need More Trade Fair Inspiration? Try these
[caption id="attachment_7014" align="aligncenter" width="300"] 5 Questions to Ask Before Taking On A New Supplier[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7011" align="aligncenter" width="300"] How To Choose The Right Products For Your Store[/caption]
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery but what do you do when it feels like a competitor is copying your every move?
Today we’re talking about how to deal with copycat retailers. To start off with, woo hoo, clearly you are doing something right, and are seen as a leader in your field, and that is worth celebrating, so go you! But, it’s a pretty shitty feeling to open up your laptop and see someone who is blatantly copying all that you say and do. After chatting with a lot of people in the retail industry, what I discovered is that copying tends to be more the online component of retail, and than offline, bricks and mortar side. Let’s be honest, if you walked into a store that looked exactly like the store in the next street, you’d probably be more confused than anything. And if you went back again and the window display had changed to something similar that you saw in the original store, you’d start to realize that the second store didn’t have it’s own voice, it’s own soul.
Firstly, know your rights and ensure you’ve covered your butt. Make sure that you’ve trademarked your business name and logo. This way, you’re legally covered if someone tries to copy your logo or business name. In addition, when you publish original content on your website, such as product descriptions you’ve written yourself, cheat sheets and blog posts, you automatically have copyright attributed to it. [Tweet "So you find someone has copied your digital work. What do you do?"] Start off with a letter or email to the person who is using your material. This may be enough to get them to stop. If they continue to use your material, you have several option including have a solicitor draw up a cease and desist letter, or you can report the offender to their web host or to search engines as infringing on copyright. However, I have to put a disclaimer in here about website design: Quite often websites are created from templates. If you or your deign have chosen this option for your website, then expect that there will be many other sites that have the same look and feel. But what if the ‘copying’ is more about your style, rather than copyright infringement? Let me tell you a story about what can happen. I’ve gotten that phone call where someone tells you that they found someone who has copied your text, or your images, or your overall style. My friend called me to say that she’d found a website that had an almost identical vision, and copied my mission statement. Well, to start off with, most retailers don’t even include this stuff and when I had a look, it was nearly word for word. Better yet, there were pictures of stock, that had been taken IN MY STORE and passed of as this person’s own work. It’s impossible to ‘be someone else’ forever. If someone is copying you, they aren’t being themselves, and eventually, that will become obvious. You need to continue to show your customers, your suppliers and the rest of the retail world, how you’re different. Use video, use photos, use blog posts and reviews to build your brand, to secure your position as a leader in your retail field and to speak to your customers in a way that is truly authentic to your brand.
And what happened to the person who was infringing on my copyright? A quick call to my solicitor and for a couple of hundred dollars, he drafted a Cease and desist letter outlining what needed to be removed and by when. The person did have a whine that their ‘copywriter” had drafted the vision and mission statements, and she’d paid for them, so couldn’t see why they needed to be removed. I politely pointed out that she should ask for her money back from that copywriter and the offending images and text was removed that day. And that’s how you deal with copycat retailers. Go forth and have a profitable day!
As a retailer, it would be great if your suppliers sent you point of sale material ad beautiful images of stock. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. But there will also be times when you need gorgeous lifestyle pictures that you can legally use, preferably for free.
Today I’m going to tell you my 8 favourite places to get designer images, for free. Whether it’s for your blog, or advertising something seasonal, having access to beautiful images that are free is always a bonus. In no particular order, I have listed my top 6 places I use for images and backgrounds:
1) Splitshire - I find this site focuses more on things, than people, but I love the saturated colours in their pictures 2) Magdeleine - I think I was taken with the name first. This is a curated site, which tends to lean more towards nature and landscapes, but with a splash of everything else. Which leads me to 3) Splashbase is like a mini search engine for a select group of free images websites. 4) Kaboom Pics- this tends to be my go-to for lifestyle images of people and business images 5) Death to the stock photo is a subscription service, where each week, you’re emailed a curated selection of images, based on a theme. 6) New old stock photos. Super cute – these are vintage photos from the public archive. You can find so many different things in here. It’s like looking through photo albums of super cool images. Whilst you might think that you’ll never need images other than those from suppliers, not that you’re aware of what’s out there, I’m sure you’ll start to find uses for beautiful images that aren’t boring stock photos. Do you have other resources? I’d love to add them to my list. Comment and link below
We all know the feeling - cash flow is limited, you’re in those leaner months, and you need something new to bring the customers in.
The first one seems obvious. Applying to your suppliers for a 30-day account. Trade terms. So many retailers that I meet refuse to get trade terms from their suppliers because they ‘don’t want to get into debt’. Now I’m not an accountant but I feel that’s a very close-minded way to look at trade terms. Having your cash flow tied up in stock is not going to give your business a chance to grow. The key here is to be bang on with your inventory control, so that most of the stock has sold, when you’re bill comes due. Now you’re probably not going to get trade terms from a new supplier, however, freeing up you cash flow with existing, high turnover products, will allow you to invest some of that money into pro forma purchase for new stock.
Now consignment is when someone gives you stock for an agreed set period of time. At the end of the period, you run a report on what’s sold, your supplier invoices you, and you return what’s left. I find this works particularly well with brands that aren’t well know, or up and coming designers, who are eager to see their products in a store. [Tweet "The win for you is a fresh new brand, and the win for the consignee is they can promote the fact their product is already stocked in a retail bricks and mortar store."] You need to have a contract in place when you have stock on consignment, and I’ve included one in my 4 intelligent ways cheat sheet, that you can download from salenaknight.com When you need some fresh stock, getting someone to give you products may not always be the answer. For big-ticket items, or ones that take up a lot of space, whether on the floor or in your storeroom, the answer may lie in drop shipping. Drop shipping is when you take an order for a product and it’s shipped straight from the supplier. Preferably, you’ll keep a sample item in store, because after all, people are coming to your retail store to see things in person. The customer orders and pays you, you send the order to the supplier, and it’s shipped direct. The bonus of drop shipping is that you can sell as many as you like, without have to fill your storeroom with stuff.
In big retail stores, real estate is bought and sold, and you too can do this in your retail store. Where do you start? My first suggestion would be to sell your windows. These are high priced real estate, and if you put together a media pack that encompasses how you can promote a brand online along with offline in your windows, you can end up with a very tempting package for someone who wants to get their product featured. Package together things like social media profiling, electronic marketing, a giveaway or review along with insert promotions. Go forth and have a profitable day! Download the cheatsheet below
As a retail store owner, you probably get requests every week, from people wanting you to stock their products.
Picture your potential supplier. They have a product that they’ve spent months or years perfecting, sourcing samples, getting manufactured and now, its here. Or perhaps they’ve secured distributorship for an awesome new product. They want it to be in all the stores, because, let’s face it, they think it’s brilliant. Often, these suppliers are new to wholesaling and they’re learning as they go. As a retailer, you have a responsibility to your brand and your customers, to chose the correct products. Here are my top 5 questions you should ask potential suppliers before you even look at their products.
This is your top priority. No retailer should take on any product that doesn’t have its own products liability insurance What is PLI? It’s insurance that covers the manufacturer or distributor in the event that their product (or service) causes injury, death or damage to another person or business. As a retailer, I don’t want to be responsible for someone’s death/injury caused by a faulty product. And you can bet your bottom dollar, that should something happen, all claims will lead straight to you, if the manufacturer or distributor isn’t covered.
Unless a product has massive mark-up more than 110%, in these tough, cut throat, economic times, no one is going to want to have to gouge 10% of the total sale price to give to the government when they can't claim any input. It can be argued that a retailer can make their sale price anything they like, but at the end of the day, there is only so much tolerance in the general public for price differentiation. If a product has an RRP of $30, an online retailer (not registered for gst) might charge $29.99. The gst registered business (who probably has bigger overheads and gets a lot more traffic into their store) is going to have to charge $33 to make the same amount of money. As retailer, if you have a choice of two similar products, with the same RRP, and one was registered for gst and one wasn’t, which would you choose? When you ask this question, and get the reply “But I’m only new, I don’t earn/turn over enough to register”. Being registered for gst shows a retailer that a business is not some fly-by-nighter. The person is confident in their business being around for more than a few months.
Each month, I’m sure you’re inundated with potential new products. Whether it’s from visiting trade shows, being solicited by potential suppliers, or through your own research, taking on a new product always carries some risk.
So, the first thing to ask when assessing the suitability of a new product is Does the brand align with yours? Focusing on the brand rather than the product, research and think about their ethos, their range and their customer engagement. Do they align with what you’re doing with your brand, and where you’re headed? Onto the product - Does the product fit with your current range? You’d be surprised at how many people who will try and sell you ridiculously out of sync products. By not doing this basic research, they’re wasting your time, and likely burn their bridges for next time. Craft a template of what you want a potential supplier to submit to you in order for you to assess their product. This way, you’ll save time and have all the information you need at your fingertips without having to back and forth requesting information. Next, Do you stock similar products? If so, ask the supplier to outline how their product is different enough for you to consider. Does it provide better value for money, are the ingredients different, is it a premium brand? As the retailer, your staff need to know how to sell a new product. Which brings me on to…. Does it have, or need packaging? Now, I’m not a huge fan of packaging, but I can tell you, after years in retail, packaging sells. Especially if the product is a gift. When assessing a products feasibility, think about how easy it is to display, does it stand up by itself? Does it need a hanger, is it hang sell? How does it store if it’s not on the shop floor? All of these are factors that you, as a retailer need to think about. You also need to think about how easy it is to ship, if you offer online shopping. At the end of the day, a product needs to be profitable, so knowing the RRP, the profit margin and likely turnover rate of the product helps you assess how much shelf real estate, a product should be given. And lastly, look at the supplier as a whole. How active is the brand at promoting their retailers? What is the ordering process? Ideally you should be using your Point of Sale system to send a purchase order because online ordering = double handling and integration with your accounting software equals less paperwork.
To help you get your product selection process more streamlined, this week’s free download is a product selection guide,
When it comes to social media, you have a lot of places that you can invest your time and money in. They key to knowing which one is right, all depends on who your customer is, and where they hang out.
But retail is visual, so there’s a good chance, their hanging out Instagram, so today, I’m sharing 9 tips on how to get the most from Instagram for your retail store to increase your brand loyalty and, potentially, increase sales
Since facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012 Instagram growth has exploded, with 300 million active users, 30 billion photos shared, and an average of 70 million photos posted per day. That’s a lot of coverage, and a lot of noise, for potential customers to have to sift through. Now I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t use Instagram to it’s full potential, so I listed all the things I thought I should probably be doing, and went and asked a few people if I was on the right track. Here’s what I ended up with .
So, taking advice from my own video, I’d love it if you could take a pic of where you’re listening to or reading this, and tag it with @thesalenaknight or #bringingbusinesstoretailtv.
Until next week, be profitable.
Offering layby or layaway services in your retail (and even online) store, can be a great strategy to get customers across the buying line, especially for big ticket items. This means more money in your til.
However, there is a cost to having money tied up in stock sitting in your store room. So, here are my tips to make avoid headaches and make layby services work for you.
[Tweet "Remember, you're in this to become a profitable business! "]
Be sure to not miss another episode of Bringing Business to Retailtv Subscribe today via iTunes or Stitcher.
Recently I had the chance to meet some amazing people who have a different type of retail. These retailers regularly attend markets or have pop up stores, they don’t have long term bricks and mortar stores. [Tweet "How To Make Your Market Stall As Effective As A Retail Shopfront"] Our discussion turned to how you can make the most of these events and ensure that you give your customer a professional experience they will come back for, along with boosting your business systems.
If you’re not quite at the stage of opening your retail store, you can still build the foundations a professional retailer, this episode is for you.
My first suggestion to these ladies, and yourself, is to implement a point of sale system. Yes, it’s a cost, but it is worth SO much money to you, trust me. All cloud based point of sale systems can be used with a tablet or iPad.
A point of sale system will also allow you to email receipts to our customer. I mean, when was the last time a market stall holder offered you a digital receipt? As a customer, that sends a message that you’re professional and instils confidence in future purchasing. And of course, you’ll need an email address to send that receipt to, won’t you. Oh, an email address, yes please. As long as you let a customer know that the emailed receipt also allows them insider access to future offerings, you’re able to add them into your customer database, and if you haven’t watched previous episodes, let me take a moment to remind you, that your customer database is THE most valuable part of your business. [Tweet "When was the last time a market stall holder sent you a digital receipt?"] Next up, have an online store. Apart from the obvious of bringing in relatively passive income, a website allows you to advertise where you’ll be next, and what you’ll have with you.
My favourite point of sale system comes with an inbuilt website. Simple, easy to track inventory, and updated in real time, no matter where you’re selling. You can find out my recommendation in today’s download. Do you have regular customers? By adding them into your point of sale database, you can allow them to order online and pick up on the day. Who doesn’t want a guaranteed sale?
Say what, Sal, are you crazy, a gift registry at a market stall? Well, Why not? [Tweet "Can a market stall holder offer a gift registry?"] If you attend markets on a regular basis, why can’t you offer a gift registry?
Add the online store into the mix, and you’re a retailer to love. If the idea of a gift registry is just a little bit too out there for you, you can still ask customers to recommend you to prospective gift buyers. Simply look up the past purchases of a client and put together a pack they would love. Again, how many other stall holders would offer this service? This week’s download not only includes my favourite point of sale recommendation, but also 9 simple strategies you can implement to provide a professional customer experience, PLUS 6 systems you can start putting in place to grow your hatchling business. Interested in a FREE 30 day trial of my favourite Point of Sale System? Simply click here.
If you haven’t already, then the next week or two will be the start of the holiday rush in your store. The next 2 months are the ones that get you through the leaner times.Your feet are going to hurt, you’re back will be sore, you’ll discover the most amazing customers, and then wonder if the Grinch has materialised in a whole bunch of other customers. [Tweet "Planning your store for the holidays? - If you haven’t started yet, don’t worry, it’s not too late."] So let’s talk planning your merchandising and your store, for the holidays. There’s something about the holiday season that seems to bring out the extremes in people. I put it down to everyone being rushed, stressed and wanting to make the holidays perfect.Whilst my inspiration for filming this is obviously the Christmas season, todays download and this episode can be used for any holiday season, or even a big in store event.
If you haven’t already, you need to rough out a merchandising calendar.
Firstly, download my calendar, and grab a pencil and eraser. This will make it easier for you to brainstorm. Next, go to your POS system and find the top 10 products from last year. Now look at what new products are trending in your store, and add those into your planner For each week, develop a theme. It could be as simple as a colour way, it could be a price point, or a recipient, like ‘gifts for teachers’. The point is to have a cohesive theme running through your store, your advertising, your social media and your website, because cohesiveness gets your customer to know, like and trust you. The 3 foundations to developing a relationship with your customer.
Ok, so ideas, check Products, check
By now, You’ve got a pretty good idea of where your store is heading for this holiday season, by the time you’ve gotten this far. Work out how much stock you’ll need for each promotion, when you need it by, and remember to factor in the lead time for ordering, because suppliers are often delayed with shipping in this crazy period. Now, let’s help the customer and make their shopping experience easier. Which products can you upsell with your main promotion item? Maybe it’s one of those things you use to put a candle out, if you sell candles, perhaps it’s batteries if your item requires them, but doesn’t come with them. It can be big or small. The tip is to display items together that help your customer make a choice.
What social media channels are you going to use? Will you feature the product in your newsletter – hint, this is the time when you should be sending out weekly emails at a minimum. [Tweet "Do you want to do last minute paid advertising, wither print or online?"] Some advertisers just may have someone pull out at the last minute do to stock running low, or a product not arriving, which will allow you big bargaining power. And, what promotional material do you need in store. Coloured streamers, signs, table cloths, all those bits and bobs that you may have overlooked, write them down now. It will help you avoid those last minute dashes to the store. It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it. And in reality, it probably is. But I know that it’s all too easy to get caught up in the rush before the holidays, and planning can get overlooked, so whether you’re doing it last minute, or planning next year, download my Holiday Planner to help you avoid at least one, holiday headache
You know that feeling when someone tells you they want to buy a product you’ve just spent the last 10 minutes telling them all about the benefits and features. You think to yourself, I really should tell them about that accessory that goes with it, but, you don’t want to seem pushy. Lets talk about when upselling is a benefit for your customer and your cash register. Have you ever thought about the fact that upselling to your customer may actually be a benefit for them?
Say a newly expecting couple wants to buy a cot for their impending newborn. Now, I can sell them the cot and obviously the mattress that goes with it, but in reality, I should also look and selling them 2 sets of sheets and a metres protector or 2. Whilst the first thought that comes to mind is that I’m trying to fleece these loved up parents to be, in fact, I’m actually helping them. When that baby sicks up in the cot in the middle of the night, do you think that couple will be cursing me, that I sold them an extra set of sheets and that mattress protector, or will they be thinking I’m so glad that helpful lady thought to tell us about needing these extra things. We never knew we’d need. Now, it doen’s need to be a big ticket item. Perhaps it’s a belt to go with a dress, or those little sticky things you put on your shoes to stop them rubbing, when you buy a new pair of heels. Like OMG, how much do I wish I’d been upsold those when I bought my last pair of peep toe wedges! In fact, I would have even been more happier if the assistant had whipped them out of the pack and stuck them on for me before I left the store. It would have saved me a dash around the city looking for bandaids on my way to a friend's wedding, but that’s another story. [Tweet "The key is to ensure that what you’re upselling is a genuine benefit to your customer, and not just an excuse to get your cash register ringing."] So how do you implement this in your store, and get your team on board?
Start with your top 5 selling products, and identify the complimentary products that would benefit the customer if they purchased together.
SOLD! Add those in, plus another set for my shoes at home. See, you’re not hassling me to buy. You’re making my life easier, and I will truly thank you on my next evening out, wearing those shoes. Of course, I’ve created a download for you, to help you work out a strategy to upsell without being pushy. Hint, give this to your team, and get them to do their top 5. You can grab it at salenaknight.com. And for more retail biz strategies, remember to subscribe to the bringing business to retail podcast.
A few weeks ago, the question came up in The Boutique Academy about being a business owner vs. buying or creating yourself a job. So, what’s the difference? And is one better than the other? A job versus a business. This is a big issue many business owners face. They open a store because they are passionate about a product, and soon realize there is more 'paperwork' involved in the running of the business, than there is time working in the store. It’s not just the physical paperwork, of paying bills and ordering stock. It’s working out marketing calendars, editorial calendars, creating content, networking, updating social media, hiring people, managing staff, making sure your accounts are done and that you’re up to date with any current legislation in your field. [Tweet "I have a saying, if it can’t run without you there all the time, it’s just a job."]
Well, yes and no. The answer lies within you and what you want from your business.
If your focus is to just work in the store, then it’s your responsibility to map you what your role is within this business of yours. You need to get your systems, your cash flow and your own business acumen up to a level where you bring in someone else to act in the 'CEO' or business administrator type role. And therein lies many small business owners decline into burnout, and eventual closure, because they are trying to be every part of the business. It’s too much.
You'll be facing burnout within 18 months if you don't have someone in-store helping you out, whether that’s on the shop floor, or in the administrator role. As the creator of this business, it’s your responsibility to set income targets for your overheads and outgoings. Mao that out for the year, and work out when you should be looking to hire another team member, or administrator, even if it’s on a part time basis, and add that into your projections.
When you go on holidays, or if you get sick, someone else (and you) needs to be confident enough to run the store with your systems and processes and you should still draw a wage. Because, you would if you worked for someone else right? [Tweet "So, what is your current role in your store, and what role do you want to hold in the future?"] Use this weeks download to help you work out your strengths and your role in your business
You’ve managed to get through the holiday season, the frenzy of the sale season, and now, you’re in that post-holiday lull.
Or perhaps you’re one of those retail stores, whose trade actually drops during the holiday period. So what do you do, to make that time effective for you and your business? There will always be slow times in your business. The most obvious thing to do to make this time effective, is to...
1) Take a holiday, because you need to have downtime, you need to recharge. It’s super important to your mental and physical health, and let’s not forget, you are the most important part of your business. But if taking a holiday is not on your agenda, here are twelve things you can do to make the most use of this time. 2) The most effective thing that you can do is to take this time to sit down, and map out your marketing advertising and editorial calendars. Knowing where you’re headed in the coming twelve months will give you confidence and focus, and hopefully stop all those last minute rushes, confusion and aggravation that tends to come with unplanned activities 3) Check out your product descriptions on your website and update them. The google gods love you to be different, and original. If, in your haste to get products onto your site, you’ve just copied and pasted the manufacturers descriptions, now is the time to go and make them unique to your store. [Tweet "Write what you love about the product, and sizes or other things that are frequently asked questions about your products"] 4) Clean out your store room. Take stock of what’s in your stock room. Pull everything out, clean the shelves, vacuum all those crevices and when you’re putting everything back in, assess it’s suitability in your store. Is it time to offload a bunch of old stock? If so, I’ll pop a link to my most downloaded resource in the show notes, 9 Strategic Ways to Move Old Stock 5) Write some blog posts. If you’ve been putting off this blog post idea that I always talk about, now is the time to get it sorted. You could write a whole 6 months worth of posts over these few weeks 6) Expand your mind. Take this time to undertake a bit of professional development. Learn something new. If you need some ideas, I’ve got 2 courses that just might suit you. If you’re not up for the time and energy a course takes, try a 1 day course on how to use your camera better, or how to use a piece of software that will make your life easier 7) Clean out your “online” store room. Maybe you’re one of those people that files everything methodically. If so, skip to point 8, but if you make up the 99% of us that don’t, this is a great time to go through and sort out your digital files and documents. Whilst you’re at it, scan all those pieces of paper you have lying around and file them in your new, clean, digital system. 8) Listen to some podcasts. Now that you’ve got so time up your sleeve, pop in a set of earbuds and load up your phone or digital device of choice and learn on the go. Bonus, you can do this whilst doing most of the other items on this list. 9) Write an ebook. If the pop up on your website says sign up to our newsletter and save 10% off your first order. It’s time to make a change. What questions do you always get asked? Write a simple FAQ sheet, create a tutorial or sink your teeth in and write an ebook. Solve a problem for your customers instead of a measly 10% discount. 10) Schedule some social media posts. If facebook, twitter and instagram often seem like a chore, quest up a bunch of relevant posts into hostile or buffer, so that when it gets busier, it’s one less thing for you to have to worry about. 11) Join or create a mastermind group. By surrounding yourself with like minded people, you’d be amazed at how much further you’ll advance in business and life. 12) Write some processes. Systems are essential to running a business. Even if you fly solo in your retail biz, it’s important to put systems in place to ensure that when the time comes, you’re not frantically trying to create them, or worse still, trying to onboard a new team member without them.
And whilst you’re over on the website, checkout the cool new feature I just installed, where you can ask me your own retail biz question. Simply click on the black rectangle on the right hand side of the page where it says ask me a retail biz question, and you can record your question live, and it may just feature on an upcoming episode of bringing business to retail tv. If you’re loving these strategies, subscribe to the bringing business to retail podcast, where each week, i interview industry and thought leaders for their take on business and life and share this episode with a friend
Why you should send out a newsletter no matter how big your store & 6 things you can put in it
Do you think your store is too small for a newsletter? Have you contemplated putting one together, then thought “I don’t have anything to say”, “nothing exciting is happening in my little business”? If so, today’s episode is just for you. The first tip is to have a reason to sign up, and this should NEVER be to save 10% on your first order. Give your peeps something they want. Solve a problem for them. If you give them something they can use, whether it’s a free tutorial, a product FAQ or a how to video, you'll condition them to choose on knowledge rather than price, and that can only be a good thing.
These people have signed up because they want what you have to offer and you need to be respectful of that, you need to make a commitment to serve them up something on a regular basis, whether that’s weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly. [Tweet "Having a customer database and sending out a newsletter is a low cost way of engaging with your customer"] So, what are some things you can feature in your newsletter, particularly if you are extremely seasonal.
Use some online software to make a free quiz up. I recently put one together called “what kind of shopkeeper should you be”. It doesn’t take long, and by being business savvy, you can create an opportunity to sell at the end. Once the customer has gone through the process, highlight a product or service that would be a benefit for them.
You can do video, audio or just written interview, blog style. Interview suppliers, designers, trendsetter and even customers. People love being nosy, so give them some goss!
If you don’t provide a service, create a case study in the form of a long-form product review. Get customers onboard with this by providing brand-suppled samples for customers to review.
Recipes appeal to everyone. Even if you don’t sell food based products, work out what draws your customer to you, and use that to tailor a recipe for them. Maybe your customers are busy working mums, so you could curate 3 easy weeknight meals you can get on the table in 20 minutes. Or maybe your customers are foodies, in which case you might do a 3 course menu for Winter. This can also present opportunities to sell product, especially if you sell homewares!
Create a pictorial or video journey of what a day in your store looks like. Whilst it may seem boring to you, you’d be amazed at how much customers love to see this stuff And as an added bonus, here are two tips that you should include in every newsletter. Make it shareable, and ask your customers to share with their friends. And have a goal. This means including a call to action, such as share this with your friends, or buy this fabulous thing, or download the free ebook. This week, I’ve created a list of 12 things you can include in your newsletter, even if you think your store isn’t big enough to send one.
If you’d like the 12 things you can put in your newsletter, even if you don’t think you are big enough cheat sheet, head on over to salenaknight.com where you can download it for free. Whilst you’re there, take a look around at a host of other free retail strategies that you can easily implement in your retail business. And if you’ve got a burning retail question you’d like me to answer, click on the black rectangle on the right hand side of the website, where it says “ask me a retail biz question” and you can record your own question, which may just end up being featured on bringing business to retail tv. Feeling like you need to learn, grow and be inspired? Subscribe to the bringing business to retail podcast where each week, I interview industry and through leaders, for their take, on business and life. And taking a leaf out of my own tv show, please share this episode or any of my episodes, with your friends, because your sharing is what makes me able to bring these strategies to you, every week.
Until next week Be profitable
When it comes to advertising, does your hand subconsciously grab your purse, and your mind conjure up big invoices and a not knowing where or what you should try first? Well, today, I’ll let you in on a little secret - This simple place you probably haven’t thought of advertising, that won’t cost you any money. If you’ve managed to overcome the hard part, the getting people into your bricks and mortar or even your online store, then there’s a good chance the person is already a potential purchaser. [Tweet "So how much advertising once they arrived, do you actually do? "]
What you need to be doing, is telling the customer how your store, your service and the products you stock, can benefit them. What problems are you solving, and how should they feel, when they walk out the door with their new purchases. Here are 5 places you probably haven't thought of, or aren’t using effectively, to advertise in your own store. 1. Your shop windows. Seems obvious, but are you truly using them to their full potential? In addition to an eye catching display, that takes your customers on a journey, or tells them a story, do you have your opening hours, your website address, your contact details and the places you hang out on social media, all listed for potential customers to see. Don’t underestimate how many people look at your store, just waiting for the right moment to come in. 2. On your shop counter or cash wrap. If they’ve made it this far, they’re probably already purchasing. What extra benefit can you add on for them. Gift wrapping, a small upsell or home delivery, are just a few things that immediately pop to mind. Present your offer beautifully, so it fits in with the theme of your store. 3. Hang it from the roof. The roof is so often under-utilised, but after your shop floor, it’s the biggest amount of space that you have. Use your real estate wisely and make the roof space work for you. 4. In the change room. Big stores do it, so why aren’t you? Pop a nice frame inside the change room and use it to advertise on. One great option I once saw, was an extra mirror, that had an offer written on it in chalk pen. Simple and effective 5. On you receipt Whether you hand over a paper receipt, or you email it to a customer, people will glance at their recipes to make sure the total is correct. Utilise your point of sale system to customers the message that the customer sees. hint: this is a great way to advertise in-store events
You can grab the download over at salenaknight.com, along with a host of other free, actionable, retail biz strategies. Over the past couple of months, I’ve had some very moving emails from watchers of the bringing business to retail tv show. They’ve ranged from “thank so much for putting this out there”, through to, “I can’t believe how much my sales have increased just from putting a few of the things you’ve recommended”. If you love these strategies, the biggest thank you you can give me, is to tell a friend about them. It’s my goal to help 100 million retailers from all over the world, and your spreading the word is music to my ears. And of course, I love those emails. They make my heart sing. I answer every single one of them that I get. If you’ve got a burning retail question you’d like me to answer, click on the black rectangle on the right hand side of the website, where it says “ask me a retail biz question” and you can record your own question, which may just end up being featured on bringing business to retail tv. Feeling like you need to learn, grow and be inspired? Subscribe to the bringing business to retail podcast where each week, I interview industry and thought leaders, for their take, on business and life.
Until next week Be profitable
Today, I want to talk about one of the biggest trends that I think, will hit in 2016. They’re already starting to creep out in all forms of retail, from shoes to shavers, from toilet paper to believe it or not, tampons.
They come in all colours, shapes in sizes, but they have one thing in common. They get delivered to your door [Tweet "Around the world, the squeals of delight can be heard when the mailman arrives."]
Just what is inside the box? That moment when your heart get a tiny flutter you grab the scissors and carefully cut open the tape that seal all the good ness inside. Carefully, you peel back the layers to reveal… Its that anticipation, the thought of giving yourself a regular gift, the wondering what’s inside, that has people signing up to subscription boxes as quick as they can enter their credit card details. I have one friend that gets a giant box of eco friendly toilet paper delivered monthly to her house of 6. Another recently signed up for monthly doggy treats to be delivered for her fido. So I asked the toilet paper lady, why on earth? Why would you want 40 double length rolls of toilet paper delivered. She told me that it was practical. With a family that big, she was always dashing off to the shops when they unexpectedly ran out. It was eco-friendly, made with 100% recycled paper fibres, bamboo or sugarcane, it was chemical, dye and scent free, 50% of the profits were going to help WaterAid build toilets for people in need, and of course the novelty of having toilet paper that came beautifully wrapped. As an added bonus, each month you can easily let them know how much you have left, and they adjust your order.
They key to making a box subscription work for your store, is to find a problem, whether that’s a want or a need and fix it. Preferably, make it look pretty in the process. And just because it’s been done by someone else, don’t let that stop you. I was reading the story about wetshave club, a subscription service of razors for men. Now, there’s already a big player in that market, but this guy bought an existing website for just $4000. He joined forces with another guy and spent 2 months completely retooling the business. They followed this up with 3 months of marketing, and in just a few month, were on target to turn over $100K in revenue. Now I don’t usually condone these “I did this and earn six figures in 6 months” kind of posts, but I in this case, I want to show you that even though there was already a big player in the market, these guys managed to secure their niche and start earning money. There’s a good chance that you already have a store, or a website, so it’s up to you to work out just what subscription box would work for your store. This week, I’ve created The six steps to creating your own subscription box service which you can download at salenaknight.com. Whilst you’re there, if you have a retail biz question you’d like answered on bringing Business To Retail tv, simply click the Ask Me A Retail Biz Question Box on the left hand side of the screen. If you’d love to dig deeper into business, check out the bringing business to retail podcast, where each week, I interview industry and thought leaders for their take on business and life.
Until next week, Be profitable
As a small business retailer, one of the key differentiators that you have is the relationships that you build with your customers. And, a lot of this hinges on how your business is perceived Being on the shop floor, or having regular staff, allows your customer to build trust.
The psychology behind building successful, ongoing relationships with your customers, is based on three foundations. Know. Like And Trust. It’s like dating. Firstly, your customer needs to get to know you. You can do this through social media, through your shop windows, through marketing and advertising. It could be as simple as them walking past your store each day. Once they know who you are, they want to like you. They want to know that you signify the person they want to be perceived as. When they purchase something from you, it says something ABOUT them to the rest of society. Then comes trust. This is the big factor that can often be the difference between buying and not, or having a relationship, and not. Here are four ways that you can get started, to build trust and create a professional impression Start with how you communicate. Do you use a gmail address? If so, what does that tell the customer about you. They may be wondering if you really own that brand, or is the email actually FROM that brand? Have they been scammed? Your business email should you’re your domain name after the @ sign. Eg sales@yourbusiness. So if you receive an email me, it comes from email@example.com. Next, look at how your staff are presented. Do you offer them a uniform? Do they have to dress in specific colours? A simple way to unify staff is to have branded aprons. This creates a sense of security and authority for customers, knowing they’ve picked the right person to ask for help. It also keeps your team accountable. When you’re wearing the company outfit, you have to behave in a certain way, right? Speaking of dressing, the third way is about you. Whilst the world shouldn’t revolve around how we dress, make sure you think about what you wear and how you act, when you’re at casual events. You never know who a potential customer is, so when you’re in social situations, remember that you are the face of your business. And my fourth tip is to be consistent and accountable. Whether we’re talking dispatch times, alerting a customer that their special order has arrived, or simply returning a phone call, ensuring that you are consistent in your communications is key. You know who it feels when a company says they’ll call you back and they don’t. It’s frustrating and makes you less likely to shop there in the future. Put a process in place where staff have to record customer callbacks or updates. By appearing more professional to your customer, but still delivering that amazing customer service and our passion for products, you may find that these few little tweaks bring massive rewards to your bottom line.
Until next week Be profitable