3 Tips on Running a Successful Retail Business

Jasmine Williams
Guest Contributor

Sustainable cash flow and profitability are paramount to operating a successful retail enterprise, but long-term success is dependent on shoppers' perception of your brand, the satisfaction and productivity of your staff, your delivered shopper experience and more.

When you invest your time and energy in your retail business, you undeniably want it to be a success. While this can be directly linked to your store’s overall profitability, remember your long-term success also has to do with public image, how satisfied and happy your employees are, the customer experience and more.

Essentially, you must have considerable success in all areas of operation rather than only a healthy bottom line. Below are tips that may help you turn your retail business into a true, sustainable success.

Believe in What You Do

The concept of believing in what you do sounds simple enough, but you must lead your employees to also have this same mentality. In a successful business, you and your team members understand why you work so hard each day. This transcends simply selling an item and earning a profit.

The “why” of your business is closely related to your company’s mission statement. Go beyond just fulfilling your shoppers’ needs and wishes, and strive to have your retail business become the place that makes a difference, even a small one, in your shoppers’ lives. Focus on fostering positive interactions and genuine friendliness with your shoppers.

As much as gifts and discounts are appreciated, random acts of kindness might delight your shoppers to an even higher degree. So, when you see shoppers, for example, struggling with packing or carrying their purchases to their car – help them, even if that is “not part of your job.”

Try to remember your frequent shoppers’ names and give them compliments. They will also appreciate you following up after purchases or leaving handwritten thank-you notes inside packages. Moreover, with each useful article or a positive and kind comment on social media, you take one more step to being an important part of their lives.

In a successful retail business, you put your company’s good name behind your products and services, but the customer experience should always be at the heart of what you do. Understandably, if you’re not making profit, you cannot expect longevity. However, your priorities should be your end-user customers, results and how to deliver them.

Develop the Right Marketing Strategy

To run a successful retail store, you need to have successful marketing campaigns. This includes giving shoppers a reason to visit your brick-and-mortar location, through sales and promotions, special events, limited edition items only available in the store, and more. You may also draw in passersby with a stunning window display that is updated frequently and that is appealing to your shoppers.

Your marketing campaigns should constantly be refined, and keep a close eye on what your competition is doing. Moreover, your campaigns need to take into account an understanding of your target audience as well as the location where you do business. In addition, campaigns should integrate an online component that adds to the overall customer experience.

A smart marketing campaign achieves maximum exposure by placing your business in numerous locations where your customers are. So, your omnichannel retailing approach needs to include your website, social media marketing, in-town marketing and more.

Some retail businesses with a brick-and-mortar location fail to effectively use the Internet to improve the customer experience. Your website can and should entice online shoppers to stop by the store in person. This gives them the chance to see and touch products, to receive helpful assistance from your team and to enjoy the overall experience that your store provides to shoppers.

How do you know if your marketing campaigns are successful? Success is measured as much by analysis of your campaigns as it is by the work culture that you provide to your marketing team.

Digital marketing is a great remote work task. When you hire remotely, you will have access to a much larger pool of qualified talent. The right individual or team can help you to create a positive work culture while also building an exceptional brand. Remember that hiring a remote team is also more cost-effective in many cases.

Emphasize Employee Onboarding and Training

Employees are critical to the customer experience in all types of businesses, but they are vital to a retail business as they directly communicate with your shoppers and customers. Their demeanor, helpfulness and enthusiasm will develop each customer’s overall perception of your brand. They can also impact your bottom line through their sales techniques and strategies.

In a successful retail business, management properly trains employees by educating them about company culture and informing them about strategies to bring this culture to life when delivering the customer experience.

Everything from the greeting your employees deliver when they answer the phone or approach new customers in the store to their closing at the end of the sale impact the customer experience. Management must inspire and motivate employees, and this may come from training as well as rewards.

Proper hiring techniques are essential to bringing the right individuals onboard. Identify an individual’s past work experiences as well as personal interests. Focus on their attitude or demeanor. Regardless of how experienced they are, avoid hiring anyone with a negative mindset.

Remember that training needs to occur immediately after hiring a new team member, but ongoing training is essential for all employees. Your own management style also affects company culture and your employees’ attitude when serving customers. Be aware of your impact on your team.

To Wrap Up

After analyzing your business in each of these areas, you may have determined that your company has a positive culture and is very successful overall. However, there’s always room to improve in different areas.

Look for your company’s weaknesses and opportunities, and ask your team for suggestions. After identifying issues, look for strategies that can be used to further improve your company’s culture and the customer experience. Development and improvement is ongoing rather than something that is fully accomplished.

About the writer: Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88.

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