The world is an uncertain place. At any moment and without any warning, something might come along and completely change your life for the better or for the worse. We try to predict the future, but despite what economists, psychics, and that one uncle who won’t stop forwarding you those weird chain emails say… we don’t really know what might happen five minutes from now, much less five years. All we do know is that it’s best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
How does that extend to your business? We can build emergency preparedness kits and plans for ourselves all day, but how can you disaster-proof your store? Check out these 5 tips on Everything-Proofing Your Business:
1. Always be Prepared
Contingency plans are wise to have. Contingency plans for your contingency plans are even wiser. What would you do if your income started drying up? Are there things you can cut from your inventory and your budget to keep afloat? What is carrying your business, and what would you do if that thing went away?
2. Find A Way to Cut Costs and Save Cash Now
This is pretty simple, but the best way to weather a recession is by keeping expenses low and savings high. Are there vendors that would give you a better deal? Do you need all of your employees to work full-time? Can you get rid of items that you don’t use much but still cost you upkeep, such as copiers or fax machines (which you can use at a Kinko’s or some other office-y postal-y place)?
3. Listen to your Customers
This can never be said enough, but pay attention to your customers. They want to keep shopping with you and they will tell you ways to improve your business, bring in new customers, and keep afloat. Consider scheduling meetings with some of your best customers to pick their brains.
4. Marketing is Everything
What’s the best way to get people into your store? Well, there are lots of ways. Top scientists have recently proven that the best way to get people interested in your store is to make them aware that it exists. You’ll never waste money on marketing, as it’s the best way to let people know how awesome you are.
It’s easy to talk about spending marketing money, but what if you’re reading this while in the midst of a worrying income-slump and there simply isn’t enough money for a solid ad campaign? First of all, hello, I’m sorry you’re having problems but you’ll be alright (and you look fabulous, by the way). You can do this on the cheap, by using guerilla marketing tactics such as giveaways, promotions, or social media ads.
5. Demonstrate your Value
Anyone can sell stuff, from kids with lemonade stands to your high school acquaintances with their handbag/energy drink/candle scheme on Facebook. Getting people to buy things is easy, because everyone needs stuff. Big box stores have the edge on you with their convenience and established brand awareness, but you have something that they don’t. Your service. When the going gets tough, the smart add value to their goods instead of cost. Can you offer services for your items? Can you hold workshops that teach people how to use your items? Customers who feel valued and taken care of will come back to you instead of seeking out your competitors. Best of all, they’ll tell their friends about it. Word of mouth is still the best advertising of all.
PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.