How to Develop a Retail Business Strategy

Written by John Stanley

As a successful retailer, you need to work ‘in’ your business to generate a return on your investment now and work ‘on’ your business to ensure that you generate a return on your investment inrepparttar future.

This means it is critical that you take time to stand back fromrepparttar 150124 business and objectively analyse it and develop a plan forrepparttar 150125 future.

1.Do a SWOT Analysis on Your Business

You need an analysis process that will work in your business. Most consultants will tell you that a SWOT analysis carried out at least once a year is critical to your businesses success. Dorepparttar 150126 SWOT analysis away fromrepparttar 150127 business so that you are not disturbed byrepparttar 150128 day to day business distractions.

Ideally, get your key team members to join you to carry outrepparttar 150129 analysis. A group of 5 or 6 in a team will develop more thought than one brain.

2.Identify Your Strengths

You need to clearly identifyrepparttar 150130 strengths of your business as your first objectives. As a group provide answers torepparttar 150131 following:

•What do we do really well?

•What sector of our retailing adds most torepparttar 150132 bottom line?

•What arerepparttar 150133 areas of our business where we outperform out competition?

•What parts of our retailing endorses how customers perceive us with positive recognition?

3.Identify Your Weaknesses

Do not start your ‘think tank’ with identifying your weaknesses. Start withrepparttar 150134 positive areas as this builds moral and confidence. But,repparttar 150135 key is to identify your weaknesses.

You need objective answers torepparttar 150136 following questions:-

•What areas of your business operation providerepparttar 150137 most frequent complaints?

•In what situation are we most vulnerable as a retail operation?

•What products or processes providerepparttar 150138 most problem?

•What products or processes bring inrepparttar 150139 lowest returns?

4.Analyse Your Opportunities

Once your decide on what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can than start planning your future direction. Again, start withrepparttar 150140 positive and look atrepparttar 150141 opportunities.

You will need objective answers torepparttar 150142 following questions:-

•What opportunities exist to improverepparttar 150143 internal running of your retail business?

•What arerepparttar 150144 current marketing opportunities that you should exploit?

•What changes are taking place that are external to your business, that will allow you to operate more effectively?

5.Analyserepparttar 150145 Treats to Your Business

The final part of your SWOT is to analyserepparttar 150146 threats to your business.

How To Maximise Your Customer Flow

Written by John Stanley

The objective of all retailers is to ensure 100% of customers see 100% of product. Sounds straightforward yet in recent research inrepparttar United Kingdom they found that 75% of customers only saw a maximum of 20% ofrepparttar 150123 product. Imagine how sales would improve ifrepparttar 150124 customer flow allowed 100% of customers to see 100% of product.

Your aim as a retailer is to direct your customers around your store, do not allow them to wander without clear direction, if you do, sales will drop off dramatically.

You must create a racetrack and not a runway. A racetrack goes aroundrepparttar 150125 store and exposes customers to all product departments.

A runway goes up and downrepparttar 150126 store and encourages people to speed up and walk faster.

1.Create a Store Layout that Reflects Your Image

Prior to developing your customer flow, you need to establish what image you are aiming to achieve as this will then assist you in deciding what style of layout you should develop.

My aim is not to make you a store designer, this is an area where you should seek expert advice, but you do need to appreciaterepparttar 150127 various styles of retailing.

There are two extreme styles of layout. The two extremes of style are:-

2.The Grid Layout

Supermarkets arerepparttar 150128 experts at this type of layout and this is a simple design to ensure 100% of customers see 100% of product.

3.Informal or Boutique Layout

This layout is common in smaller stores andrepparttar 150129 leading clothing fashion retailers are very skilled at getting consumers to flow around an informal layout

There are obviously stages in design layout between these two extremes, all of which work for different styles of retailing.

4.Position your Checkouts to Direct Customer Flow

The position of checkouts is critical in establishing how customers will flow around your store. When entering a storerepparttar 150130 general reaction is to walk away fromrepparttar 150131 checkout. Ifrepparttar 150132 position ofrepparttar 150133 checkout is wrong you may find you have hidden half your products from your customers.

As a general rule in Australia, New Zealand andrepparttar 150134 United Kingdom, we are accustomed to keeping torepparttar 150135 left. It is therefore advisable to try and establish a clockwise customer flow, finishing with a service counter onrepparttar 150136 right.

The worst scenario in many stores is to place a service counter inrepparttar 150137 prime sight line, this will create a runway torepparttar 150138 counter and reduce browse shopping considerably.

5.Bounce Customers Around Your Store

The aim is to getrepparttar 150139 customer aroundrepparttar 150140 whole store and thereforerepparttar 150141 placement of products or departments is critical.

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