Here's Ewan, who's been with us for a week of work experience. A chance not to be missed, we've tried to make good use of him. He's worked across several departments; did a great job of looking interested during meetings; helped to manage our social media platforms; and listened to some great tips from a Head PGA Pro and experienced pro shop owner.
After all that, what will he be taking away with him? Here are Ewan's "3 E's to Retail Success".
Three E's to Retail Success
In today’s world of online retail, the small business can often be overlooked by potential buyers as a go-to for their golfing needs. However, many independent setups can still flourish in this environment through clever work behind the scenes, and giving the loyal customer that all important personal feel in hope of attracting them back for years to come. Here are 3 of my top tips to make sure you make the most of your business.
Both stocktaking, and shifting excess stock, are major parts of your business so you need to make sure you deal with them well. XPOS is a brilliant tool for managing stock, both speeding up the process of stocktaking as well as reducing the paperwork.
Crossover’s XAPP can turn your phone into a barcode scanner, or you can use one of the handy Bluetooth ones, making stocktaking a smooth and accurate process. Furthermore, other than cluttering up the backroom, excess stock can be a pain to deal with, holding up capital that could be invested elsewhere. You need to deal with it efficiently.
Firstly, you must know what your excess stock is, what’s unpopular, what doesn’t sell. Again, XPOS comes in useful. Use the unpopular product report to find out what needs to go. Only after you’ve identified the stock can you go about clearing it out.
Now, dealing with the excess stock requires thought and technique. Don’t just slash the prices. Try remerchandising, give the shop a new look. Replace worn price tags with fresh new ones. Coordinate items to make them look better. If that doesn’t work look at bundling items making it cheaper to buy both together than each separately. Put slow moving stock with a faster selling item. For example, “I see you’re buying a shirt, wold you like a jumper to go with that?”. You could even start selling items online. Try eBay if you really can’t shift your stock. And finally, if all else fails have a flash sale: don’t make it predictable, however, as customers will start waiting for sales, instead of buying at full price.
2. EFFECTIVE MERCHANDISING
I touched briefly upon merchandising earlier but had to come back to it as I just can’t stress its importance enough. Put your till at the back of the shop so people have to walk through all your stock to get to it. Try the same technique with things such as drinks machines and popular items again forcing people through the whole shop. Vary layout, keep complimentary colours and items together, use different display techniques. Try mannequins, different angles. If you’ve got space maybe an interesting display. Play around, see what works but don’t make it too perfect as custumers will be afraid to touch it therefore having an inverse affect.
3. EXPERT BUYING
Obviously when purchasing stock for a shop you want to buy it as cheap as possible. You can do this in a number of ways. The most straightforward is purchasing straight from the manufacturers. Fewer go-betweens mean the price is likely to be better and you usually get a discount if you buy in bulk. However, you mustn’t over face yourself. Don’t buy more than you can sell. Furthermore, globalisation means many products can be manufactured cheaply abroad, and although they may seem cheaper, make sure you take into account all potential costs such as shipping fees, don’t let yourself get ambushed by hidden costs.
One final piece of advice is to make sure you take into account all aspects of your supplier, not just price. Are they reliable? Sustainable? What is their customer service like? Remember, sometimes the cheapest option isn’t always the best.
In conclusion, pay attention to the details and make sure you change your look regularly. Don’t have sales for the sake of having sales and keep an eye on lingering stock. If you follow this advice, work hard and your business should be looking forward to a bright and fruitful future.
Sound advice! I think I may be out of a job...