Topic: Retail Sales

25 Ways Independent Retailers Hobble Their Own Success

By Bob Phibbs

independent retailersIndependent retailers are the heart and soul of shopping in America. The National Retail Federation says retail is responsible for one out of nearly every four jobs in the US.

From the local florist to the hardware store to the funky boutique started by a Project Runway wannabe, shopping remains the heart of the American economy.

Anyone is welcome to open a shop if they have the money.

But what keeps so many independent business owners unable to pay themselves a decent wage can be traced back to one or more of these crucial issues.

See how many you recognize...

25 Ways Independent Retailers Hobble Their Own Success

  • Choice of location by price over traffic counts and storefront visibility.
  • Choice of location without thought to ingress and egress (how customers get in and out of a center).
  • Owners untrained in the basics of financials.
  • No knowledge of who your target customer will be.
  • No idea how to market.
  • A Field of Dreams belief that people will just "show up" once you open.
  • Unwillingness to charge enough due to poor self-image.
  • Being open when you want to be, not when customers want to shop.
  • Owners who spend too much of their time out of their stores persuing other interests.
  • Avoidance of the uneasy conversation, "You're not cutting it, you're fired."
  • Owners who have no plan when buying merchandise.
  • Store shelves are filled with merchandise that didn't sell.
  • Merchandise is visible but not properly displayed.
  • Outdated or minimal POS systems cripple your information capabilities.
  • Store website is unimaginative, too busy or built on a template.
  • Use of social media is either non-existant or poorly executed.
  • You don't take American Express.
  • You don't delegate tasks.
  • You identify with your business so much, you don’t objectively see what needs to be changed.
  • Displays are poorly lit.
  • You have so few employees, customers can easily use your store to browse but then buy from Amazon.
  • You don’t train your employees to sell your merchandise.
  • Discounts are thought to be the only way to attract new customers.
  • You hire people who will work a shift, not who will build the business.
  • You pay your employees too little which results in higher turnover.

These are by no means all the ways small business owners shoot themselves in the foot , but they are the most significant reason many decry having a store - especially in this crowded marketplace and lurching economy.

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The 5 Shifts Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Are Making to Generate Up to 20% Higher Profits Every Month

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