21 Ideas to Help Your Retail Business Grow

retail business21 Ideas to Help Your Retail Business Grow 

I’ve given advice to owners and managers for more than 30 years. Follow all of it and watch your sales grow by 100%.

Here are my favorites:

  1. Greet your customers. You don’t have to harass them, but at least smile and say hello.
  1. Managers and owners should not be hiding out in the back of the store. Get to know your customers by talking to them.
  1. Train yourself and your employees to talk less and listen more.
  1. Get the best employees and pay them a dollar more (for example) than your competitors.
  1. Forget the word NO. Always be positive.
  1. Keep a list of your 10 best customers. Know who they are and what they like and dislike. Make sure your employees know who they are, too. Once you reach 10, expand the list to 20, 30, 40 and more.
  1. Remove your negative signs (like minimum purchase on a credit card $25, bathrooms for customers only, shoplifters will be prosecuted). Replace your negative signs with positive signs.
  1. Give 10% off gift cards (for example). Remember, 10% of gift cards never get cashed so it is a wash. However, do review your local gift card laws regarding who owns that money before spending that extra cash.
  1. Have a charity policy. Instead of saying no, offer an alternative. For example, have a local school day (or week). 10% of all sales for those entering your store with a flyer, postcard or other tracking device goes to the designated school (or charity). Or, give 10% to the buyer plus a 10% donation to the school (or charity).
  1. Keep your business clean and bright (especially the bathrooms).
  1. Keep a list of everyone entering your store and communicate with your customers (weekly, biweekly, or monthly) via postcard, email, text message, newsletter or all of the above.
  1. Place messages on your receipts to keep customers coming back. For example, 10% off on your next Mondaypurchase.
  1. Keep people coming to your website. Have an area on your home page showing new products and specials.
  1. Have a separate smart phone friendly website. Keep changing that front page to keep people coming back to your site.
  1. Always remember, your best customers are your current customers. If you want to spend more advertising dollars, communicate with your customers directly. Your dollars will go much further than spending money in random publications or advertising in local coupon publications or general publications.
  1. As the owner or manager of a business, you are a celebrity and, at the very least, somewhat famous. Your customers like meeting celebrities. So…make yourself more available.
  1. Involve your employees in inventory management. Give employees the responsibility to periodically match your computerized inventory listings to what is actually in your store.
  1. Half of your shrinkage comes from your staff or relatives. That’s rather negative, but those are the facts.
  1. Change or die. If you keep doing things the way you did it yesterday, you are going to go out of business.
  1. Go Large. When you offer coupons or have a sale, go large. If you offer a 5% off coupon, you are not going to know if it worked or not. Offer a 50% off coupon or a 75% off sale, you can tell by the crowds. Try some spot coupons good on a certain date only. When you try something new, do things that will drive traffic to your store.
  1. Read: Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive
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