Surviving in retail

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Keeping shop isn’t so simple anymore.

However, assuming you have a great offer of fair priced products with enough width and depth of range to keep customers happy, keep your eye on the future and follow a few golden rules: Know your target customer.

If you don’t understand your core customer, you will fly blind and are likely to fail. Map out your trade area so you know where they come from.

Every few years, analyse factual demographic data within your target trade area to get hard evidence on population, households, age, ethnicity and income expenditure levels over time. Plan for the change. Evaluate competition properly and constantly.

Most retailers think they are unique, but the majority are not. Your business must impact the competition enough to draw sales away from them to make yours more profitable. In some over saturated markets, competition is such a significant factor that it will make or break your business. Stay in touch with new technology.

These days, new developments to streamline the way businesses work are being introduced daily. Realistically estimate potential sales and expenses every day, week, month and importantly, season.

Use this budget to track against actual results. You may be surprised at how small losses of a few dollars a day add up into major problems for you.

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