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3 tips for retail newbies

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Starting your own business is equal parts exciting and challenging. But when 90% of new businesses are destined to fail, what can you do to make sure yours gets off to a good start?

From hiring the right employees, to having an online presence and investing in technology, read our tips on how to set yourself up for long term success.

1. Hire the right people

Your employees are at the heart of your business and can make or break the customer experience. If new customers get turned off by your employees, they may never return and you might not realize why.

  • Determine your values: Think about the values you want for your business and hire people who share those same values.
  • Offer training: Empower your team and go beyond basic sales training to increase store execution. Train your staff on how to deliver exceptional customer service and how to adapt their approach with different customers.
  • Reward high performers: When you find good employees, you want to hang on to them! Determine the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that matter most for your business and reward your staff accordingly. 65% of employees actually prefer non-cash incentives, so get creative.

2. Have a strong online presence

Brick-and-mortar businesses aren’t going anywhere, but retailers today need a strong online presence to survive. Make it easy for shoppers to find key information like your store hours, and discover your products.

  • Google: List your contact information, store hours, and website on Google. If a local customer searches your store name and nothing comes up (or nothing of interest), they won’t be paying you a visit.
  • Facebook: With over 2 billion users, using Facebook for your business is a no-brainer. Fill in the About section, and get inspired on the many ways to use the platform, from marketing to customer support.
  • Instagram: 60% of its users discover new products on the platform, making Instagram a key platform for small businesses. Take advantage of Instagram’s free tools and guides to attract new customers and build your brand.
  • eCommerce: 65% of shoppers research products online before visiting a store, making eCommerce a big driver of in-store traffic. Plus, consumers who shop on multiple sales channels are worth 30% more to your business. Start with your best sellers and build out your online product offering from there, at your own pace.

3. Invest in a point of sale (POS)

It’s 2018 — run your business with technology! The right POS system should help you manage your day-to-day operations, as well as help you measure your results so you can move forward and grow. Things to look for in a POS system:

  • Accessibility: Look for a cloud-based system so you can check your daily sales from your home computer, or on the road from your smartphone.
  • Strong inventory management: Poorly organized inventory is the number one driver of lost revenue, which results in a major drain of your time and energy. Find a POS that’s known for its strong inventory management.
  • eCommerce connection: All your inventory, customers, and reports should be completely synced in-store and online, from the same system. Look for a POS company that offers an integrated eCommerce solution.
  • Great support: When you need help, you want to speak to a human — and fast. Look for a company with free, unlimited support from real people who get your business.

If you’re equipped with a killer sales team that values your customers, a strong online presence, and a POS system to help you both manage and grow your business, you’ll be well positioned to succeed long term.

Author: Heather Hamilton

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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