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Every small business wants to make each year better than the last, so here are some ways you can build from last year’s performance to keep upping the ante.
1. Upgrade outdated technology
Examine the technologies you have in your business and see if any of them could use an upgrade. If you find that your tools are outdated, take steps to ensure you have the latest version available. This could mean downloading the latest software update or purchasing new equipment.
2. Improving customer experience
Updating your programs isn’t about having the coolest and newest tools around. It’s about streamlining your operations and improving the customer experience. For example, if you’re still using physical loyalty cards, you may want to upgrade to a digital loyalty program, so your customers won’t have to carry around cards anymore.
3. Mobile experiences
Consumers aren’t big fans of loyalty cards that clutter up their wallets. Address this by implementing a loyalty program that’s built into your POS or can run on mobile devices. Is your website mobile-friendly? Are you implementing the latest data security measures? Evaluate your online selling efforts and see if you need to update anything.
4. Making inventory and payments easier
Using a pen and paper to track inventory? Upgrade to a modern inventory system that streamlines item counts, ordering and more. See to it that your payment processing equipment is compliant with the latest security standards. If you still have a clunky cash register, you should consider a cloud POS system that’s faster, sleeker, and more powerful. Most modern POS systems come with inventory, loyalty, and ecommerce features so you can run multiple aspects of your business from one place.
5. Give employees a pep talk
It’ll be challenging to achieve record-breaking success if you don’t have your employees backing you up, so set aside time to talk them through your vision for the year. Recognise the great things that people achieved and encourage them to do better. Why not offer rewards to your associates who bring the most delight to customers? You may also want to take suggestions and get everyone’s input on how to improve results.
6. Start a retail promotional calendar
Lack of planning and organisation is one of the top reasons why retail promotions fail. This year, prevent that from happening by arming yourself with a promotional calendar. Flip through your 2017 calendar and mark important holidays and shopping events. This will allow you to plan ahead and ensure that your promotions run smoothly.
7. Introduce additional sales channels
Get all your sales channels covered by ensuring that shoppers can buy from you no matter where they are or what device they’re using. For a lot of retailers, this could mean setting up ecommerce and mobile websites. Vend Ecommerce for instance allows brick-and-mortar retailers to easily set up shop on the web. Many small businesses are turning to sites like Instagram and Facebook to sell their merchandise.
8. Do your inventory
If you haven’t stayed on top of your inventory, schedule an inventory count soon and get your inventory levels updated. You may want to implement cycle counting, which is the process of partially counting items on a continuous basis. This helps you stay on top of your inventory without having to close your store or devote too much time counting your entire inventory.
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