A few years ago, a local retail business we knew well closed, and the owner walked away. They said they could not handle the changes going on around them.
The thing is, the changes had been happening, slowly, for years.
The biggest challenge faced by the retailers is faced by many in local small business retail: how to nurture relevance for your shop in a constantly changing world.
It takes guts to embrace and chase change. The sooner you engage with this the better. This is what we say chase change, because that is what we need to do – go find change rather than waiting for it to come to you. Advice on change and help with it will most likely come from new sources, sources not rooted in your past.
The more you reach outside your usual lane for insights and encouragement the more likely you are to find fresh ideas. the alternatives are to do nothing or complain and do nothing.
Complaining is not a management activity.
Here is some practical advice for any retailer feeling overwhelmed by challenges and, maybe, contemplating closing.
- Dig deep into your business data and look for green shoots of good news onto which you can attach growth. It will be there, for sure.
- Stop doing what you have been doing, unless you want the results you have been getting.
- Rely on retailers for advice as they know more about retail than accountants.
- Find products that will generate net new traffic in your location.
- Refuse to be restricted by the shingle under which you trade
- Change, change and change your business.
- Listen to your shop floor team members. They often have the best advice.
Change is challenging. It is also essential. Too often we see local small business retailers resist change out of fear, ignorance or an expectation that things will naturally improve. The reality of retail today is that change is everywhere, including where we cannot see. And, this is what makes it difficult for us in that if we can’t see something we may not worry about it.
One of our jobs in our POS software company is to encourage local small business retailers to be the best they can be. Through good use of our software we can do this. But, it starts with desuire, desire for change and the benefits that flow from change.