Monday, 20 January 2014

THE 5 STEPS FOR GROWTH FOR THE SMALL RETAILER

5 STEPS FOR GROWTH

I am bottle store owner and I do not blog for a living. I blog for fun and I would like to share my experience with the world. I believe I am qualified to write on business since I have ran a lodge, three bottles stores and a home based business consultancy. I have closed the lodge and two of the bottle stores but I still do business consultancy for a living.

You and I have seen that little shop by the roadside as you passed. You will remember it from the time you were a child. It may be operating as a family business and it never grew but it has never closed either. It remains that small shop and it will never grow. I have always wondered why small business remain small and when I opened my first bottle store, I set out to live this challenge and come out with some solutions for growth.

This has been the challenge for both the rural and urban retailer. This challenge can be overcome by adopting simple and tried strategies that the big retailers use. This is what I did to increase my bottle stores from one to three (and I might also tell you how I was forced to decrease them to one in my next blogs). Here are the five solutions to growth and they are not in an order.

Increase your customer base

I know when we talk of growth in retail we visualize chains of supermarkets and lots of customers passing through the point of sales, now if I have one bottle store with ten crates and say 200 cigarettes it would be crazy to open a second branch as I will not have enough capital and stock.

The short term solution will be to increase our customer base. Customer bases are hard to increase but this can be increased by making your business visible through improved customer relationship management. There is nothing that beat good old advertising, sales promotions and word of mouth as ways to increase your customer base. Customers can won and reached through the social media channels such as Facebook It is a must that the customer base be increased, twitter, Google and other emerging social media forms on the internet.

I have opened a Facebook page for my bottle store and the responds have been wonderful and you can follow me <http//www.facebook.com/edmore.mbuzanamlambo> or like my bottle store page. My customers for the bottle store can also read my view on my blog at <http//edmorembuzanamlambo.blogspot.com>. You can follow me on twitter @mbuzana1
The increase of the customer base will result in the increase in turnover and this will spur the growth of the business and create a basis for further solutions.

Sell more products

Once you have increased your customer base and turnover, the next step is to increase the lines of product you sell. This will  result in a further increase in both turnover and the customer base.

Develop new products and services

This is the climax of the growth solution as you will now be able to introduce new goods and services because you will by now have the muscle and capital to your established customer base. In my case I might put a pool table or Wi-Fi in the bottle store. This process is the most important as the business owner must read both the market and competition as he or she introduce the new product and services.

Increase price of your goods and services

At this point the business owner the especially if he is the only one at a locationembuzana@gmail.com, like our perennial rural store can afford to increase  the price of his product to grow his business as he has no other option, expect the last solution below.

Open a new branch

I have now come to a point where I now have adequate management skills and in some case, skilled and experienced staff. My customer base keeps the tills ringing and I have enough stocks and my cash flow is health and I making profit, well this is the time to get a second wife…. No it is the time to open a second branch silly!!

The secret of opening a second branch is to set it up using existing stocks and staff. This will ensure a smooth take off. This is the last step in the growth process and we can start the cycle to get to the next level and open a third branch.

I have used my personal experiences to come up with this guide and I would greatly appreciate feedback both positive and negative. I have put my social media contact to enable us to interact so happy hunting.

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