Strategies for Small Business
The small trade is in a delicate situation due to the pressure of large supermarkets, e-commerce and the impact of the crisis. In this article we propose 10 future strategies for survival based on new technologies, quality of service, loyalty, innovation and business cooperation.
If the small business already had a complicated future due to strong pressure from large supermarkets and shopping centers as well as the growing threat of electronic commerce, the crisis has hit this sector hard, with a consequent impact on both sales and In employment.
The statistics of consumption in the small trade of the INE so testify, with successive years of continuous drops until finally in 2015 and 2016 seems to have begun a slight recovery in retail sales that we expect to continue in 2017.
We have included in this article 12 strategic recommendations for Performance Management Melbourne on the opportunities offered by the digital transformation and in the good practices of large stores, malls and numerous small shops that have already been able to adapt. It is necessary to innovate in the retail sector to subsist and / or grow, it is not worth with continuing to do things as always, each autonomous and each SME according to its characteristics should assess which of these recommendations are the most appropriate for your business and reflect on How to adapt them.
1. Good online presence
You have to be where your customers are, so it is indispensable to have at least an attractive , simple web with a current and responsive design, allowing the web to be displayed automatically on all types of devices (mobile, tablets, Computers). The web of a trade is the base to be able to use the new techniques of online marketing and to get the commonality of your business (integration of offline channel, that is to say, the physical store with the various online channels).
Then you have to accompany it with presence in at least one or two social networks (Facebook and Instagram are the ones that are currently having more relevance in the commerce sector, twitter an alternative) and the registration in Google My Business , which will allow you to appear in The map of google maps and the first Google search results, indicating your business hours, your contact information, link to your website and including photographs of the establishment and collecting opinions from clients that reinforce your reputation online.
2. E-commerce for the specialist
A virtual store can be a good option to include in your website if your trade is specialized in some specific product and very well positioned in its market segment. This would allow you to reach customers from other neighborhoods, cities and countries and also strengthen the relationship with your current customers, who will offer a better service. In addition there are now quite affordable solutions. Do not forget that e-commerce is still starting, try to imagine how far you can go in 5 or 10 years. And do not forget that the competition can be very hard and that to achieve position in Google may be necessary a considerable investment in marketing.
3. Online Marketing for Trade
Parallel to the creation of your website and your online store you will need to boost the online marketing actions that will allow you to achieve the necessary authority and authority to get traffic first and conversions in sales later. You should combine actions of SEO positioning, SEM positioning (Google Adwords and FB Ads in particular), social media, inbound marketing, emailing. The creation of content and especially of videos must play an important role in this strategy. Boosting your reputation by gathering positive feedback from your clients or collaborating with influencers are other avenues to consider.
4. Loyalty to your customer
To traditional systems (personalized treatment, payment facilities) you can add some new features offered by new technologies and online marketing techniques at affordable prices for any merchant: dissemination of content and offers through social networks and emailing campaigns through newsletters and Newsletters online. Or loyalty cards and points for purchases, in the style of gas stations and certain specialized department stores. Without forgetting the possibilities offered by sms messages. Whats App today still can not be used for commercial campaigns.
As for the online discount coupons offered in the mobile phone, although its use has not yet become widespread, its integration with the mobile phone geo-referencing systems is a reality and continues to present great growth potential in the coming years.
5. Modernize your management systems
As a first step you need to manage your business with software POS terminal ( POS ) that allows you to provide a flexible system customer while optimizing inventory management and control orders and margins and prices. But the next step, especially if you venture into an e-commerce store or have various facilities, may be to implement advanced management software (ERP).
6. Uses hook prices
Compete with the same weapons of the big surfaces, a few products at very attractive prices to attract the customers. We are in a time of crisis, so people pay more attention to price and as it seems that the recovery is going for long you must try to adapt. Being a local trade is not enough for the customer to assume certain prices.
7. Offers a plus of entertainment
Due to the influence of large supermarkets and shopping centers, for many people to go shopping has become an experience that combines consumption with leisure. Consider therefore the possibility of introducing some element of entertainment such as contests, product tastings, coffee gatherings or sweepstakes. And if children get involved, the better.
8. Excellence in customer service
Undoubtedly, one of the main competitive advantages of small business since people appreciate the closeness and good advice. So, make the most of yourself to win the esteem of your customers for your attentive, personalized and professional approach. Do you really do it right? If you have never been trained in this respect, we recommend that you take a small specialized course, it will help you to reflect on the way you work and adapt to new trends.
9. Quality of service
It hurts to recognize it but sometimes you have to start with the basics, the cleaning and the decoration, it may suffice with a hand of paint and a few details to modernize the image of the establishment. It analyzes all those aspects that seem to be secondary, influence the buying experience, such as home delivery. Have you considered the possibility of offering this or other complementary services even if you are charging for them? And do not forget to optimize the distribution of products in your store and your windows using the latest visual merchandising techniques.
10. Specialization and Innovation in product and service
Not everything is invented, it is about introducing some nuance, some improvement or novelty differentiation. Have you ever wondered if you can make the product you buy from someone else? Or if you can at least change suppliers to access new products in your market, more competitive or give you a more attractive margin? Consider also the possibility of specializing in some type of product or customer profile.
11. The union makes the force
There are various possibilities for business cooperation depending on the business profile, from actively participating in the association of merchants and / or the open mall in your area, to become franchise to have the support of a group franchiser or even associate or promote Buying groups with other merchants in your same situation. And as a last resort you must value the possibility of moving to a center or shopping street next to a large area, if you can not more than them, join them.
12. Big Data applied to small business
The big banks have launched in the last year business intelligence solutions like Commerce 360 that based on the information collected from customers who pay by card, provide you with information of great utility for your market study and marketing decision making: profiles And customer segments based on their buying behavior, average prices of the competition in the area and comparative with yours. A type of tool that implies a qualitative leap in the information that the small businesses handle. For More Information Click Here.