Running your own business can be a challenging process. Almost half of all businesses do not survive for more than 5 years. Running a retail business can be especially daunting due to stiff competition and ever-changing consumer preferences.
If you have a retail business, then it is advisable to plan on expanding and growing the business. There are several ways that you can explore for growing your retail business.
In this article, we’ll cover 7 time-proven methods for retail business expansion.
It is a good idea to periodically review your product line. Rather than selling the same products year after year, you can consider experimenting with other newer products. If you have an established brand, then choose products that complement that brand.
For example, if you run a store for children’s clothing, then you can add candy to your product line to attract kids to the store. If you sell alcohol, then consider also selling snacks as well as hangover cures to your clientele.
Essentially, you can add products that people coming to your store may be interested in apart from your core offerings. Remember that all the products that you sell should be consistent with your brand image so that customers do not get confused.
A great way to expand your retail business is to expand to new locations. If you have a store in South Delhi, then consider opening a new store in Noida or Gurgaon. This will help you to reach an entirely new clientele and it is more likely that your brand will grow through word of mouth.
Opening a new location can be an expensive affair. This is because not only do you need to pay for rent and staff, but you’ll also need capital to renovate the space to fit your brand. You can raise additional capital for the new store by opting for a shop loan.
With each new store that you open, the process will get simpler and less costly. This is because all your internal processes such as payroll management , inventory management, and customer service, will remain the same with each new store.
Retailers can expand by trying different channels to reach customers. If you’ve been selling exclusively through physical stores, then you may consider e-commerce. E-commerce allows you to reach a very large customer base, while the initial investment can be lower than that of opening a new physical store.
Many platforms allow you to build your own e-commerce websites. You can consider opting for them and construct your website in-house. However, the downside is that you will have to spend a considerable portion of your capital on marketing your website.
If you don’t want to make that upfront investment, you can consider selling through an established third-party store such as Flipkart or Amazon. Even though these platforms take a significant cut of your revenue, they provide several benefits such as an established customer base, high volumes, and a pan-India presence.
A great way to expand your presence and brand recognition in the market is to partner with other retailers. Numerous retailers carry products on behalf of other sellers. This can be a great avenue for you to enter a new market or try a new product line with minimal investment.
You should aim to partner with businesses that are already established in their area so that you can take advantage of their scale. Even though you will need to forego a portion of your revenue, it is worth it because your brand gets exposure and you don’t need to undertake the cost of opening an entirely new venue.
You can start small by asking other retailers to carry a few of your products, and then you can expand if demand picks up.
Nowadays, it is possible to automate many of the internal processes of a retail business. You can purchase inexpensive software so that you have more free time to focus on the big picture. Some of the tasks that can be automated include social media posts, customer relationship management, product and inventory reports, email marketing, and so on.
You don’t have to automate everything. You can start by focusing on one or two time-consuming tasks that you would rather not spend time on. Once you start using the latest technology, you will start realizing the benefits quickly. You can experiment with different services to check which ones suit your needs the most.
A lot of retailers still believe that “if you build it, they will come”, but this is not true in the modern economy. Customers need to hear about you a few times before they decide to visit your store. Since customers have so many options, you need to market yourself to stand out from the noise.
There are several ways in which a retail business can market itself such as through social media, email marketing, Facebook and Google ads, and so forth.
Marketing your business can be expensive, so you can opt for a shop loan to help you meet the expenditure until your marketing efforts start paying for themselves.
For customers, it’s all about the shopping experience. Customers prefer to visit businesses that provide good service and make them feel welcome and special. A retail business that wants to stand out from the crowd needs to pay special attention to the customer experience.
You can improve the overall experience of someone who enters your store by training your staff on how to behave and communicate. Further, you can help them create an outstanding experience from the moment a new customer walks into the store.
If you’re an online retailer, then you can consider improving your website performance, adding new features (such as a comparison table for products), and improving checkout times.
Expanding your retail business can be very exciting especially when you start seeing the results on your bottom line. Both physical stores and online stores can complement each other so that you can create a brand that’s a household name. If you’re worried about how to raise the capital, then consider opting for a shop loan or capital loan to help you get started. The sky is the limit.
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