Retail business is a very exciting and profitable business to do and just like all of life’s successes, success in retail business is a also journey. To succeed in retail, you must engage those success principles that will ensure that you make more sales, control your inventory, expenditures & losses and set you up for further expansion!
In a previous post, we did mention that all businesses have their peculiar requirements, risks and returns necessary to succeed. According to Strive Masiyiwa (Strive is one of Africa’s greatest investors, Great son of Africa and my Mentor), three Ps (factors) are required for any business to succeed: People, Products and Processes! I want to add Personality (of the Owner/Entrepreneur) as my fourth P
- People: People refer to your employees, partners, suppliers and customers. Employees are those working for you e.g. your Sales Assistants; partners may be your co-investors, financial institutions and stakeholders; suppliers refer to your trade creditors or those who supply you those goods you will be selling and of course, your customers refer to those who will buy from you, from your shop, supermarket or mall.
You need all these people in your journey towards success in retail business. Someone once said, “It is not people you need to succeed, it is the Right People you need”! How true! Your people must, to a large extent, share your vision, understand your organization’s culture and ethics must be adequately motivated by you for this trust relationship to flourish.
Customers’ and partners’ demands must be met and they must be treated right also, suppliers must be paid their debts on time based on agreed-upon terms and, your employees must be adequately trained and motivated using both cash and non-cash motivation strategies.
- Products: Products refer to what you sell. Since we are looking at the retail business sector, obviously you will sell many different ranges and categories of products depending on your size and investment strategy. For example, you may decide to sell few quantities of many different products or large quantities of few different products.Your products must be of good quality and fit for the purpose for which it was bought. Also, your price must be “right”! In retail trading, the “right price” is that price that must be within the price range of your competitors and yet allow you some reasonable profit margin to cover your costs!
- Processes: According to Jack Welch “There is no secret to the What; the secret is the How. They can know our model but they cannot do it. They can’t copy our how’s”. Your processes are your Hows. They are the ways transactions are carried out between departments and external entities in your organization. For example, how do you procure your products? What happens when the products have come in? Do the products move from the delivery truck straight to the shelves or do they go to the warehouse for confirmation, coding, price tagging before putting them on the shelves for selling? What technology solutions are you using? How do you capture stock/inventory in your systems and how do you transfer inventory between your warehouse and shop floor? These and many others must be addressed. Strong and effective business processes are where strong and effective controls begin! Once your control is strong in retail, your business will succeed!
- Personality (of the Owner): As an entrepreneur and business owner, you are the catalyst, the one to mix and match all the three resources above to give you the profit and growth you desire. You must provide the required leadership or recruit a competent or team who can provide quality leadership. This person or team must always report to you to give you a firm grasp and understanding of the goings on in your businesses. In her book, How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything, Cheri Huber is clear about this; a strong, visionary, energetic and focused person produces his kind around him and vice versa and John Maxwell states, “everything rises and falls with leadership”. Your personality, as the business owner must provide the necessary leadership to enable your organization achieve set goals! You must generate those interpersonal interactions that will carry your initiatives throughout your organization; you must not only understand the energy and willpower it takes to start a business, but also the things that affect the space between you and your team!
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Steeple Global Services is a business consulting firm based in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Southern Nigeria. We help to bring your business idea into reality, set up your new business for you and/or help to turn around your ailing or struggling business(s) into profit making ventures. We help businesses grow!!!