As the weather gets cooler, it’s time to ensure your business is in great shape for fall. Just like keeping physically fit is key to personal health, it’s important to make your business fiscally fit. One of the best approaches to fiscal fitness is with lean retailing.
As part of my job, I work with small businesses seeking growth that are usually weighed down with daily tasks that can overwhelm and limit productivity. However, we found that with few minutes of focused attention every day, any business can become more fiscally fit. Here are five tips to help achieve fiscal fitness for your retail business this fall.
1. Find a Workout Buddy
Working out with a friend increases most peoples’ frequency of exercising and, similarly, finding the right connections can grow your business. Leverage local networking events to meet new customers, industry experts and other contacts who can help you with your business. Getting involved with local merchants groups like the Chamber of Commerce and community boards in your neighborhood can provide insider insight on new local laws, sales opportunities and more. Look to attend at least two networking events monthly to keep your contacts fresh.
2. Service Sprints
Gain an advantage over national chains and online-only retailers with service they can’t match, such as same day -- or even same hour delivery. For example, 111 Lex Liquors & Wine’s manager, Leo van Kiteishvili, says they win new and returning customers by delivering wine and spirits quickly -- usually within an hour. This is much faster than what Fresh Direct or online sites can promise, making this local retailer even more relevant to customers seeking an evening scotch or bottle of wine to pair with a food delivery.
3. Pump up Social
Today’s local customers are engaged in social networks and your business needs to be as well. Approach social connections like you would approach building muscle -- the best results coming from small bursts of activity in focused, consistent sets. Just as you’d identify the muscles to strengthen, you need to first locate the networks your customers use -- like Facebook. Pinterest, Twitter and Yelp. Engage with customers and other followers daily on these online platforms. Not only will this help achieve higher customer loyalty, but also attract new customers with common interests, who in turn will become your ambassadors, sharing their interests with their friends.
4. Stretch into Seasonal and Local Goods
Most businesses refresh menus and products every new season. By stretching your menu of products to include seasonal items, you can increase sales. Think about adding seasonal foods to the menu such as pumpkin muffins in fall or peppermint brownies during the holiday season. These trend-worthy items draw attention to your shop and lead to sales.
5. Marketing Marathons
Many people spend smarter in marketing by testing campaigns and seeing where your customers are responding. Be strategic by investing smaller amounts of the entire budget in new marketing channels to test response. These investments work better in the long run and you can optimize your marketing run to include what is best for your retail location.
Much like our merchant partners, delivery.com runs as a lean business and includes these fiscal fitness principles in our everyday activities. With just a few focused minutes a day, any business can run leaner and achieve fiscal fitness.
By Jed Kleckner, CEO, delivery.com
Jed leads delivery.com, which empowers the neighborhood economy by enabling customers to order online from all their favorite local stores. Jed is also a director of Cantor Ventures, the venture capital arm of Cantor Fitzgerald, which invests in and incubates marketplace focused businesses, including delivery.com.