| PET GAZETTE RETAIL ADVICE
SEVEN WAYS TO
Nicola Ravensford discusses how to use these tools to get more from your business
Loss reduction – every business should assess the waste the business
produces and should look to actively reduce the figure. Loss could be
stock-related such as out of date items, damages, returns. There may
be errors in bookkeeping, incorrectly priced products preventing sales
or affecting margin. Staff turnover should be considered here. A high
turnover is a loss of training expense and potential at the very least.
Working to retain your staff should be as important as retaining your
stock or contacts database.
Consumer engagement – have you increased your social media
following? Do you have more traffic through your website?. Have you
analysed the browsing patterns on your shop or in your shop. What is a
client’s perception of your service, stock or store?
s we approach our busiest time of year in the pet
care sector, we need to give thought to our successes
over the past 12 months and how to quantify them. If
you have been rushed off your feet with the general
running of your enterprise, or lost a little mojo in recent
months; this exercise can help.
Regardless of when your business start of year is, January naturally
sparks renewal, declutter, reappraisal and new strategy in business.
Stopping to spend an afternoon to look at your success and plan your
next 12 months will really help 2019 be the best year yet.
This is an overview of how I assess small and large business alike.
Simply scale up or down based on your business size. You can use this
for individual establishments all the way up to the grouping of your full
company. By looking at a good all round view of our company we can
see the impact that improvements in any of the categories can have.
Turnover – This is an easy place to start. After all we are usually in
business to sell and measure our success accordingly. Number
crunching time. Look at your like-for-like sales, number of dogs boarded,
number of collars sold. It doesn’t matter as long as you track it and set
yourself goals for yourself then you have something to aim for that will
naturally grow your business.
Profit – Having a plan to increase your profit is a must. Let’s face it. You
can increase your profit by many ways but effective long term growth
takes planning and effort in all of these areas. Reducing loss and costs.
Increasing prices, selling more, expansion, or maybe better conversion.
By working through all of these categories you will start to see how you
can increase this month on month, year on year.
Brand awareness – You’ll have heard marketing gurus talk about this
subject. Is your brand well recognised? Do you need a refresh? Are you
getting your company touch points out there and in the right places to
drive sales or bookings? How can you persuade potential customers to
not only see your brand, but want to interact with it as well?
Reputation – Do you track complaints that come into your team? One of
the best examples I saw of this is with a Danish aquatic plant company
called Tropica. They have a board on the wall of their office which a
complaint is put in and is then moved from category to category until,
not only has it been resolved for the customer, it has been resolved so
it cannot reoccur in the business. The board took pride of place in the
office, so everybody could see the current issues the company faced
regarding its sales, service and deliveries and all could contribute to
making permanent improvements. Do you track compliments? Do you
celebrate your successes and what you and your team are brilliant at?
Do you regularly check?
Your team – How has your team grown over the past 12 months? By
grown I mean they should be much more beneficial to your company
than this time last year. Have they increased their efficiency, productivity
or skill set? Are they engaged with your brand and their coworkers?
Have individuals been given support to increase their training and take
on a larger role? A happy productive worker will be a great ambassador
for your brand and your customers. Remember with every team member
loss, it costs you a lot to recruit and train. Quite often it is the people that
cause someone to leave the business and not the business itself.
Happy trading and wishing you a very merry and profitable
Nicola is the founder of Ravensford Consultancy
– Providers of holistic business support for
pet people. For anyone wishing to gain some
outside insight, a fresh pair of eyes if you will,
I am always happy to help.