5 Ideas to Help Make Your Retail Business a Success
Create the best year yet for your business with these five easy ideas from independent retail owners and industry experts.
Keep your Google profile & GMP updated. Make sure you've signed up for and updated your Google Business Profile listing — doing so allows you to appear in local searches, Google Maps and Google Map Pack (GMP).
“Once you verify your business and claim your Google My Business page, you have an online profile Google instantly recognizes as authentic, providing a baseline of credibility that's likely to boost profile visibility across Google local search results,” explains Adam Petrilli, CEO & founder of NetReputation.com, in a post for Entrepreneur.
Keeping your profile up to date with current photos, contact info, business description, and business hours. You'll also be able to manage online ratings and reviews across the platform.
“Being on a highly visible map and included in the list of businesses in the area enables mobile users searching for “businesses near me" to locate yours,” says AdQuick’s Chris Gadek in a SCORE blog.
It's essential to keep your Google Business Profile accurate and up to date, he adds. “GMP also allows customers to leave reviews, improving your local SEO and increasing your search engine results page (SERP).”
Expand your knowledge via a retail group or association. For example, the Retail Owners Institute (ROI) is an excellent educational resource for independent retailers, says Stephen Light, CEO of Nolah Technologies, a Texas-based mattress company.
The institute focuses on retail financial management and says it can help "any retailer, anywhere, to 'turn on your financial headlights.’"
"ROI has courses on every crucial aspect of keeping a retail business financially viable and tools and calculators that help retailers project and model,” Light says in the SCORE post.
Consider digital trade shows. Digital trade shows can be a great way for smaller retailers a way to garner the benefits of a traditional trade show with fewer expenses and less time away from their business.
"The cost of travel and accommodation when attending trade shows contributes to the overhead of your retail business,” says this post by the online wholesale marketplace Faire. “Instead, use the budget that’s typically earmarked for travel on stocking your shelves with the products your customers will love.”
Traveling to trade shows on a seasonal basis to stock up on merchandise can also be a hassle and takes you away from the important day-to-day operations of your business. “With virtual trade show platforms, all you need is an internet connection to do your buying,” notes Faire.
Use Shopify resources. “Technology has not only helped advance but has leveled the playing field for small businesses, and this is why Shopify has become one of the independent retailers’ best resources,” says Greg Gillman, chief revenue officer of MuteSix.
More than a platform to set up your online business, Shopify has other offerings that create the foundation for small business opportunities. “From its technical partners to assist in website design, system integration features, industry-specific content, or customer support, Shopify has created a wealth of resources to support retailers,” he says in the SCORE article.
Make sure to have a high-speed business internet plan you can count on to keep you up and running smoothly.
Keep up with retail industry news and trends. While it’s true that the majority of media news leans toward large retailers and may not reflect what you’re going through, it’s still important to get that broader macro view in addition to following small business news and trends.
Identify at least one business magazine, media site, or newsletter to read regularly to stay up to date on retailer news. You may find ideas that could help your small business.
Also, look for newsletters or sites that focus on your niche in the retail industry, i.e., restaurants, apparel, etc., with topics that most interest you, such as technology or e-commerce, or ones that offer insight from independent business owners or entrepreneurs most similar to you.
Let us know how implementing these strategies help your business succeed!