The economy is dynamic and constantly changing, sometimes faster than expected. Companies may be desperate to find talent one minute, and then there is a huge downturn, leading to mass layoffs. With recent inflation and labor challenges, this sector makes running a successful retail business that much harder.
Since the start of 2023, dozens of retail businesses have announced layoffs impacting hundreds and sometimes thousands of employees. According to a recent report, U.S.-based employers announced 77,770 job cuts in February, which represents a 410% increase year over year. 2023 is also seeing the highest year-to-date job cuts since 2009.
For business owners, the best way to tackle business risks is to be aware of the most prominent challenges and prepare a solid strategy to overcome them. To remain successful, retail businesses can learn lessons from these recent layoffs, including improving business efficiency and focusing on the customer experience. Safeguard can help business leaders navigate their companies through these challenges, allowing them to drive long-term business success.
What does it take to run a successful retail business?
Business owners looking to run a successful retail business should develop a strong marketing strategy, provide excellent customer service, and consistently improve business efficiency. A Safeguard Advisor has the solutions to help your business run and grow.
Lesson #1: Improve Business Efficiency
Business efficiency is a measure that can help a business determine how effectively it utilizes its resources. Peak efficiency is when a company can use the least amount of information to achieve maximum output. While inconsistencies, delays, and mistakes may easily burden an inefficient business, a more efficient company can eliminate waste, promote continuous improvement, increase profit, and provide better marketing and customer service.
Employee productivity is an essential component of business efficiency as it measures the amount of work an individual employee can produce in a specific period. Training and utilizing employees to the best of their abilities is an important strategy for increasing business efficiency for a retail business. Retail businesses should also focus on adjusting expenses, strengthening their pricing power, and eliminating unnecessary work to keep a competitive advantage.
Lesson #2: Focus on Customer Retention
A successful retail business can focus on sustainable success by engaging with customers, maintaining communication with them, and building relationships that keep them returning. By focusing on customer retention strategies, businesses may experience financial benefits and boost loyalty, see an increased ROI, and even bring in new customers.
3 best practices for customer retention include:
- Listening to Your Customers: Listening to your customer is about connecting and understanding. By paying close attention to customer needs, a business will know how to help customers achieve their goals.
- Personalizing the Customer Experience: Personalization, meeting a customer’s requirements, can increase customer satisfaction, drive loyalty, and boost repeat purchases.
- Focusing on the Customer:
- Make customer interactions meaningful.
- Help customers save time.
- Focus on what your customer wants to achieve using your product or service.
Lesson #3: Look for Affordable Marketing Options
While the inclination may be to cut back on marketing expenses, focusing on your marketing will keep your business in mind with customers and prospects. Instead, look for new, affordable ways to stay in front of customers to maintain your presence.
Now is the time to invest in a better web presence, search engine optimization, email newsletters, promotional items, and apparel.
Boost your visibility online and drive your business forward using these four techniques to promote your business right now:
- Search Engine Optimization: Create a website that answers your prospects’ questions and provides them with solutions to their problems. Choose relevant keywords, make sure your links are all working properly, and check for any incorrect or outdated information.
- Social Media: Social media channels provide a quick and easy way to interact with followers and answer customer questions. Businesses can use social media platforms to create awareness about their business, attract new customers, and increase website traffic.
- Directory Listings: Showing up accurately in directory listings places you higher in search engines and builds credibility for your company. Most of these directories are free, allowing local searchers to find businesses nearby.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing is a high-impact, low-cost way to build brand credibility and loyalty. Keep your products and services in mind with customers and prospects through email marketing.
Business leaders must focus on priorities, maximizing efficiency, focusing on customer retention, and creating a marketing plan that will allow them to keep building their brand and driving sales.
- To run a successful retail business, we can learn lessons from these recent layoffs, including improving business efficiency and focusing on the customer experience.
- Training and utilizing employees to the best of their abilities is an important strategy for increasing business efficiency for a retail business.
- Run a successful retail business by focusing on sustainable success by engaging with customers, maintaining communication, and building relationships.
- Boost your visibility online and drive your business forward through search engine optimization, social media, directory listings, and email marketing.
- Safeguard can help business leaders navigate their companies through these challenges, allowing them to drive long-term business success.