The business media offers a never ending supply of “how to get rich quick” ideas that rarely pan out for people living in the real world, including those pursuing a retail startup. Investors launching retail operations face a competitive, full-contact world economy that eats newbies for breakfast on a daily basis.
In strip malls across America, empty storefronts with dirty windows displaying “out of business” signs indicate the depth of the problem — over 50% of all retail operations fail within the first four years according to Statistic Brain. There is always a silver lining.
A recent story in Entrepreneur magazine, “From Washing Cars to Running a Multi-Million Dollar Empire,” offers sound advice for nearly every retail startup.
Interestingly, the message comes from a family-owned auto dealership, but it has resonance in all verticals. Yes, it is that good, albeit incredibly simple.
Never say “I Can’t”
Writer Rob Elder, a second-generation owner of the dealership, says his mother instilled the idea that developing an “I can” attitude was a key to success. “She always reminded us that you cannot spell American without the letters ‘I can.’”
Conduct a SWOT Analysis
A longstanding tool used in business development, the SWOT diagram (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) is often overlooked in today’s high-tech environment. The irony is that a SWOT analysis can be generated using the most low-tech of means — one sheet of blank paper with two crisscrossed lines separating the four quadrants. The goal is to identify strengths, weaknesses and threats as the means of generating new opportunities.
Create New Products or Services
Elder discusses how his dealership adapted to changes in the marketplace by creating a strong web presence that promoted Fords equipped with popular connectivity systems such Ford Sync, Ford’s AppLink, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and FordPass.
All well and fine, but what about taking a chance on a niche that no one has tapped? One such business is located just a few miles from this computer. Treats for Chickens in Cotati, California has enjoyed enormous success since 2009 by selling healthy food, treats and supplements for chickens. Who would have known?
“We pride ourselves on the charity work we do to make a difference in the community. Every month, we choose a local charity to support,” wrote Elder. The dealership also participates in national efforts spearheaded by Ford and Allstate.
Community involvement can be as simple as taking an active role in the local chamber or Rotary Club, or launching an industry-related cause marketing program. For example, a restaurant could ask neighboring restaurants to save day-old bread that could be aggregated and delivered to a local homeless shelter, all under the name of the organizing restaurant.
While loyalty may seem like a no brainer, it often gets pushed aside when times get tough. Remaining loyal and honorable through the good times and bad is a great way of creating brand loyalty. Good people and good customers don’t forget loyal businesses.
Basic Training for a Retail Startup
After developing a successful business model with proper resources, every retail startup needs a method of accepting payments without costing an arm and a leg. The invisible waves of cyberspace are bombarded by an ocean full of card payment solutions de jour. Card processing has become a commodity with product differentiation determined mostly by price and service, two areas where Constant Processing soars above the competition. It also offers equipment training and compatibility with thousands of payment-authorization entries. Contact us today to learn how it can help start your retail startup.