2020 has to be the one year that many people have thought of trying their hand in business, whether as a main source of income or a 'side hustle'. The main reason has been the financial instability and job uncertainty triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. While it’s a good idea to think of getting into business, many entrepreneurs share that it is not easy and requires thick skin especially at the beginning; however, it’s certainly worth it in the end.
We spoke to some entrepreneurs who have been in the retail space for a while and they had some great insights to share on preparation tips for those looking to start a business - from their personal experience.
1. Research and Prepare
Getting started can be a long process because you have to ensure most, if not all things are in order so that your business starts off smoothly. Preparation involves putting down your business plan on paper, this would mean carrying out an intense research on a business strategy which would work for you.
A business strategy involves the actions and decisions that would need to be put in place in order for a company to reach its business goals.
As you plan your strategy, it’s important to factor in the location of your business and your target audience; which includes demographics such as age, gender, marital status, education and income. Researching on and understanding your target customers’ characteristics, such as their shopping habits or whether they are tech savvy is highly essential.
2. Be Keen and Observant
There are unlimited resources around to help you get a glimpse of what successful entrepreneurs are doing to keep flourishing both online and offline. Here are some pointers on how to get that information:
- Research what the brands or businesses which inspire you are doing in order to achieve business success through their shared stories online.
- Explore the business environment around you and get to know the entrepreneurs' daily routines.
- Conduct a survey through WhatsApp or email and share it with people who fit your target audience and this will help you know their interests.
3. Study technology trends
Technology should be at the top of your list of requirements to implement in your business. Get to discover the latest trends in digital trade and how they can improve your business; this will guide you on the best tools and how best to implement them, considering your employees and customers.
For a retail business, one of the best tools to implement is a Point of Sale or PoS system such as the RetailPay PoS. This is a software which assists you to sell easily through having access to multiple modes of payments, keeping track of your inventory and most importantly, knowing your daily profits.
Without the PoS, it would be both difficult and time consuming to keep track of your sales and payments. Read more about the RetailPay PoS and it’s benefits here.
Modern retail is about being where your customers are and enabling them to shop however they prefer.
You should also consider implementing eCommerce so that your customers can purchase products online through a website; and supplement it with social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp. This takes care of clients who may be far away or simply prefer the convenience of shopping from home.
4. Brand your business
Give your business an identity and unique personality which people will resonate with and one that will remain in their minds. Proper branding is a representation of both the tangible and intangible aspects of the organization. It creates a sense of trust among customers and speaks on your behalf.
Outstanding branding makes it easy to create a cohesive and appealing advertising strategy that plays well into your branding goals.
Good branding makes both your store and your online platforms more attractive.
5. Define what success will look like to you
Finally, establish what success would mean to you; this should go along with your strategy. Break it down into daily habits, like what you will do to ensure you keep track of your profits every moment; for example using the RetailPay PoS consistently.
Every day is a learning experience in business therefore even as you implement these tactics, always remain open minded to learning something new. Also have it at the back of your mind that your customers are your greatest asset, so always serve them the best way possible.