Good retailing is about listening and reacting to your customers and wider business trends. It’s difficult to remain successful without changing to suit the times, but careful thought and planning is needed when you are moving away from your core business.
Diversifying your product range
You should be constantly on the lookout for new products to retail, and new suppliers who can offer better deals. A retailer can build a good reputation with customers by offering interesting new products on a regular basis. Use market research tools to understand what your customers want and grow your retail business. See strategies to improve sales and profitability.
Consider your customer base and ask if there’s a complementary service or business which you can offer to boost your core retail business. For example, your shop could attract more customers, and convince them to stay longer, by opening a cafe within your premises. Customers may appreciate the option to mix different activities into single trip, eg a beauty salon attached to a beauty products retailer.
Buying another retail business
One way of expanding your business is to buy another retail business. This could be a similar business operating in an area you want to move to. You need to assess the balance of risk and reward – it might cost more to buy an existing business than to set up and grow by yourself, however a takeover allows you to immediately tap into an established and proven customer base. See mergers and acquisitions.
Franchising your retail business
If your business has a successful brand and good reputation with customers, one option for growth is to franchise your business. There are risks associated with franchising, however it can be a good way to extend your business model into a new area. See how to franchise your business.
You can increase awareness of your shop and sell bigger volumes of your products by opening up short-term pop-up stalls or shops in a new area. See set up a pop-up shop.
Beginning to trade online
If your business doesn’t already trade online, this is a prime option for retail growth. By establishing an online shop you are suddenly competing against the rest of the world, but your potential customer base is similarly expanded. See the advantages and disadvantages of online retailing.
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- What you need to do about health and safety
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services