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  1. Here are some tips and tricks to drive sales in retail 1. Offer Consumers’ Daily Necessities and Essentials Consumers will always patronize the shop that has all the essential commodities that they use daily. 2. Sell What is Hot and Trending To stand out in an increasingly competitive market, as a retail owner, you need to know what is hot and trending on the market. 3. Retail Display and Visual Merchandising Retail displays and visual merchandising are — and will always be — essential in grabbing attention and boosting sales. Here are a few tips to master visual merchandising in your store 4. Make it Easy to Move Around Make sure the spaces between the aisles are wide enough for them to walk through with ease with their baskets or shopping carts. Make it more convenient for them to navigate your store with properly labeled aisles, so your goods are easily accessible. 5. Know the Occasion and Celebrate! Update your retail calendar from time to time and make sure that your visual merchandising is in line with relevant shopping events and seasons. 6. Have a space for kids and stools/ seats When you own a big retail grocery store, where moms usually do most of the grocery shopping, it would be nice if you can have a small designated area for the kids. 7. Excellent Customer Service You can have the most attractive displays, the best products with the most affordable prices, but nobody would want to step foot in a store with grumpy staff. 8. Appeal to Your Customers’ Values Shoppers are much more likely to purchase from brands that share the same values. 9. Markdown Prices and Instill a Sense of Urgency Limited-time offers or scarcity promotions urges people to take action.
  2. Sales, sales, sales. Every retailer has their eyes on the prize. Many businesses go above and beyond to get more of that. If you stumbled upon this article, chances are you're looking for new ideas to increase sales in your business. Maybe you’re looking to stand out from the fierce competition, or perhaps you just want to brush up on your retail selling skills. Whatever it is, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are going to share with you 9 Techniques to Drive Sales. Check them out below and see which ideas you can implement in your store. 1. Offer Consumers’ Daily Necessities and Essentials Consumers will always patronize the shop that has all the essential commodities that they use daily. From fresh vegetables and fruits to toiletries and canned goods, having stocks of everyday essentials and necessities available at your retail store will keep you ahead of your competitors. As the world begins to reopen the economy and slowly recover from the COVID-19 crisis, it has become clear that the period lockdown has brought significant change to consumer behavior. Now, consumers are shifting to value convenience and daily essentials over expensive products, making local retail businesses experience a big boost. Consumers continue to see a drop in their income. They intend to continue shifting their spending primarily to essentials, such as groceries and household supplies, and cutting back on most discretionary categories (footwear, electronics, etc.). Consumers are mindful about their spending and trading down to less lucrative products and services. With this in mind, make sure that your retail store keeps fresh stocks of daily goods and essentials at competitive prices, and your store will also be treated as an everyday essential by your consumers. 2. Sell What is Hot and Trending To stand out in an increasingly competitive market, as a retail owner, you need to know what is hot and trending on the market. What are people raving about lately? What is selling like pancakes? Knowing the right products to sell, your target market, and timely marketing strategies will keep you ahead of the game. It pays well to get updated with what is trending. Let’s say you own a fashion or apparel retail; you are more likely to look more appealing to your customers if your store has the latest clothes everyone is raving about this season. For instance, during the pandemic, interest in at-home workout and fitness equipment, skincare products, video games, and home appliances have skyrocketed more than ever before. This comes to no surprise, as people are stuck in their homes in isolation looking for something to do. Social media is a great platform to get familiar with what is hot and trending. You can also use Google Trends to know what everyone is searching today. 3. Retail Display and Visual Merchandising Human beings are highly visual, and this is made even more important when running a physical retail store. Retail displays and visual merchandising are — and will always be — essential in grabbing attention and boosting sales. Studies have shown that human beings process most information through the sense of sight. According to researchers, 83.0% is processed by sight, while only 11% is for hearing, and 01.5% is for touch. Despite the boom in online shopping, one of the main reasons people decide to shop offline is to see merchandise in person, which is all the more reason to design winning retail displays. Here are a few tips to master visual merchandising in your store: Create an immersive display by having a solid and common theme in your shop in line with the story you want to tell. A clean and unifying theme always does the job. Determine the aesthetics of your brand and stick with that while maintaining visual neatness. Play with colors but also remember that less could be more in some cases. You can also have specific colors associated with your brand to build your brand identity. For example, SNR (blue and white) and 711 Convenience stores (red and green) Put plants around your store to create that welcoming, relaxing, and pleasant shopping ambiance. It makes your store’s ambiance feel healthier and fresh. Also the color green does a great job in accentuating merchandise. Cross- merchandising promotes product discovery and entices shoppers to look at items that complement what they’re already buying. Say a display of a jacket with a matching purse. Keep it well-lit because even the most creative displays will look flat without the proper lighting. So invest in the equipment to make sure that your products are displayed in the best possible light. Use signage well. If your products need a bit of explaining, it could be good to use your displays to educate shoppers about your items. 4. Make it Easy to Move Around Whether you have a wide area with two or more stories, or a little space by the corner lot, you want to make your customers' shopping experience better by making it easy for them to move around. Make sure the spaces between the aisles are wide enough for them to walk through with ease with their baskets or shopping carts. Make it more convenient for them to navigate your store with properly labeled aisles, so your goods are easily accessible. The ease and convenience they experience during their shopping give your retail shop a remarkable impression and significant plus points. 5. Know the Occasion and Celebrate! Timely displays are sure to grab the attention of your customers. Update your retail calendar from time to time and make sure that your visual merchandising is in line with relevant shopping events and seasons. For example, during back-to-school season, dedicate an entire corner to school supplies and relevant merchandise. Fill the area with eye-catching back-to-school displays that are impossible to miss. There are also other occasions to celebrate, such as International Coffee Day, National Pasta Day, St. Patrick’s Day or even Black Friday, show your fun and festive side and use your shop displays to celebrate. Materials like balloons, tassels, garlands and other party supplies will do a great job! 6. Have a space for kids and stools/ seats When you own a big retail grocery store, where moms usually do most of the grocery shopping, it would be nice if you can have a small designated area for the kids (just make sure there is good security). This way, the moms can shop with ease. Other retailers have also resorted to designing a shopping cart with a built-in fun seat for small children to be put in. The shopping cart doubles as a baby stroller. In a fashion retail store, women usually take more time shopping than men. So it would be great if you can have stools or benches in certain parts of your store for the men to wait around. 7. Excellent Customer Service Staff that wear a nice smile but are also attentive to customers’ needs and accommodating are a huge plus for boosting your sales and customer retention. You can have the most attractive displays, the best products with the most affordable prices, but nobody would want to step foot in a store with grumpy staff. We all want to keep going back to that one store with friendly staff that are ready to cater to their customers’ needs anytime. This kind of customer service always leaves a strong and lasting impression. Have an accessible booth for customers to approach you for concerns, inquiries, and lost and found. However, good customer service is also knowing when your customer needs your help and when they do not want to be bothered. Train your staff to determine this well and know to have the proper balance. 8. Appeal to Your Customers’ Values Shoppers are much more likely to purchase from brands that share the same values. This is one of the reasons why it’s essential to identify your company values — i.e., what you’re all about and what you stand for — and communicating that to the public. There are many values that can be shared with your customers. Some of them being supporting local farmers, sustainability, ecological and green shopping, etc. If your business stands for environmental protection, have a number of initiatives designed to reduce waste and protect natural resources, like managing your waste and reinforcing the use of eco bags. You may also highlight products in your store that are environmentally friendly. Tailor your social media marketing based on these values and you will have a good following of consumers who share the same. This will encourage customers to think before they buy. Demonstrate your values and put yourself in front of customers who share those same values. Let’s say you’re a business that promotes sustainability, it makes sense to hire employees who deeply care about the environment. Why? Simply because when you hire team members who share your and your customers’ values, they’ll be able to communicate, connect, and sell in the most authentic way. When you do this right, you’ll attract customers who share your brand’s values and beliefs, in turn increasing sales and loyalty. 9. Markdown Prices and Instill a Sense of Urgency Sales and markdown promos are usually what retailers resort to from time to time, to compete with competitors and dispose of products that are about to expire or haven’t been selling well. They also bring a surge of excitement and urgency for your consumers to buy and avail themselves a good deal. However, a classic selling technique that is still relevant today is FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out. And it is a real thing. When done properly, you can use FOMO to drive sales. Limited-time offers or scarcity promotions urges people to take action. Consider the following examples. Have “Today Only” promotion right at your checkout counter or have a section promoting “Almost Sold Out Items” to encourage shoppers to buy the products while they last. Conclusion: With retail being more competitive than ever, there’s just no room for uninspired and mediocre retail displays, marketing techniques and service. Now, more than ever, you need to constantly brush up your store’s visuals and the kind of shopping experience you want your customers to have. Remember that even if you have applied all 9 techniques we shared with you above, it won’t be effective if you don’t have merchandise that your customers want to buy. That’s why it’s important to make data-backed decisions when it comes to merchandising. Use your POS or inventory management system to generate sales and product reports that will inform your decisions around what items to show off in your store, know your loyal customers, and keep track of your sales and inventory better.
  3. With a market that never runs out and a failure rate of 10%, it is no wonder why the coffee shop industry will never, ever go out of style. Yes, we said it. In the coffee world, no matter where you are, you will never lack a market for your product, and not many businesses have that as a bragging right. With demand so high and competition so fierce, how do you stand out from the pack? How do you turn your customers into regulars? Today, we are going to talk about coffee shop loyalty and customer retention tips. We all know that having repeat or regular customers is a vital component to your business' success. They represent good profit for less marketing efforts. They signify good word-of-mouth recommendations and higher chances of satisfied customers. According to studies, it costs businesses less to retain current, consistent customers than to engage with and acquire new ones. When a customer has an excellent experience with your brand, it inspires them to repeatedly return to and engage with you. Here are some ways to help you turn your coffee shop customers into regulars and improve your overall business performance. Attractive Ambiance Remember that all your regular customers were once first-timers, and to make them keep choosing your coffee shop over others, an attractive design and ambiance play a crucial part. Did you know that it takes just eight seconds to walk past a typical storefront? And once someone is two seconds past the door, they won't turn around. This means you have roughly four seconds to grab their attention. This is why coffee shop owners have to pay close attention to their design and ambiance. From the entrance to the mugs, everything has to be enticing. Invest in an appealing interior and lighting as some may be more welcoming than others. Deliberately curate the aesthetics and vibe of your coffee shop to exude coziness. People come back to coffee shops because it offers a uniquely calm atmosphere, paired with a soothing aroma of coffee that makes gatherings more relaxing. Even every piece of furniture you put in your shop is fundamental to building an ambiance conducive to work and appealing for unwinding. Here's a quick-and-easy tip: an open door generates more business than a closed door. And for coffee shops, it allows passersby to smell your coffee. When a passerby smells the delicious aroma of roasted coffee, they follow the smell to your beautifully designed coffee shop. Another strategy that will mentally stimulate people who walk or drive by your shop is to put a big Wi-fi sign right at your window. This will imply that you don't mind people coming in and working and that you have enough space for people to hang out for a while. Of course, encouraging people to buy more beverages will help pay the rent. However, remember that coffee shops do not just sell coffee but also ambiance. Friendly Staff and Excellent Service Nothing would drive a customer away from your coffee shop, never to return again, more than rude staff and lousy customer service. When it comes to creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, your staff's attitude and attentiveness play a considerable role. Sure, your staff might have bad days or problems in their personal lives, but this should never reflect in their work attitude. Having a friendly smile and pleasing personality that will make your customers feel welcomed will keep them coming back to your shop. Do not wait for someone to become a regular before you're friendly to them. Small business owners should practice 'casual friendliness' when engaging with their customers. Engage in friendly conversations, especially from behind the espresso bar. Please make an effort to remember their names and daily orders, or ask them how their day was. These can have a considerable impact on your regular customers. Suppose you don't know what question to ask to strike up a conversation. Ask them, "How was your coffee?" It shows a commitment to quality and hospitality. Also, keep in mind that good customer service is knowing when people want to be left alone and when they don't. You need to find the right balance for each customer. Have a Loyalty Program Customers who are emotionally loyal to a brand have proven to spend more on its products. The point of an effective loyalty program is that customers associate consistent positive feelings with the brand. They will eventually advocate the brand to their friends and family. Remember that the most cost-efficient and powerful marketing strategy is word-of-mouth. Working on this relationship with a good loyalty program nurtures a strong sense of trust between your brand and customers, giving you a lead over your competitors, therefore ensuring the growth of your business. A good coffee shop POS system can help you identify your best sellers, most loyal guests, and more useful information to help you craft an effective marketing plan. Below are some great examples of using that information to boost sales and create more repeat customers. Another great way to build customer loyalty and retention is to continuously communicate with them through your social media platforms or email marketing. Especially as a small independent coffee shop, this gives you a platform to show off a distinct voice to your customers who are already familiar with your product, service, and vibe. Another great trick to encourage recurring engagement is to have loyalty cards that baristas stamp until customers get their magical free coffee. Patrons like to feel appreciated. Giving them a small piece of cake or a drink will solidify their loyalty. Get Social and Personal with your Customers While this tip may seem obvious, it's something many small business owners don't go out of their way to achieve. As a small, independent business, building a relationship with your customer base can create long-lasting impacts as you showcase your hospitality and customer service. It is more than just asking them for their order and bringing it courteously to their table. It's about building a relationship by making your customer feel welcome in your establishment and personally engaged with you or even your employees. An easy first step to do so is to learn your customers' names. Why? A person's name represents their individuality and identity, so by remembering their name, you're also learning about them as an individual, which gives them a special feeling. By learning a customer's name, you're showing them that they are more than a customer in your coffee shop. They're an individual who you're connecting with you on a personal level. Once you've learned your customer's name, you can go and dig a little deeper. You can ask them what they do for a living, do they have a family or a partner, and their hobbies or interests. Just try not to make the conversation feel like an interview. Another great way to amp up your game in getting social and personal with your customers is to boost your online presence by replying to your customers' comments. Good Quality Coffee Now, you can have the most attractive ambiance, the friendliest baristas, the best customer service, but if you have a bad or mediocre product, you won't get repeat customers. If you have a good reputation for coffee, food, or sweets, then customers will make an effort to return time and time. Consistency makes an immense difference between regular coffee shops and yours. When it comes to coffee shops, customers always want a place where, regardless of the season, the barista, how busy the shop is, or minor product changes, the coffee will taste good as the first day they ordered it. Offer a wide range of high-quality products aside from coffee like pastries and snacks, and you'll have higher chances of seeing returning customers. Conclusion: Mastering the art of strengthening customer loyalty and retention is a key component to your business success. Aside from the fact that it is a cost-efficient and an effective marketing tool, it also represents good income and a bigger number of satisfied customers who would love to have recurring engagements with your brand. The advantage of being a small independent business is that there is a vast number of the coffee-drinking population that would rather have their coffee brewed by a local business than the big players in the coffee industry. When you are a small independent business, following the 5 tips we shared with you above will help you achieve more loyal customers that will help improve your business reputation and sales.
  4. When the COVID19 pandemic broke out nearly every aspect of life had experienced dramatic change, and and one of the biggest places this change made the most impact on is in the world of retail. The good news is, the drastic change in customers’ shopping habits as they shift away from expensive lifestyles and costly products and commodities to cut down daily expenses, has shed light and brought more prominence to local, independent businesses. Consumers have emerged from the lengthy lockdown still wary of risk, reluctant to travel long distances, and encounter large crowds or risky safety measures. And many feel a sense of loyalty to local shops and are grateful that they’re still serving the local community. People appreciate and value small businesses that have fought their way through to survive. More than ever before, support for independent small businesses has soared as they showed their value in their unique offering, first-rate shopping experience, and customer convenience. Here are some figures to back that up: People are starting to tip local business’ workers more - According to a May CNBC.com story, 68% of people tipped more than they usually do between April 9 to April 14 of 2020. Consumers prefer local market shopping for daily produce over groceries and supermarkets – Beginning in April, small-scale food producers began to see an uptick in sales, according to Reuters. With restaurants closed and some consumers too nervous to wade the tight grocery store aisles, people began to shop locally for produce. Boost sales in online platforms – Savvy small businesses that invested in online shopping sites pre-COVID-19 are reaping their rewards now. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce cites Gary’s Wine and Marketplace, a small four-shop chain, and their mobile app, which has exceeded expectations during this time. Before the pandemic, it had 2,000 users. By the second week of April, 15,000 people were using it—a 750% increase. Shoppers don’t want to see their favorite local businesses fail, so they intentionally support them – And that’s true now more than ever. The National Retail Federation reports that 49% of consumers “have made a purchase specifically to support local small businesses during the pandemic.” Read our blog on #ShopLocal to find out how small businesses can take advantage of this growing consciousness among consumers to support local business.
  5. Yes, you read that right; #The ShopLocal trend is taking over the world one small retail business at a time! Nearly every aspect of life had experienced a dramatic shift when the COVID19 pandemic broke out, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the world of retail. Now, if you think this pandemic is slowing down chances for your small business to succeed, read on. Because this might be the year you get your big break. The drastic change in customers’ shopping habits is becoming more evident. They are shifting away from lavish lifestyles and pricey products and commodities in hopes of stomping down daily expenditures. Consumers have emerged from the lengthy lockdown still wary of risk, reluctant to travel long distances, and encounter large crowds or risky safety measures. And many feel a sense of loyalty to local shops and are grateful that they’re still serving the local community. Many small businesses have fought their way through to survive. People appreciate it and value them. More than ever before, support for independent small businesses has soared as they showed their value in their unique offering, first-rate shopping experience, and customer convenience. Why are Consumers Choosing to #ShopLocal? Whether it’s buying medicines at a family-owned drugstore or hiring an independent accountant for your taxes, supporting local businesses helps strengthen the region’s labor force. Many small businesses also tend to offer a warm atmosphere that feels like home compared to bigger chains. Aside from small businesses' contribution to regional employment, The 3/50 Project states that for every $100 spent at locally owned stores, $68 goes straight back to the community, compared to just $43 when shopping at a large chain. This income is exhibited in the form of taxes, payroll, and other expenses. Still in doubt? Here are some figures to back this up. People are starting to tip local business’ workers more - According to a May CNBC.com story, 68% of people tipped more than they usually do between April 9 to April 14 of 2020. Consumers prefer local market shopping for daily produce over groceries and supermarkets – Beginning in April, small-scale food producers began to see an uptick in sales, according to Reuters. With restaurants closed and some consumers too nervous to wade the tight grocery store aisles, people began to shop locally for produce. Boost sales in online platforms – Savvy small businesses that invested in online shopping sites pre-COVID-19 are reaping their rewards now. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce cites Gary’s Wine and Marketplace, a small four-shop chain, and their mobile app, which has exceeded expectations during this time. Before the pandemic, it had 2,000 users. By the second week of April, 15,000 people were using it—a 750% increase. Shoppers don’t want to see their favorite local businesses fail, so they intentionally support them – And that’s true now more than ever. The National Retail Federation reports that 49% of consumers “have made a purchase specifically to support local small businesses during the pandemic.” Fear and Shopping The biggest concern about shopping during the pandemic has been fear of contracting the virus, which still has no cure. More and more shoppers would instead purchase their daily commodities online and have them delivered to their homes, all for the sake of observing social distancing. On the other hand, more people opt to get their groceries and essentials in local retail shops for proximity and convenience, instead of buying them in big malls or far away places. Here are some of the ways local businesses have been doing to observe safety protocols during the pandemic: Limited numbers of shoppers Reduced store hours Employee handwashing regulations Hand sanitizing stations Contactless payment systems The Psychology of Spending During the Pandemic Online sales have skyrocketed because of the changes in people's shopping behavior and how people decide to spend their money. But this does not only go for the big players in the industry. Small local businesses have seen increased e-commerce revenue as consumers avoid in-person contact and follow stay-at-home orders. Even the so-called “save and stockpile” the consumer has to eat has driven online groceries. New Essentials That Drive Shift in Shopping Behavior What consumers deem essential in life has also been changed drastically by the pandemic. Things like blowup pools, which aren’t often bought even during hot periods, have seen record growth in 2020 as parents find ways to entertain their children at home during the quarantine. At the same time, products as diverse as electronics, recreation boats, and even flour (think of all that sourdough bread you made) have seen a significant boom as people try to keep themselves occupied at home or in socially isolated situations. Local Business Owners’ Time to Shine Let’s face it; the pandemic has brought a sense of compassion across the globe as people, and the government try their best to cope with the mental and emotional toll of the pandemic. Consumers see their neighborhood businesses struggle, and they want to help out. Shifting money from big-box stores to small local businesses is becoming not only popular but a trend. Research has shown that shoppers have a renewed desire to support local businesses more. According to a Nextdoor survey, 72% of members believe they will frequent local enterprises more often after this crisis. People want to support local businesses, including purchasing their favorite craft beer at the local brewery or apparel at a local boutique. Anyhow, shoppers are willing to go out of their way to do so via local online shopping, curbside pickup, or delivery. Small, local businesses have found unique strategies to survive, and they have found ways to continue to meet consumers. Here are ways local small businesses can benefit from the #ShopLocal trend: Communicate with Your Local, Loyal Customers First things first, a solid and efficient communication bridge is vital. One helpful strategy is to update your hours and safety precautions across all platforms. Make sure your information is updated everywhere, and this includes: Physical storefront Website Community Business Page Google My Business Social media Get Discovered and Market Yourselves Within Your Neighborhood Get yourself familiar with an online community or neighborhood hub where locals share information, offer recommendations, and keep each other updated. With a Business Page on these community online platforms, you have access to local shoppers who live nearby your business. This provides a great venue and resources for small businesses during the pandemic. Offer Curbside Pickup and Online Delivery To meet social distancing protocols and provide consumers peace of mind, it is essential to offer curbside pickup and online delivery services. This service doesn’t only apply to restaurants. Retailers of all forms can creatively work with customers both online and in-person to meet their needs. Partner With Other Local Businesses Discover other companies that would pair well with your product or service offering. Are you a coffee shop business? Try partnering with the local bakery. What will go well with a brand new outfit from your fashion retail store? Perhaps the good footwear shop in the neighborhood. Anyway, it is good to find other local retailers and create promotional content together. This helps keep the income going within the community and shows your neighborhood that you care for and are willing to invest in it. #ShopLocal is More Than Just a Trend “Shop Local” is more than just a trend; it’s a lifestyle that more and more people are choosing to take today to support the regional economy. It’s a symbol of solidarity amid a global pandemic that has dramatically affected the consumer marketplace. Local shopping has become one of the most significant unexpected positive outcomes of the pandemic. With customers unwilling to travel to larger shopping centers, many smaller shopping areas saw a boost in sales. This desire to shop locally will continue into 2021, especially as many people continue to work from home. Savvy local shops and small independent retailers geared up and ready to serve these conscious consumers. They would do well to focus on the benefit to the community and the world of shopping local.
  6. Not just today but we are sure that the nano business model will be more popular in the coming years. Why? Simply because people, in general, will start to realize that when it comes to the quality of our life, happiness and quality time with our loved ones are never going to replace the money. As people start to realize what truly matters most in life, soon enough, the general working time will decrease. This is what gives nano businesses a full advantage over other business models. Nano businesses are run by less than 3 people and can be kickstarted with very minimal capital. It is extremely flexible and allow you to have more time outside running your business. Of course, this is made possible with automation and business tools. Again, automation is not something only used by big industry players but it is meant to be taken advantage of by all businesses regardless of size. That means fewer working hours with the same profit, more quality time spent, and hopefully, better inspirations to gain better business ideas. Read more about nano business on our blog:
  7. We’re going to say it, loud and proud: small businesses are the backbone of the economy. The Federation of Small Businesses reports nearly 6 million businesses with fewer than 50 employees, with half the gross revenue of the entire private sector. Some of these businesses are very small – so small that they are run entirely by the business owner alone. These tiny but fierce businesses thriving today in the competitive market are called “nano businesses,” with “fewer than one” people engaged in the business, often working from home. Suppose you are not familiar with them yet. In that case, a few examples of nano businesses are those businesses that trade on eBay, provide part-time consulting services, influence thousands of followers in their social media platforms, make videos or do translation work. These businesses often offer services that can be provided in addition to a “regular” job, which may even blossom into a full-time business. Nano Businesses: Start Small But Think Big Wikipedia classifies Nano Businesses as firms with three employees, starting with a $1,000 initial capital, targetings cash on cash returns, and not necessarily targeting long-term capital growth. A nano business is also a business that can use less than one person as the working force. For example, what we mean by that is supposedly the regular working time for a person is eight hours a day. A nano business will use up less than that amount of time per day, let’s say four hours, six, one. It doesn’t matter. It has to be a fraction of your full-time. Given their very minimal resource requirements, this business model is great for so many reasons. They can start on a very tight budget, and they require as much or as little time commitment as you want. You can still work a full-time job or spend time with your friends and family while running your nano business. And best of all, nano businesses can either be scaled to grow bigger or be abandoned with ease. The potential monetary loss is slight because of the low initial investment required. The minimal level of investment can easily make the business profitable. Not to mention, getting started is immediate. There are more than 20 million nano-businesses that earned $950 billion in 2010. The nano-business model has eventually become a source of inspiration and confidence to potentially grow into a micro-business, small business, and beyond. What Makes the Nano Business Model Possible? Automation In this age, as we experience technological advancement like no other, we have become acquainted with several business tools that automate the way we do our usual business processes. The more we utilize these automated business tools, the less time we need to run our business. Automation benefits nano and small businesses as much as it does for big industrial players. Flexibility Nano businesses’ flexibility in nature is what makes them more doable and competitive in the market. Here, owners have a better grasp on how to use their time. They enjoy the freedom to either run it like a full-time job or run it on the side as passive income as they go on about their everyday life. In times of crisis, it is much easier to drop it thanks to very minimal risk since the initial investment to start the business is also minimal. With this kind of flexibility, you can scale through hard work over time, advertising, networking, product expansion, and other traditional means, or just start another business. You decide if or when to scale, what to work on and when to do it. Variety With the flexibility, minimal investment, and the amount of free time, you can consider more than one employment simultaneously. You can invest your time and money in activities with different levels of risks, diversifying with all the benefits that it takes. Benefits of a Nano Business Minimal Investment Website Inventory, if you’re selling something Advertising could be done through Google or social media platforms Outsource any work you can’t do yourself Flexible Time Commitment Flexible Nature Work when you can or are motivated Take time off to relax Set your own working hours It’s your business and your decision Easy Scalability Minimal Risk Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. If it’s not working, or you’re not enjoying it, try something else! Nano businesses are the future because the future is ‘flexibility.’ More than ever during the lockdown, creative minds have found ways to operate businesses without the traditional brick and mortar stores or high street premises. Many have flourished, either generating another income or growing to become a full-time business. And as the economy reopens, allowing physical stores to function again, few will rush to do so as they discover the benefits of running your business using automation and technology, lesser time commitments, and very minimal resources investments. Nano businesses are the future because the future is flexibility. With factors that can affect your business that may be completely out of your control- just like what the pandemic has shown us, flexibility has become an integral part of how businesses are run today and in the coming years. Conclusion Human beings, in general, will start to realize that when it comes to the quality of our life, happiness and quality time with our loved ones are never going to replace the money. With the pandemic happening, bringing a range of realizations to people as to what matters most in life, soon enough, the general working time will decrease. Of course, this is going to be made possible with automation and business tools. Again, automation is not something only used by big industry players but it is meant to be taken advantage of by all businesses regardless of size. That means fewer working hours with the same profit, more quality time spent, and hopefully, better inspirations to gain better business ideas.
  8. A good inventory management software should have the following capabilities: Keep track of your inventory in real-time Help you forecast demand based on your sales Notifies you when there is a shortage of product and production Advises you should there be excess stock or too many raw materials Allow for easy inventory analysis on any device (monitor, phone, tablet, etc. Able to seamlessly integrate with your retail point-of-sale system and other business tools. Offer quick and painless bar code scanning to speed up the check-out process and intake of data to the system Allows for multilocation management, tracking inventory across several locations (warehouses, stockrooms, etc.) Allows working through different sales channels (e-commerce, physical stores, online marketplace, etc.) Good inventory management can help you track your inventory in real-time to hasten the process. With this, you can be sure that you have the right products in the right quantity on hand and avoid products being out of stock and money went to waste due to excess stock. You can also ensure your products are sold in time to avoid spoilage, obsolescence, or spending too much money on a stock that’s taking up space in a warehouse or stockroom. Good inventory management software can help you reduce costs, save you and your employees’ time, improve cash flow, and boost your overall business performance. Here are the best inventory management software for small businesses:
  9. Managing your inventory can be one of the most painstaking tasks if you don’t have the right tools and resources to help you. Thankfully, there are Inventory Management software out there that can help you streamline and automate the process of keeping track of your inventory. With an inventory management software, managing your inventory is more effective as it is automated to reduce errors and task redundancy. With this, your businesses can reduce the costs of carrying excess inventory while maximizing their sales as it helps you track your inventory in real-time. With inventory management software, you can be sure that you have the right products in the right quantity on hand and avoid products being out of stock and money went to waste due to excess stock. You can also ensure your products are sold in time to avoid spoilage, obsolescence, or spending too much money on a stock that’s taking up space in a warehouse or stockroom. Good inventory management software can help you reduce costs, save you and your employees’ time, improve cash flow, and boost your overall business performance. Check out this blog to find out the best inventory management software perfect for small to medium businesses.
  10. When running a food service or retail business, it is crucial to evaluate it regularly to ensure that you’re on the right track. One of the most integral parts of your business is managing your inventory. Inventory management is an essential part of supply chain management that ensures you have the right products in the correct quantity for sale at the right time. How has your small business’s inventory management been so far? Have you had the right products and the right quantity available when you needed them? Did you lose out on business when items were out of stock? Or did you lose money due to excess stocks? Managing your inventory can be one of the most painstaking tasks if you don’t have the right tools and resources to help you. Fortunately, there is plenty of Inventory Management software out there that can help you streamline and automate this process so you can focus on other essential tasks in running your business. What is inventory management software? When your inventory is managed effectively with the help of Inventory Management software, businesses reduce the costs of carrying excess inventory while maximizing their sales. Good inventory management can help you track your inventory in real-time to hasten the process. With this, you can be sure that you have the right products in the right quantity on hand and avoid products being out of stock and money went to waste due to excess stock. You can also ensure your products are sold in time to avoid spoilage, obsolescence, or spending too much money on a stock that’s taking up space in a warehouse or stockroom. Good inventory management software can help you reduce costs, save you and your employees’ time, improve cash flow, and boost your overall business performance. A good inventory management software should have the following capabilities: Keep track of your inventory in real-time Help you forecast demand based on your sales Notifies you when there is a shortage of product and production Advises you should there be excess stock or too many raw materials Allow for easy inventory analysis on any device (monitor, phone, tablet, etc. Able to seamlessly integrate with your retail point-of-sale system and other business tools. Offer quick and painless bar code scanning to speed up the check-out process and intake of data to the system Allows for multilocation management, tracking inventory across several locations (warehouses, stockrooms, etc.) Allows working through different sales channels (e-commerce, physical stores, online marketplace, etc.) Zoho Inventory Zoho Inventory ranks the highest out of any inventory management software considered. We chose Zoho Inventory as the best inventory management tool for small businesses because it provides excellent value for the price. Depending on the plan, you can handle multiple warehouses, eCommerce, and purchase orders. The system has advanced bundling and kitting features for combining multiple SKUs, is customizable to different types of businesses and use cases, and can integrate with other Zoho products or operate as a standalone system. Plus, Zoho Inventory has an intuitive interface. Sales Channels include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify. Pros: Handles multiple channels, warehouses, and currencies Mobile app available Can monitor expiration dates on batch orders Cons: Lacks returns management Lacks rental function Pricing: Free: 50 monthly online orders, 1 warehouse, 2 users, Standard: $59/month for 1,500 online orders, 2 warehouses, 3 users and Elite: $239/month for unlimited orders, 15 warehouses Agiliron Agiliron is a multichannel retail management system with eCommerce, retail, and wholesale functions. Agiliron lets you create and track matrix item products, serialized products, assembly products, kit products, and pre-set substitution products. Comprehensive B2B and B2C inventory feature to create custom orders, kits, assemblies, matrixed products, and product substitutions set this system apart. Though a little pricier and complex, it does a wonderful job for B2B, wholesale, or B2C businesses with complex kitting or assembly needs. Agiliron does well on advanced inventory functions, almost being at the same level as Zoho Inventory. You will have to pay for some of its integrations to some eCommerce and marketplace platforms. Sales Channels: Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Magneto, other online stores Pros: B2B and B2C eCommerce store options Handles product customizations and substitutions Works in offline mode Cons: Expensive product and the base plan is limited The system has a steeper learning curve Some marketplace integrations are paid features Pricing: It has a 30-day free trial but charges Premier: $99/month for unlimited orders, 1 user, POS, full-featured CRM, and eCommerce store, and Enterprise: $199 a month for unlimited orders, 1 user, advanced inventory management, multiple stock locations, warehouse mobile app inFlow Cloud inFlow Cloud is one of the most competitively-priced platforms best for Retail small businesses on a budget and beginners new to inventory systems. Its locally-hosted solution offers a free plan limited to 100 products and customers in total, making it useful for small businesses and offices. An easy-to-use system, prompt customer support, online videos, knowledgebase, Facebook community, one-on-one demos inFlow Cloud’s most vital feature is the built-in barcode software that works with price scanners and mobile devices. This can be used in every step of one’s inventory and order management processes. inFlow Cloud software works well for affordable pricing and both general and advanced inventory management capabilities. However, including more users per plan and a basic CRM would have improved this software. inFlow has two versions: cloud-based software and locally installed software. As the locally-hosted version, inFlow On-Premise will no longer receive new features as of this writing (April 2021), they focused on the cloud solution, inFlow Cloud. Sales Channels: Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace Pros: Offers B2B portal Seamless use of barcode scanners Provides onboarding support Cons: Accounting software integration is limited to QuickBooks Limited integrations Pricing: 14-day free trial Light: $71/month for 100 monthly sales orders, 2 users, 1 warehouse, 2 integrations Standard: $179/month for 1,000 monthly sales orders, 5 users, unlimited warehouses, 3 integrations Plus: $449/month for 100,000 monthly sales orders, 10 users, unlimited warehouses, unlimited integrations QuickBooks Online Businesses like QuickBooks Online because it’s an easy-to-use accounting program. Its cloud-based version, QuickBooks Online, provides inventory management features on its higher-paid tiers, allowing users to create purchase orders, track the cost of goods, and see the popular orders. Best for Retail, manufacturing, wholesale trade, construction, nonprofits, and professional services. It is easy to use because of its Automation tools for streamlining processes, dedicated customer service, and online product training. QuickBooks Online has earned quite an outstanding reputation for its overall inventory features and pricing. Still, it can improve more by allowing multiple warehouse management, which it doesn’t have at the moment. QuickBooks also offers a much higher-priced version called QuickBooks Enterprise. It allows for excellent inventory control that lets you handle tracking items and orders and pricing changes. It integrates with e-commerce platforms, works with multiple warehouses, and even focuses on construction inventory. While more expensive, it’s an excellent choice for a medium-to-large business, especially those already using QuickBooks for accounting. It also has QuickBooks Commerce (formerly TradeGecko), ideal for B2B stores and growing multi-location, multichannel retail businesses because it offers order management, warehouse management, and extensive wholesale features. However, QuickBooks Online is highlighted more in this article because it’s more affordable and geared toward smaller operations. Pros: Popular orders view Cost of goods tracking Create purchase orders Cons: Limited inventory management features (such as lot tracking, e-commerce, and barcode scanning) No multiple warehouse management Real-time tracking is unreliable Pricing: 30-day free trial available Plans that include inventory management: Plus: $80/month for 5 users Advanced: $180/month for 25 users Ordoro Ordoro is best for e-commerce stores, dropshippers, and volume sellers. While Ordoro is primarily a shipping platform, it provides advanced inventory management and automated purchasing features that intuitively integrate with its shipping system. Because of this, Ordoro makes supply chain management easy and efficient—an ideal solution for drop shippers and volume sellers. Its integrations (plus available shipping discounts) and advanced inventory management solutions (such as kitting and bundling) are the feature that makes it outstanding. However, Ordoro is still considered a pricey system, more expensive than most inventory management systems on this list. If you need to minimize your inventory holding costs and save on volume shipping because of online orders, Ordoro is for you. However, if you run a brick-and-mortar retail store, a cheaper and less complicated option is advisable. Pros: Discounted shipping features Advanced features such as kitting and automated purchasing Supports multiple warehouses Cons: Lacks inventory management features in the basic plan No mobile app More expensive than most inventory software Pricing: To take advantage of the inventory features, you need to subscribe to the following plans: Pro: $499 a month for purchase orders, kitting, and dropshipping Enterprise: $999 a month for all those included in Pro plus vendor portals, inventory allocation, and custom integrations Webgility Webgility is the most flexible, powerful, and easy-to-use software to automate accounting for online businesses. Data is synchronized automatically and securely across all your sales channels. Your books are always up to date and cash flow and profitability are at your fingertips. It's easy to file sales taxes. They also have a good customer support and help center ready to cater to your concerns. With Webgility, you do less accounting and inventory management work by reducing errors and inefficiencies thanks to its accurate reporting system. Pricing and inventory are updated automatically across your sales channels and accounting software, so you don’t oversell. Settings can be customized based on how you account for each sales channel and with field-level mapping control. Pricing: $99 per month (billed annually) for advanced e-commerce accounting and inventory sync ShipMonk ShipMonk is a cloud-based inventory management solution designed for startups, e-commerce businesses, subscription box companies, and crowdfunding campaigns. Features include multi-channel management, warehouse management, kitting, forecasting, reporting, analytics, barcoding, and more. ShipMonk’s multichannel e-commerce fulfillment service features return management and custom packing procedures. The solution helps users strategize, plan and execute their retail fulfillment strategies. It also provides them with various B2B fulfillment capabilities such as customized labeling and packing lists, EDI compliance, cross-docking, and multi-retailer support. ShipMonk offers users subscription box fulfillment, crowdfunding, flash sales, and Amazon FBA preparation services. It supports integration with multiple third-party shopping carts such as Stripe, Goodsie, Squarespace, Celery, and more. Services are offered on a monthly subscription basis that includes support via phone and email. Pricing: It charges based on how many orders you process per month. Please refer to their pricing page. NETSTOCK NETSTOCK is an affordable cloud-based inventory management solution that connects to your ERP, providing additional functionality to optimize your inventory. Intelligent and real-time data does the hard work for you as it helps you classify items, providing reliable forecasts and order recommendations. NETSTOCK gives you full visibility and control of your inventory. The easy-to-use dashboard highlights critical items needing attention. You can calculate your safety stock levels and supplier lead times, making sure you order more efficiently and have the right stock in the right location at the right time. With NETSTOCK you can balance your inventory investment by reducing excess inventory and minimizing stock-outs. A reminder: You need to have an ERP system in place to use NETSTOCK. View their website to see the full list of the leading ERP’s the software integrates with. on
  11. As the economy reopens with the vaccines being rolled out, it is the best time for small businesses to think about how to boost their business performance. Of course, you can only get ahead in the competition if you come with a great marketing strategy, use your time and resources wisely and keep your loyal customers coming back for more. An effective way to achieve all these points is to take advantage of technology and automations. Technology and automated business tools will not only save you time, money and resources by minimizing redundancy and errors, but it will also make your business performance more efficient. Here are 9 tips that will help you change the way you run your business. 1. Learn from your customers- Customer feedback is key 2. Prioritize customer support and help center- Put the customers first. Make customer service your top priority, and you’ll see recurring engagements to your brand. 3. Stay focused on your niche- a common mistake of small businesses. Do not tap into several markets at once and stay committed to your niche 4. Keep your customer happy- excellent customer experience at all times 5. Be time-efficient- time is your most valuable asset. You must use it efficiently, and to help you do this, you have to take advantage of technology and automation. With technology and automated business tools, you can make the most out of your day and reinforce the way you run your business. 6. Use different channels and platforms to reach your customers- To make sure you build brand awareness and offer more options to cater to your customers’ needs to purchase your products, start developing an omnichannel strategy. 7. Don’t fear competitors- Have confidence. 8. Boost online promotion and online marketing strategies- Today, the best way to make your business be known is to take advantage of the internet. 9. Take data seriously- Use data analytics to your ultimate advantage. The most successful business owners do not just rely on gut feelings and fleeting emotions to make important business decisions. Check out the new blog here for more details:
  12. With the vaccines being rolled out in all parts of the globe and as the economy reopens, things are beginning to look up again for small businesses. Small business owners are hopeful that now is the best time to take that plunge or level up the way they run their business, as chances for profits are on the rise. To be successful, you will need to grab your consumer's attention and make your business stand out from competitors. Here are 9 game-changing tips every small business owners must do to grow their business. Hint: Think modern and innovative. 1. Learn from your customers As your business grows, getting feedback from your customers is crucial. It is essential to not only dwell on the negative feedback because the truth is both positive and negative criticism can be beneficial to your business. This way, you would know your market more and come up with ways to improve your products or services to make them more satisfied. If your customers are happy with the way you do business, everything else will follow. Your sales, management, and even marketing will be a breeze if you pay more attention to what your customers have to say. A great way to gather feedback from your customers is to have a fill-up feedback form ready in your physical store for them to leave their reviews and comments. You can also make use of email marketing. Some POS have a loyalty program as their feature that keeps contact information, including emails of loyal customers. You can send them a form asking for their feedback through this. Be sure that as you do this, you are encouraging your customers to communicate with you. Product reviews are a great way to garner feedback. Other ways to connect and receive feedback include social media and documenting customer support communication. 2. Prioritize customer support and help center The number one rule for businesses - especially for small businesses, is to put the customers first. Make customer service your top priority, and you’ll see recurring engagements to your brand. The companies that flourish today are those that keep their customer service and help center second to none. Orient your marketing and customer service staff, to respond quickly to emails, queries, and concerns, and make sure they attend to them in the friendliest and most accommodating manner. Prioritizing customer support gives your business the chance to turn unhappy customers into loyal ones. If you can be there in a blink of an eye, you can relieve the issue and deliver your brand promise. In addition, high-quality support can often lead to more brand awareness and brand loyalty, and trust. Remember that “with brand trust comes social media tagging between groups and good word of mouth.” 3. Stay focused on your niche When you begin a new business venture, it’s easy to get excited and carried away that you want to tap into different markets immediately. This is a mistake most small business owners often find themselves making. Remember that spreading yourself too thin can result in missed opportunities to capture a more focused and engaged audience. Stay focused on niche markets and constantly work on optimizing your products and services. If you're in the restaurant or food business, then try not to stray away from your lane in the food service industry. Focus on your online presence and build brand trust. No matter how tempting it is to explore different markets, as a small business, it is best to stay committed to your niche and expand digital marketing based on that. This way, it will be easier for you to stand out more from the pack. 4. Keep your customer happy We cannot stress this enough- your customers’ happiness and satisfaction is a top priority as you build your business and brand. Try to think of some of your favorite brands. Apart from great products and services, what is it about them that keeps you coming back? Yes, it is an excellent customer experience. It is how that brand made you feel from the time you walked into their store to finally checking out. Say you run a coffeeshop business. Your business could be offering the best-tasting coffee in town. Still, with lazy and unattentive staff and a lousy physical ambiance, those are enough reasons to drive even an avid coffee fan to go to the second-best coffee shop with excellent service. Customer experience has a domino effect- it is that powerful. If you do it well, you will see a boost in positive brand awareness, traffic, and loyal customers to your online or physical store. Many top business owners advise that small business owners should put priority on just that. Your small business may have the most humble beginning, but if you create memorable experiences for your customers and go the extra mile to provide them the best service, you are going to go far. 5. Be time-efficient As an owner of a start-up company or a small business, we all know that you wear many hats. You are the CEO, but you can also be the head for marketing and promotions and even store logistics manager- the list never ends. As you grow your business, one of your most valuable assets is time. If you don’t value your time, no one else will. You must use it efficiently, and to help you do this, you have to take advantage of technology and automation. With technology and automated business tools, you can make the most out of your day and reinforce the way you run your business. Many different tools can aid you in this department. There are calendar and scheduling tools, tools to run your e-commerce shop seamlessly, and even some to optimize your digital marketing strategies. One of the best tools to help you be more time-efficient is to incorporate the use of a POS into your retail business. The best quality POS has an inventory management system, a loyalty program, a Back Office for summaries and reporting, and many other useful POS features. With this technology, you can focus on more important things and let the system do most of the time-consuming tasks. 6. Use different channels and platforms to reach your customers Omnichannel strategies are becoming more and more popular today- and that is no wonder! Customers today are shopping in more places. On your e-commerce store, on Amazon, on Instagram, on an online marketplace… the list goes on. To make sure you build brand awareness and offer more options to cater to your customers’ needs to purchase your products, start developing an omnichannel strategy. Remember that as you begin, you may not be able to sell everywhere and anywhere. Develop your omnichannel strategy while you get to know more about your target audience, where they shop, shopping habits, and behavior. If you have an e-commerce business, it is best if your site has a live chat tool so your customers can reach you easily. Monitor all your social media channels closely and be prompt in responding to your clients and potential customers. This way, you’ll be able to capture more information about your customers and improve your relationship with them to optimize your omnichannel strategy. 7. Don’t fear competitors We are going to repeat it, loud and clear, Don’t fear competitors. And yes, we know that is easier said than done. You are fresh meat in a highly competitive market, and that can be pretty intimidating. Keep in mind that you’re introducing new products into the market because you believe that people need them. Your small business offers something your competition lacks. Focus on that and carry that with confidence and pride. David Zimmerman, Director of eCommerce Solutions at Kensium, encourages small business owners to “not be afraid to compete against companies that are bigger or older than you. Many of these older companies are still hesitant or unwilling to shift their businesses online, leaving the door open for small businesses to win their customers and capture market share.” A great way to get ahead of your competition is through technology. With the advancement of technology and automated business tools such as POS, the way you run your business and cater to your customer needs can be more efficient, modern and entails less work on your part and less time on your customers. 8. Boost online promotion and online marketing strategies You are a small business owner in an arena of serious competition. It is important to choose your battles wisely. This is why only the strong survive in the small business industry because the pains and challenges can be daunting and stressful. Focus on your most valuable assets and plans to stay steady on the path to success. Today, the best way to make your business be known is to take advantage of the internet. Small businesses should invest if not all, a huge portion of their resources to boosting their online presence through online promotions and marketing strategies. This is the most cost-efficient and effective way to get the word out about your brand. You can use Google ads, social media platforms, and review sites. Pair that up with SEO, email marketing, and collecting customer reviews and feedback. For those businesses that are already established, take a closer look at the following tips to boost your online reputation: Email marketing: Through the loyalty program in your POS, you may send a nice and friendly email to your loyal customers to inform them about new promotions, deals, or even just good news about your store to entice them to purchase again. SEO: It’s a lot easier when your brand has already established its name. Once your business has some authority, you can go after bigger keywords and rank for them more quickly in search engines. Website: Consistently update your site by keeping things fresh in both design and content. Not only will this make you more attractive to Google, but you will also be more likely to attract customers. Marketing automation: Create email sequences to welcome new customers to your business, send out abandoned cart emails, and provide weekly updates to build your relationship with your current and potential customers. 9. Take data seriously Use data analytics to your ultimate advantage. The most successful business owners do not just rely on gut feelings and fleeting emotions to make important business decisions. They have data- solid facts and figures to base their decisions on. Data is also an excellent basis to assess your growth and performance. By taking data seriously, you can make more informed and calculated decisions and make better forecasts so you will know what to adjust or change for the better. The best POS system has a Back Office that contains real-time data that assesses and summarizes your overall business performance. From stocks, sales and expenditures, to employee performance and other analytics, you will all find it in your POS Back Office. In just a glance, you will be able to make better decisions for your business. Conclusion: It is an understatement to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has not been kind to small business owners. Almost 100,000 small businesses closed their doors permanently in 2020, in the US alone. The skies weren't blue either for those that managed to remain open. Consumer habits have also shifted as they cut their expenses and businesses scaled down their budgets due to the pandemic's uncertainty. Even global revenues have dropped significantly. Business success is a tricky thing, with a lot of influential factors involved. In a “normal” year, small business success can be threatened by a wide spectrum of obstacles. But as things are beginning to look better with the global economy reopening post-pandemic, we hope that you find these tips we shared with you useful in growing your business. All it takes is hard work, endurance, and a dose of adaptation and flexibility in this innovative and modern era.
  13. Long gone are those days when people thought that the only way to increase restaurant sales is by paying for advertisements. Even though it can make your brand be known, it is costly, and there is no guarantee that it will help you succeed. Nowadays, with the help of the internet, social media and modern-day technology, there are more cost-efficient yet effective ways to spice up how you run your restaurant business. Marketing and Promotion shouldn't be costly and make you break the bank. Just create a page on social media or have a good-looking website up. Use these platforms to engage with your customers and reach out to a wider audience so your brand will be known. Also, the one hsould never underestimate the power of the 'Word of Mouth.' In fact, it is one of the most powerful marketing strategies where you let your satisfied customers do the talking and recommend your business to their friends and colleagues. Read our article on Loyverse Town to find out some of the best ways to optimize your restaurant business and improve overall customer satisfaction.
  14. Keeping your restaurant business up and running amidst the fierce competition and rapidly changing trends can be challenging. Seasonality, the economy, and even trends, so many factors come into play for people to continuously choose your restaurant. But one thing is constant for restaurateurs: no matter how much you sell, there is always something you can do to level up the way you run your restaurant business to increase sales and improve overall customer satisfaction. Long gone are those days when people thought that the only way to increase restaurant sales is by paying for advertisements. Even though it can make your brand be known, it is costly, and there is no guarantee that it will help you succeed. In this article, we will walk you through some modern and practical things you can do to spice up the way you run your restaurant business today. 1) Offer a diversity of services Competition is tight in the restaurant scene, and diners never run out of options when choosing where they can eat. So, in order to increase your restaurant’s sales, you’ll have to make it easier for your customers to choose you over a competitor. If you offer online ordering, you clear up your phones and the lines out your door, and your guests will be happy not to wait around just to be served. This allows your kitchen and staff to accomplish more orders in less time. This feature also betters your online presence making you more discoverable and have a wider market reach. Besides, Restrictions on restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic are limiting dine-in services in many places. With online services, your customers will be able to order right from their computers or smartphones. Your guests want a convenient dining experience, not a complicated one. Make it easy for them and increase your sales at the same time by offering online ordering in your restaurant. Other services you can try to diversify your services for your customers’ convenience would be offering delivery services and optimizing your drive-thru window. In implementing delivery services, you don't need your delivery team thanks to the availability of reliable third-party delivery services like Grubhub and Postmates. When your customers can't come to you, you amp it up by bringing your services right at their doorstep. 2) Work on your online presence It’s no secret that more and more people have access to the web, especially on their mobile devices. Thanks to great free platforms for promotion and marketing such as social media, you can connect with your customers and increase your audience reach without taking much time out of your day. By leaving a comment on your fans’ posts, sharing photos of your food and staff, engaging with your loyal customers, and putting out exclusive offers for your followers, you create a community for your business that can grow far beyond your physical location. Social media helps increase awareness of your business in a world bombarded with countless restaurant choices and thus can help you improve your restaurant sales. It’s also a perfect way to connect with your community and humanize your brand. You can also increase your online presence by optimizing your website for phones and tablets. No matter how much time you put into your business’s website, most of your customers will scoot right out of your page if it’s not optimized for phones and tablets. Make sure your website looks great and is viewed well on tablets, phones, and desktops alike. Let’s say you still don't have the fun to build a website for your restaurant, the next best thing you can do to help customers find your business is to create a Google My Business (GMB) listing with your address, hours of operation, phone number, and pictures of your location. GMB listings also allow your customers to share their thoughts about your restaurant and post photos of your food dishes online to be seen by others curious about your business. 3) Craft a Great Loyalty Program and other Customer Retention Strategies It costs much less time, money, and effort to increase restaurant sales if you focus on your existing customers rather than trying to acquire new ones. Investing in a customer retention program is a great first place to start increasing your sales, and a loyalty program can help you do just that. Word of mouth is one of the best ways any business will gain traction. People generally don’t trust paid ads, but they do trust their friend’s recommendation of a favorite place to eat. A good loyalty program increases customers, as those looking for somewhere to eat are more likely to bring along coworkers, friends, or family to your restaurant. There are a lot of ways you can set up your loyalty program, but one of the most common is to create a point system that can track each time a customer visits your restaurant and makes a purchase, so they can work towards earning a free item of their choosing or an incentive. Offering free drinks and desserts is often a good choice because they’re less expensive than an entree, but they will still make your guests feel appreciated. A good POS system can help you set up a system that tracks points and keeps a record of details of your loyal customers. 4) Utilize Restaurant Technology Bulky computers and outdated cash registers can create long queues and jam up your lines, manually handwritten orders are often prone to mistakes or misunderstandings from your kitchen team, and dated technology is dated for a reason. The last thing you want is to have a customer completely scratch your business of their choices of places to eat because of your slow and inefficient service. We’re telling you, just having good food is not going to save you. Without a reliable POS system and the corresponding features that integrate with your system seamlessly, your restaurant’s efficiency is at risk of stalling, thus limiting the amount of sales you can process in a given time. Bring in a modern POS with a reporting feature so that you can streamline your operations and access all the data you need to know how to increase your restaurant’s sales. A good POS usually has kitchen display and customer display services to instantly bring in orders of your customers straight to the kitchen. Most POS also integrates well with other business tools so you can maximize your work using these technology such as accepting payments both on the physical and online setup. A great feature of POS that your restaurant can use is inventory management so you can keep track of your supplies and materials to accomplish the things on your menu. 5) Increase the Speed of your service with POS The more food you sell, the more money you make, and the obvious way to sell more food is to serve more people. This is where table turnover comes into play. So why not provide your staff with the tools they need to increase the speed and efficiency of service? Use technology to your advantage. The best restaurants will use POS systems to eliminate the need for servers to scurry back and forth to the register to process payments and credit cards. For example, a mobile point of sale (POS) device gives servers the ability to send orders directly from the POS to the kitchen. Also, you can hand your customers tablets with POS systems so they can now key in their orders that will go straight to the kitchen and register. This way, your servers don’t have to manually takedown orders with a pen and paper and race to and from a stationary terminal often jampacked by other servers. POS systems also have a feature that tracks the performance and schedule of your staff so you will know who is working and if your employees efficiently cover all guests in your dining rooms. Keep your serving staff on schedule. Ensure that your restaurant has enough employees to cover all the guests in your dining room and train your staff to take drink orders in a timely manner and promptly bring out the check at the end of the meal. Conclusion: Any customer that has chosen your restaurant to dine has expectations of great food and excellent service and failing to deliver both can cause your restaurant business to suffer tremendously. If your customer is happy and satisfied with your restaurant service, they are likely to talk about their experience with others and are also likely to return. Having happy customers starts with having great customer service, and having great customer service can start with these 5 Quick Tips we shared in this article. We hope this article has given you an idea of how to improve your restaurant service and provide an exceptional customer experience.
  15. These are some business tycoons who started with nothing and climbed their way to dizzying heights of success: Howard Schultz of Starbucks Ralph Lauren of POLO Do Won Chang of Forever 21 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal Daymond John of FUBU Sam Walton of Walmart Kevin Plank of Under Armour Sara Blakely of Spanx Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic Read their stories at:

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