How the Closing of Retail stores Affects You

Each year companies project earnings and loss. Many make difficult decisions based on those numbers. When retail stores announce closings, how does that impact you, your family and your business?

Convenience. We are creatures of habit and convenience. When we can easily locate the product or service we need in a familiar location near our home or office, it makes our lives better. When a retail store we frequent closes, we have to find an alternative, which could require a different path.

Choice. Discretionary income, and life in general is fueled by our choice. In retail, there are a number of options for similar goods and services, and our choice predicates survival. Two ways to unpack this thought. One, where and how we decide to shop, and two, who we shop with. (See convenience).

Creativity. The close of a retail store does not indicate a decline in shopping. There are other statistics that indicate economic trends. A store closing signals more on the operation of that business, which has a number of factors. However there is a lining of opportunity that exists for small businesses that operate in the retail space, or provide a service shopping for others. Small retail businesses have the creative flexibility to reach consumers in fun ways to encourage purchases. Personal shoppers and concierge services can support the convenience and choice of consumers not willing to travel or are in need of assistance seeking the alternative shop.

The Business Insider recently compiled a list of the retail stores with locations closing in the coming year. http://www.businessinsider.com/stores-closing-in-2018-2017-12

What opportunity does this present for you?

The Evolution of Advertising & Consumer Data

The ideal television of the future. The realis...
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More specifically, the evolution of your customer. Incorporating social media into your overall mix definitely has it’s benefits.  We tend to shy away from social media in business because we feel it’s unmeasurable (i.e., no real ROI).

When the television set and advertising was introduced in the late 40’s, early 50’s – there was a bit of caution and concern about this new method to reach viewing audiences with animated advertisements and messaging. After a few tries, the concept took off, and as the television gained more popularity and more people gained access, then real costs, returns, and monitoring took off and there was comfort in using this method as a way to drive/inform consumers to products & services.

Just as the television revolutionized a new era, the internet has done the same. This time evolving in a number of forms. From one-dimensional promotion to multi-dimensional communication. The opportunities with this media are limitless today, however at some point there may be some marginalizing before the next revolution is introduced.

In the meantime, to be successful at using social media for business, you have to look beyond the ‘cutesy’ interaction and (overheard) ‘time-sucking’ nature of the proverbial beast, and take value in the powerful lessons and consumer information you can learn from participation.

Engaging in social media is not about controlling the message, it is about learning more about the people who use your product or service and interacting with them in such a way that they value and promote you.  Social media is like word-of-mouth amplifyed.  You want to be a part of the conversation being had about your brand.  And you want the opportunity to have a voice.

From that positive interaction comes a new set of data to track, and you can begin to measure the value of your online interactions with the impact to your bottom line. This means commitment. Committing to the engagement, and committing to the follow through. You can have a deliberate approach to social media along with measurable results.

Don’t believe me?  Check out the following article titled “From Home to Social: The Evolution of Your Customer Data” by Jill Dyche

http://smartdatacollective.com/Home/25736.

Then ask yourself, am I committed to the value of my customer?

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Hairstylists, Marketing & Customer Service

Cape Canaveral
Image by Goldmund100 via Flickr

What can a hairstylist teach us about marketing?? I just read this article from MarketingProfs, and more than one light bulb went off! Marketing Is So Much More Than Promotion: Just Visit My Hairdresser . Besides the title of the article, reading it was more like an epiphany….what would happen if we started putting the customer first.

Ok, honestly not much of an epiphany, more like a trip back to the basics.  When we begin to position ourselves and our business from the eyes (or perspective) of the ones we serve, we can truly evaluate the picture.  It’s almost like looking in the mirror.  Sometimes we avoid it because we aren’t happy with what we see; sometimes we look past it because we want to see more than is really there; why not look directly at it and discover what the mirror truly reveals.

Your business is a reflection of you.  Why not strive to be your best at all times?!

Moving past the reflection, you have to also make time for strategy.  It’s easy to jump into the work…but what are you working for?

Create a few definitions with the following questions:

Self-Focused

1. Who am I? What am I known for?

2. Who do I want to be?

Client-Centered

3. Who is my ideal client? Where can I find them?

4. What will make my client come back (stay)?

5. Am I providing the service my client needs? (Am I meeting my client’s needs?) How do I know?

6. Will my client refer me to their friends?

Business-minded

7. Do I have processes in place to attract & retain both clients and employees?

8. Do I have a clearly defined sales goal? business goal?

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