The start of a New Year is a good time to take stock and discard excess baggage from your business, making it leaner and more focused on what you want/need the business to be.
Each of us should look at our businesses carefully, and consider cutting, / quitting the areas that are not contributing in any measurable way.
Historically, newsagencies have been general, diverse, businesses. Whereas in the past this has served us well, specialisation is king in retail – if you don’t want to compete with the supermarkets or discount variety stores.
If you’re not sure about specialisation, take a look at Smiggle, Kikki.K and Typo. These stationery-focussed businesses each target a different segment of the stationery marketplace. Then, in general stationery, we have Officeworks, Office Choice, Australia Post, Supermarkets and others.
Whereas newsagents used to own stationery, we kept doing our old thing while the world changed around us. Our percentage of stationery sales in Australia has slipped considerably over the last 10+ years.
So, what are you doing in an old-school way in your newsagency that is not paying its way, that you could cut co you can be more of a specialist / destination retailer? What excess baggage can you discard?
Think about it carefully. For example, some newsagents will say cut magazines. I’d say this would be dangerous since we have a better range than anyone else and magazines continue to generate excellent traffic for us.
Like I said, think about it carefully. Each of us will have a different answer since it’s about our businesses in our local situation.
In the past, in the older retail environment, our channel could act as a channel. Today that’s not relevant unless there is contractual compliance that gets all trading under a common name performing at exactly the same level. The closest we have to that in the newsagency channel in Australia is Newslink and WH Smith.
Contracting from doing a bit of everything to being more of a specialist retailer is important for us to consider.
Happy New Year! May your 2014 be fun, satisfying and prosperous.