Here in Melbourne we are in our fifth Covid lockdown. As well as owning POS software company and working with local small business retailers every day, I also own three retail businesses and several online businesses.
This Covid lockdown To-Do list for local small business retailers is practical advice you can action without cost, to make the most of the lockdown opportunity.
Whether your shop is closed or open but with less traffic, now is an ideal time to work on your business.
- List what’s not sold. Run a report listing all inventory in the business that has not sold at all this year. This list gives you a starting point for action. We did this last week for one customer and identified $15,000 worth of dead stock, stock the owner to that point was not focussed on.
- Act on what’s not sold. Dead stock is dead weight. If you have long since paid for it, cents in the dollar for it is better than nothing.
- Look at what’s been selling with what. Often the items in the same basket are not seen by retailers as items you can put together. This list, which you should be able to get from your POS software, can guide shop floor placement changes.
- Front to back clean. Literally, start at the front of the shop and work your want to the back. Clean every single product. We often find that the act of holding every product leads to decisions about some products, decisions we might otherwise not have made. We have just done this at one of our own Westfield shops and the decisions we made along the way have been liberating.
- Work on your roster. Look at what usually sells by day of week and by time. Your POS software should be able to help with this. Take time to review your roster to ensure it is set appropriately. Labour is usually the top or second highest cost in a retail business outside of inventory.
- Reset the front third of the store. Look carefully at that front third of your store. Make bold changes simply by moving things, so that when shoppers return they see things they’ve not noticed before.
- Prepare social media content that leverages you. Using your phone, film short videos of you or a team member talking about products. Prepare these to load over time on Facebook, Instagram and more. Have fun.
- If you have a website for the business, write blog posts as they are absolutely the single best thing you can do to attract traffic to the website. A blog post should be single topic, pitch a consistent keyword at least five times and be over 350 words. We have a lot of experience with this and note, again, this is the single most effective online marketing for a website. The only investment is your time – don’t outsource this.
- Learn something new. Ask your POS software company for the best report in the software to reveal what you are unlikely to know about your business. Run that report. Read it. Make a list of things you could do. Act on it.
- Be a shopfitter. Shopfitters are expensive. Look at an area of your shop that you want to change that you would usually hire a shoplifter to handle. Think through how you can do it yourself. I know many retailers who have done this and vowed to not use shopfitters for such changes in the future.
- If you are online, undertake a data driven review of your website. Look at your traffic and the traffic of your competitors. Review your site and theirs. Look for opportunities to attract more shoppers to your site based on the data. Whoever developed your website should be able to collate this data for you.
- Personally: refresh. If you can take a break from business, even for an hour a day, read fiction, listen to music you love, go for a walk outside. These nourishing things can help reset mood and that could help you discover new opportunities for your business.
My POS software company, Tower Systems, is a local Aussie POS software company serving 3,500+ local small business retailers, many newsagents, with POS software and beautiful Shopify websites. Beyond this, we also offer retail business management advice and help to our customers every day.
Thanks for reading. have an awesome rest of your weekend …
Mark Fletcher | firstname.lastname@example.org.