These tips are simple, but many businesses ignore them. It doesn't matter if you are running a grocery store, petrol station, office, if you have two or two hundred employees. These are the most standard tips.
Every business needs customers. How you treat your customers is crucial. Any business can get people to walk in that first time, it takes care and skill to get them to enter the second.
People go where they feel they matter. They go where they get good service. They don't go where they are treated like dirt. People will pay more at this place where they get good service than the few pennies savings at that place where they are treated as annoyances.
If you can't get and keep your customers, you will go out of business.
Price is secondary. People will pay more for good service. This has been proven time and again.
You want to succeed? Give good service.
Always have one less worker than you need. This means the manager or owner has to be on the floor. By forcing the manager or owner on the floor there is a connection to the customers. This is vital.
Managers locked into offices looking at a computer are worthless. They have no idea what is happening on the floor. The manager who can get up and find that product for the customer insures that customer will return.
Watch your staff, not just to prevent stealing but to insure each has work. Each is busy. If too many are lounging around talking you will have trouble. People do not 'join' a company because they have mutual interests, they get a job. They may hate each other. As long as they are too busy to see each other there can be no argument.
Ensure each member of staff knows what they are supposed to do and what is required in case of emergencies.
The manager should be able to run the cash register or bag the goods or stock the shelves.
It is wise to understand the job so as to prevent fatigue. When a worker is so tired many things will slip by. There should be frequent breaks and alterations.
Check your busy times and your not so busy times.
For example; having everyone come at 8:00 is usually stupid. It is a waste of time, a waste of money. One should have short overlapping shifts.
For example, the Office opens at 8:00. The cleaners should arrive at 7:00 and complete what they can by 8:00. They can leave at 8:30 and are paid for that hour and one half.
Some of the staff arrives at 8:00 and begins work. Some arrive at 10:00 and begin. Those at 8:00 will take their lunch from 11 am to 12 pm. Those who arrive at 10:00 will take their lunch between 2 pm and 3 pm.
Those who arrive at 8:00 leave at 4 pm. Those who arrive at 10 am leave at 6 pm.
An afternoon staff will arrive at 3 pm and work until 7 pm. Cleaners will arrive at 8 pm and do the major cleaning until 10 pm.
This would be the blue print for a business which is open from 8 am to 7 pm.
If the busiest time is between 10 am and 2 pm, hiring part time workers for that period is wise. Often having them come in at 9:30 and leave at 2:30 is how to go.
Many businesses are moving to the six hour work day with a thirty minute lunch break. You might consider this.
Your usual algorithm is 5 to 1. If you spend $1.00 on an item you charge $5.00. In this way, you make back the $1, you pay $1 for labour, you pay $1 for utilities, you have $1 for price rises, and $1 for profit.
Obviously, if you have 100 items and sell 50 you spent $50 and you made $500.
If you notice the items are not moving, drop the price. Consider everything on the shelves to be be 'dead money'. You have to get rid of dead money.
It is better to cut the price and move the items then go out of business.
Many businesses will take items that have sat a few months and put them on sale, trying to get rid of them. Sometimes, small items can be given away to those who spend over X dollars. Although one may lose on the gift they gain on the purchases a customer makes.
For example, these items have sat for months. No one wants them. Suppose a sign goes up; "Free Gift with every purchase of $50." So people who planed to spend $40 will spend $50 to get the item.
Don't be afraid to sell new and different things. To try to be different. Take a corner and set it up for something unusual. It may work, it may not. But the try will eventually succeed. Many places which have put a counter of thumb drives, although they are not a computer store, or handkerchief, where they sell food, may hit on that product people want.
DON'T GET COMPLACENT
Don't think because you are the only petrol station in five miles that you can do what you want. Another might open across the road and put you out of business.
Many companies collapse because the customer hate the business. They wouldn't shop there if they had a choice because of the lousy customer service or high prices. As a monopoly, the business survives. The moment there is competition, the business collapses.
This is because the owners took the customers for granted. Treated them as if they were enslaved and had no choice. This is a very bad way to stay in business. Even if your company is the only one which sells X within ten miles, always be alert that some wise entrepreneur may see your business and decide to become a rival.
This will fail if your customers are loyal and content with you. It will fail if over the years you have built up a strong base by giving gifts, having sales, but most of all, making everyone who walks in your door feel welcome