“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.”
- Albert Einstein


Having started a new business in retail or hospitality, your sole aim now is take it through. How to influence others, how to aim higher and zoom into a successful business? The challenge is to become visible and well known.


As a businessman, it was your passion that drove you to a dream. In your pursuance to grow your dream business, you will have to face various challenges to achieve the defined goals. As part of the broad widespread hospitality or retail world, you must ensure to keep your customer happy. Having said so, allowing the customer to take all calls, will not make you a successful retailer. There are certain important decisions to be taken, just by you.


The decision to prioritize

This involves beginning from ordering inventory for your store, knowing latest market trends in retail and hospitality, training staff, scheduling online marketing and doing so much more.


The decision to train people

In the hospitality business, people are involved. It is essential to train the employees regularly. Investing time and training in people will harvest a great reward at the right time, in the form of sales.


The decision to know your competition

Successful retailers take time to visit competitors. They analyse products, see the customer service experience, store-displays, online shopping opportunities, the overall consumer experience. There is a need to recognise constant retail changes, missed opportunities, new strategies for sales and evolve with time to move swiftly in the retail world.

As an upcoming businessman, you need to stay abreast of growing market trends in the retail and hospitality sector, understanding that the market is constantly evolving and so are the customers. There is an urgent need to stay competitive and be relevant.


Key things that will help in running your retail or hospitality business seamlessly well are:

Firstly, think of the approach you want to take. If you think you can compete against a large retailer, there is no harm in trying.


Check your Accounts

Keep a proper accounting system in place to understand the financial state of your retail or hospitality business. You can either choose to do it yourself or hire an accountant. Whether there is a profit or loss, channelize funds accordingly and take decisions for the future growth of your business. Keep a record of every transaction; every sale, purchase, staff payment and bills. Check transactions through regular bookkeeping. It would be efficient to keep a close view on the money coming in and going out, to avoid unexpected events.


Manage your inventory well

Keep a tab of the inventory. In case you are involved in online retailing; you must be able to generate the order and ship it as per the order placed. Whenever customers place an order, the required item must be available. Having a good inventory system in place will help in tracking inventory regularly and in updating the orders and invoices in the accounting system. The same holds if you have a physical store.


Advertise

Build a good website to make your retail or hospitality business visible. Post testimonies to set up a track record and increase credibility. Publicise yourself for people to know you exist and have something good to offer. Word of mouth, flyers, newspapers, radio and sending out commercials are other modes of advertising, which you can choose to, spread the word. Network with other business owners and get contacts and referrals for new business opportunities.


Be regular with bills

Pay your bills on time. Keep a tab of government deadlines for tax payments and other legal requirements. This will keep your business in good books. Trying and maintaining a good credit rating will place you in good books. It will make you get advance business loans easily at times of need. Business loans are designed to give you ultimate ease and convenience in smooth business banking. You can also avail a dedicated Relationship Manager to manage your funds and guide you with the right products & services. To get tailor made financial solutions and personalized assistance, get in touch with us.


Purchase good equipment

In any retail business, time saved is profit made. Invest in equipment or rent equipments that will support your team of employees. Take steps towards benefiting your people in terms of time and value.


Keep a check on your employees

In the service industry, people are the greatest asset. Train your employees well. One unhealthy employee can bring a bad name to your business and also hamper growth. Check the wages and salaries and pay as per industry standards. Win the trust of your employee at the training stage, so that you do not end up losing the person to a competitor.


Think of long time relationships, not just service

In treating customer as king, consider it of great value to have him around for a longer time. Make use of goodies like Thank you notes, unique & pretty gift wraps, shorter approach times & quicker check outs, gift certificates, longer store hours during seasons. Seek to have the customer around for a long cherished time.


Know more about the hospitality & retail industry

Hospitality is wide and broader than most industries. It includes Food & Beverages, Accommodations & Travel and Tourism. The success or failure of your business depends on how well you as a team serve others. The more better you get in managing several facets of hospitality, the bigger opportunities of growth and success will come knocking at your doorstep.


In retail, the key aspect is ‘Customer satisfaction’. Work hard to deliver excellent service, retain brand loyalty and see your retail business run seamlessly.
In a nuptial, some crucial tips in retail are

  • Say hello to the customer
  • Discover the need
  • Provide a solution
  • Close the sale
  • Follow it up


In running your business seamlessly well, be wise in your approach of time and people. Avoid taking too much load on yourself. Invest in people wisely so that your business grows productively. Never get in to something new, just for the sake of it. Maintain a good reputation by delivering what you have promised to deliver. Gain confidence in your strengths as the days go by and grow on your well founded abilities.


If you liked what you read, check out other articles in the series.

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purpose only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. Bank make no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Newsletter. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from Kotak. Kotak, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein.