With Independent Retailer Month now upon us there has never been a better time for small scale retailers and independents to take the lead and show how they can compete with today’s big brands and high-street names. Despite tough trading conditions, there is growth and potential in the independent retail sector as Independent Retailer Month’s Clare Rayner points out in her blog “2011 was a year of growth for Independent retail“. In fact, in many cases independents often have greater flexibility to adapt to survive in times of economic difficulties.
Breaking Down Barriers, turning a good idea into a successful retail business
Whatever your sector, from independent florists to fashion boutiques, it’s important for independents to understand that competing with bigger retailers is completely within theirgrasp. Many of the barriers that used to make turning a good retail idea into a successful retail business are now greatly reduced. For instance, marketing your business and appearing professional is now more attainable and affordable for small retailers than ever before. With the popularity of online communications and social media, independent retailers can be in direct contact with customers and promote themselves for free, avoiding expensive advertising costs. Likewise, when it comes to branding, promotional and merchandising materials, Avery’s Small Business Solutions range means that retail start-ups, independents and online sellers can easily create professional end-results that match the standard of the big brands without paying for bulk orders or design costs.
Independent retailers actually have key advantages over larger chains
In many instances, independent retailers actually have key advantages over larger chains. Keep in mind that independent retailers can usually have much better control over their output and interaction with customers than bigger operations typically can. Owners of small and independent retail outlets are often likely to be directly involved in employee and customer communications and, as a result, are far more likely to be aware of the overall levels of service their customers receive, as well as the satisfaction levels of both customers and staff.
Celebrate being an Independent Retailer!
Don’t forget to celebrate your status as an independent retailer too! Remember that chain stores and large retail operations often spend a fortune trying to replicate the intimate personal connections that independent retailers have with their customers. Independents should be proud of the close relationships they often have with customers – this is part of what differentiates their offering from that of a major chain.
It’s widely acknowledged that customers like to feel understood, valued and special to the brands they buy from, which can be a lot easier to achieve as a small and independent retailer. When customers feel all of these things they start to like your brand and trust your service, choosing to buy from you more often and recommending you to others around them. This is when independent retailers can really begin to experience a boost in reputation, popularity and sales.
Celebrate Independent Retailer Month…
So as we move into Independent Retailer Month, Avery would like to take this opportunity to show its support and remind independent retailers everywhere that they really do have the power to reinvigorate our high streets and measure up to the big brands out there!
For further ideas and advice download Avery’s free guide on Making the Right Impression in Business by visiting www.avery.co.uk/SmallBiz.