5 Things To Know About Retail

5 Things To Know About Retail

Retail can be a fickle beast.  It can suck the life out of you, or invigorate and inspire you.  It’s really about your perspective on any given day.  Tomorrow, is a whole new day with a whole new perspective. When I first started I thought: “Clothing Retail?  Sure, I like clothes!”. There is so much more to know and experience and I hope some of my experiences and perspectives from owning a Retail store can help you. Here are 5 things to know about retail directly from a retailer.

  1. You have to be passionate

If you’re not already married before getting into retail, prepare for your first marriage. Retail is an all-consuming business.  It’s a 24/7 365 gig.  It’s pretty rare for any independent retail operation to begin with the owner able to wear only one hat. Especially on the first go around.  Wearing only one hat is an earned privilege.  If you own your own retail business, you wear all the hats. You had better make sure that you’re passionate about it!

  1. Retail can be long hours

Retail is as much of a Monday to Friday 9-5 gig as restaurants and bars. Your hours per week will range anywhere from 20-80 hours per week.  Many, many, many, times you’ll find yourself taking a quick break for meals and heading right back to finish setting up for that big sale, special promotion or event. Or even heading back simply to finish that social media post without distractions. Or tidying up month end paperwork.  The point is you are working untold and uncounted hours to get the job done.  Nobody will do it for you.

  1. Sales Results Change

Things change, best laid plans sometimes never come to fruition.  Economies fluctuate.  Your staff become like family and often times, the first person to go without is you.  Be prepared.  Be properly financed and most importantly, when things are good remember to save, don’t live like a rock star. Sales fluctuate. Just because this month you may be able to afford the lease payment on that new Beamer you’ve eyed up for years, it does not mean that next month you will be able to afford it.

  1. Look at buying shows like choosing investments

Buying shows sound like a true glamour and glitz experience.  Key words “sound like”. Big cities, fancy meals out and wining and dining all sound like a grandiose time. The reality is that it’s serious business…or at least it should be.  Wall Street investors research and take the time to decide on what they should invest vast sums of money. You should do the same when deciding how best to invest your money in your new inventory.  It’s exhausting.  It’s exhilarating and it’s super easy to make big mistakes.  Do your homework and pay attention.

  1. It is All About the Customers

It can be the most stressful, difficult, tedious and all-encompassing job, but it can also provide you with the most rewarding lifestyle. A retail life can enable you to take time when you need it, sneak away to watch the concerts, basketball games and dance recitals, and to attend every single parent-teacher interview.  However, it can also be the thing that forces you to miss all those things.  It can help you to celebrate the most lavish wedding anniversary or can cause you to miss it completely.  Don’t sweat it.  If you do have to miss something, it’s because you’ve decided to not compromise your dedication to your customers, because at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about.  Every retailer knows deep down that fulfilling that customer’s needs, and locking down the big sale is rewarding to the max.  We build stores and offerings that are a reflection of ourselves and our interests, and it is extremely satisfying to know that others support you and your vision.

Marc Beerling
Marc Beerling
Marc joins the CRS team with 15+ years in retail. He has worn every hat a retailer can wear and now puts his experience and expertise to work helping other retailers increase sales, improve cash flow and ultimately improve profitability. He often says with a grin that he’s “Proudly made every mistake you can possibly make in retail and business ownership. Thankfully, I’ve learned from every single one of them.”