The prospect of starting a new business is an exciting one for aspiring retailers and restaurateurs. However, both industries are extremely competitive, and it’s important to avoid common errors that can doom a business before it opens. Here are four pitfalls to avoid:
1. Failure to carefully decide on a concept and location
Blindly choosing a retail or restaurant concept is the first mistake would-be entrepreneurs make when starting a new business. It’s important to first find a good location in a good market. Look for one with assets including adequate parking, access, and visibility.
Once you’ve found a good location, determine a demand in the local market that you can meet. You can analyze what successful businesses are offering, both in terms of merchandise or fare and customer experiences. Conducting focus groups may help as well.
2. Failure to have a clear focus
The anticipation and excitement that come with starting a new business cause some retailers and restaurant operators to veer off in different directions. For example, a store that carries name-brand items may also start stocking handicrafts, or a restaurant that serves French cuisine may try to add other ethnic or generic fare.
It’s a mistake, however, to try to please all of the people all of the time. Failure to have a laser-sharp business focus confuses customers, decreasing your chance to win their loyalty. Reporting features of your Point of Sale (POS) system can help you find areas of greatest profitability so you can focus on them.
3. Failure to provide valuable customer service
Customers that choose to patronize your business aren’t just there for the merchandise or the menu. They also expect a high quality of service. Identify the value-adds your business can provide and showcase them each time you serve a customer. Provide the information, advice, and help customers are looking for.
Your POS system can help you and your employees to access the information customers want, as well as personalize service and make offers that are relevant based on purchase history.
Also remember that customers often equate good service with minimal waiting. Choose a POS system for your new business that is powerful enough to run your software without delays so you can wait on customers quickly and efficiently.
4. Failure to choose a purpose-built POS system
In today’s data-driven, customer-centric environment, small businesses need the right POS system to compete. You need a robust POS system to properly track what is selling and what is not (and make adjustments accordingly), ensure you have the right stock at the right time, efficiently process sales transactions, and manage finances and labor scheduling.
Work with a qualified POS solutions provider to help you determine the right system for your type of business and for your individual needs.
You want your new business to be successful and grow. Avoiding these missteps will help you navigate your business in the right direction, build a base of satisfied, loyal customers, and operate profitably and competitively. For more information on how a POS system can help you manage your business, contact Bematech.