5 Basic Mistakes That are Costing Your Business

Whether you appear to be perfectly content with your current sales or are struggling to keep your business afloat, a few simple changes to your business model could drastically increase your results — and bottom line.
While there’s certainly a lot of value in looking at high-level strategies for improvement, in many cases, you can acheive some dractiscally positive results by fixing the mistakes that orignate at the the ground level.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common errors retailers make when running their business. Go through them below, and see if you and your team are guilty of these mistakes.
1. Having an Obsolete POS System
If your business relies heavily on the use of a point of sale system in your operations, it is essential to utilize the best in POS technology available. Whether you own a pop-up shop, clothing store, or other retail-based establishment, a slow buggy, and obsolete POS could be costing you a fortune.
Out of date POS technology can often leave the customer waiting for unnecessary amounts of time, can be easily compromised by hackers in order to steal valuable personal information, and are prone to crashing at some of the most opportune moments that are notorious for shutting your operations down for hours, or even days!
Signs Your POS Could Use an Update
  • Screens repeatedly stick, freeze or become inoperable
  • The system crashes often
  • Customers become angry at long wait times
  • The system is bulky and cumbersome to operate
It is important to note that POS systems are rapidly evolving. While a point of sale system was originally designed to simply ring up sales for your customers, modern solutions have evolved to offer mobile freedom, speed, and functionalities.
That’s why if you’re currently not using a modern POS, do your business a favor and make the switch.
2. Not Hiring the Right People
Even if you decide to upgrade to the most advanced point of sale systems on the market, your business is only as capable as the employees who operate them. Take your time when hiring qualified candidates and be sure to clearly envision the person who would fit your needs. Do not rush the hiring process, as taking on the wrong applicant will cost more time and money in the long run.
As for what qualities to look for, strive to hire people who:
  • possess empathy and can relate to various types of shoppers
  • have the ability to think on their feet
  • have a strong work ethic
  • are a team player
Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to other business owners who may be able to provide you with their unique hiring tips. If you find an establishment with top-notch employees, don’t hesitate to ask the manager how they are tapping into such an excellent talent pool!
3. Having an Untidy Store
Let’s face it, nobody likes to open up the mop closet, dig through countless cleaners, vacuums, and brooms, and spend their entire day removing dust bunnies from some ridiculously obscure places on the sales floor. However, rigorously enforcing and implementing basic storeroom cleanliness is quite possibly the most basic and easiest change to your business model that will help your company rake in the dough. Customers understandably tend to find uncleanly retail environments distasteful.
A thoroughly cleaned and spruced up storefront is guaranteed to make a better, long-lasting impression on your customers, create a healthier work environment, and even boost confidence levels within your sales staff. You might want to consider adding a mandatory daily cleaning item during each employee’s shift, adding a cleaning checklist to your store manager’s “to-do” list, or even hiring a professional cleaning company if you believe things have gotten out of hand, or simply don’t have the time.
4. Failing to Implement Grassroot and Word of Mouth Initiatives
This is especially important if you are a new business in town, but well-established companies can always stand to increase their grassroots outreach dramatically. Word of mouth will not only help attract your most loyal customer base, but these customers also tend to spend more money per person than anyone else!
Don’t be afraid to host special events, provide members-only incentives, or offer irresistible perks to those who directly refer other customers to your store. Be especially friendly to new customers and offer high levels of service that attract repeat business. More focus should be spent on grassroots approaches and tactics than almost anything else, so get out there, engage your community, and watch your repeat customer base skyrocket.
5. Using an Outdated Website
This may seem self-explanatory, but building and maintaining a current, mobile-friendly website for your business is one of the most important things you can do in today’s competitive environment.
Mobile-friendly websites are designed to work on smaller screens strategically and essentially function in a totally different manner than their desktop counterparts. The number of customers that find your business via smartphones or tablets is astonishing, and experts agree that this number is going to continue to rapidly increase as more smart devices hit the market on a daily basis.
Platforms like WordPress can make it extremely tempting to build your own website in-house. However, unless you have some hefty experience, it is strongly recommended that you use a professional web design firm or contractor. These companies and individuals not only take the technical headache of your website off of your shoulders, but they may also be able to utilize valuable SEO tools and other marketing strategies that can boost your business to the forefront of search engines. Be sure to include intermittent specials, announcements, blogs, and “online-only” sales to help attract at-home shoppers.
Whatever you do, be sure to have your web design team continually update your website regularly, as nothing makes a prospective buyer hit the back button faster than a homepage from the late 90s!