5 Strategies for Retail Growth

In a tough business climate, Springfield Music keeps growing. This past year alone, the company opened a new location in Lawrence, KS and also took over operations for Band Instrument Service Company (BISCO) in St. Charles, MO. Donovan Bankhead, Springfield Music’s president, reveals five key strategies that have kept the company healthy.

1. Know who you are, what you stand for, and what makes you different. Then figure out with this info, who is your target customer, and are there enough of them in your market area.

2. Make a plan - marketing, business, and budget (incl. OTB for inventory)
  • Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
  • If it’s written it’s real. Therefor, if it’s not written, it’s not real. 
  • Now that you know who you are, align your plans to fit. 
    • Create a business plan that incorporates any new or redefined strategies.
    • What inventory do you need? 
    • What’s an appropriate budget for your plans? 
    • How will you effectively market your business? 
  • Focus your inventory and your efforts. It’s easy to try and be all things to all people, but even the largest and smartest retailers generally find this to be a losing scenario. 
    • Generally, the smaller you are, the more benefits you get by focusing on your core strengths and doing them better than anyone. 
  • Tap the power of your team - the old days of the owner as guru are over. Create a culture and strategy focused on improvement: This is an area where many retailers fall short. An effective culture begins by identifying and communicating key objectives, and then breaking-down those objectives into store, department and employee goals. For example, if a retailer’s primary objective is improved profitability, how is that translated into concrete goals for a warehouse worker, store clerk or janitor? This cascading of strategy and objectives occurs alongside management processes to check performance against these goals, adjusting and improving as they go.
  • Find a mentor - You’d be surprised by who would help you if you just reach out and ask.

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