How does your week work? What do you do to keep organized? How do you adapt your routine to new tasks?
Most of us are already dealing with so many things that the new tasks just get shuffled to the bottom of the stack. Many of my clients opened before things like social media, online marketing, e-commerce, and omni-channel existed. The new tech was relegated to the bottom of the priorities, and now they want to use it but can’t find the time. In one case, one of my clients hasn’t updated their website with new product in over 3 months! Another one has Instagram and Twitter started, but never dealt with comments on their Facebook page.
It just comes down to time. You don’t need to spend eight hours doing a task, but a little everyday. Something I do for most of my clients is workflow plans: ways of taking the data and new tech they’ve been given and building it into their workday.
But here’s the thing: I haven’t done that for myself. I’ve got my administration down, everything is billed and paid on time, my clients are happy, I have reports written and returned after the project concludes, but I haven’t got my forward-facing online presence built into my week. So I’ve developed a plan, for me and for you, to keep the web presence on track, along with those tasks that aren’t always front of mind.
Not all of these are active tasks. You may still be researching them. Maybe you don’t need to overhaul your website, but look at competitors’ websites. Read a blog. Peruse some marketing material and see what others do that you can do better, or differently.
Well, after a prolonged hiatus, I'm back. Let's get down to the task at hand: talking about Retail. Note: Big R “Retail” is the concept. Little r “retail” is what happens in stores.
If you just Google the word, you'll see most definitions concern themselves with the buying and selling aspect, and often in a store. These definitions only work in a historical setting. In the last twenty years, the retail environment has exploded into models and concepts extending far beyond a store that sells things. Further, the retail design theories that most stores use have leaked over into previously “unretail” spaces. I would also say that a great many spaces that are not “retail” can be read as “Retail.” Look, we could spend a long time talking about meta-definitions and perfomative acts and back-reading retail theory into a lot of things, but to lay it out, here's the official Green Enterprises definition of Retail.
Retail – a physical or conceptual space open to the public, or a segment of the public, voluntarily entered that communicates a certain set of information and values. These spaces concern themselves with the flow of human traffic, the direction of gaze, and the dissemination of information in written, ideographic, and coded formats. Retail also relates too how people interact with this environment.
Welcome to the Green Enterprises blog, where you’ll find posts on many different topics related to small stores; small and medium businesses; and retail trends. We’ll discuss predominantly Canadian business practices but we’ll bring in data and trends from around the world.
Since tomorrow is Black Friday, I thought it best to start off with a few thoughts on that topic. Black Friday has become one of the largest, if not the largest, retail shopping day of the year. This trend has been led by large national or international vendors and the “Big Box” merchants. Though many small retailers have followed suit, Black Friday is still the arena of the largest players.
Black Friday is now an important pre-Christmas indicator of economic viability. Density of a parking lot and gross revenues at the malls and outlets indicate consumer attitudes. Visa and Mastercard both publish spending habits reports, sharing information such as average purchase size and average ticket size in the United States and Canada after Black Friday. These data can be used to forecast later spending habits. We’re coming out of a recession environment, so this is important information that can be used to schedule stock purchases, staff scheduling, and your own sales before or after the holidays. Remember, if no one spends before Christmas, they may be waiting to spend afterward.
But don’t worry: there are strategies for small vendors to compete with the large ones on Black Friday.
Small vendors now tend to be specialists in a sea of generalists. Whatever the hot sale item this year—and for the last few years it has been TVs, phones and tablets, and gaming systems—think about what you offer that the Big Box stores don’t. Do you stock a better quality item for a comparable price? Can you offer services after the point of purchase that the large vendors cannot?