What is your retail identity?

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What is your retail identity in a world where it has become too easy to fit in? Business Coach Emma Cole explains why having a mission statement in stone can help you, your staff, and align customers with your brand…

In a world of ever-changing parts (pun intended!), do you still think opening a bike shop is for you? Well, Duncan Moore got back into that position in the spring edition of CyclingIndustry.News and went over many things you need to consider, from crafting a business plan to thinking about suppliers, USPs, competition, brands to stock, etc. on.

The quote “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” is very true. Whether you are planning to start or are an established business, the direction of your business forms the essential foundation of your business plan and the road you take. So I’m going to take you back a step and focus on not just a business plan, but something a little more in-depth. It could help you define the look and feel of your business, your team values, your customer service proposition and more, which helps define the direction of your business, who you are, what you and your company represent and define the company. foundation of your plan.

So who am I and why do you care! My name is Emma Cole and I’m a business coach. I feel passionate about helping and supporting business owners to find more business success, more fun and happiness. Not just for them, but also for their team, their clients and the other people they influence.

I know, no one ever said they needed a business coach! That’s true, but most of the most successful artists haven’t achieved it on their own. Just like sports professionals, everyone has coaches. Indeed, while most sports stars have a good degree of natural ability themselves, they all need outside help to reach their full potential. It’s the same for business owners. While many are great at what they do, it’s also true that most haven’t had much professional training or guidance on how to run or grow a business. Many business owners are fabulous technicians and start their businesses with many hopes, dreams and aspirations, but sadly, many do not realize their initial utopian vision.

I have a background in retail so when I started my own retail business I thought I was well qualified and this business owner malarkey was going to be a breeze. Well, I’ve had a lot of experience as an employee and a successful business driver, but to do all of that and more as a business owner…that I had to learn. One of my biggest learnings was deciding and really setting the direction of my business. This involved making sure everyone in my business and customers knew who I was, what I did, and how they should feel when dealing with me. It was my starting point to make my business work for me and not the other way around.

Now, deciding where your business is going isn’t just about writing a plan for banks or investors to back them up. It’s about deciding who you are, what you stand for, what your purpose is, what will get someone to come to you and why.

Do you have a goal? What is a lens and why would you need one? Well, the purpose or mission is to make it clear what you are doing, why, and for whom you are doing it. Are you trying to get more people to ride bikes and enjoy the outdoors, make cities greener, get people moving, build a more sustainable world, or something else? It’s about understanding what your store does and how you operate.

Typically, goal or vision statements are normally between one and three sentences and usually no longer than 100 words. When creating your goal, avoid the common pitfall of trying to generically summarize everything you do as a business. For example, everyone wants to provide excellent customer service, it’s just a given and it’s not enough in terms of the essence of what you do and how. It should have a personality and a feeling, not full of jargon or overused buzzwords. Here are some examples using the world’s best-known companies: Amazon, “To be the world’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and experience anything they might want to buy online, and strives to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. “Nike is: “Bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. * * If you have a body, you are an athlete. As a consumer, you have no doubt what these guys are up to!

Once you have your goal, you can set up your company culture. It follows the same vein of digging into the feel and experience of being part of your team. It really helps the team know and understand what their role is in your store, how they should treat each other, and then how customers will be treated when they visit your store, use your online services or when they will have a complaint. These are the things that inspire your team to come to work for you, make it easier to hire new team members that fit your culture, and ensure there’s a higher purpose, other than money alone.

Consider developing a service statement. This highlights to customers what they will feel and look like when dealing with you. This can take the form of “when you buy from us, we will…” or “If you are unhappy with your item, we will make it easy for you to return it by…”

Posting a service statement on your website, social media platforms, and in-store will help customers truly understand you and your business, and allow them to understand what they can expect.

Creating a purpose, a culture for your team, and a service statement for your customers helps cement your business firmly in the minds of your customers.

People like to buy from people who share the same values. By sharing yours, clients and customers buy into you, which helps build loyalty and create a sense of community and belonging.

Once you have your guidance, incorporate it into your plan along with your financials, SWOT analysis, and projections. It will provide you with a much more meaningful, robust, and living document that will help you move forward and allow your team, clients, and funders to truly understand and appreciate what you do. Break it down into smaller chunks and create milestones that clearly demonstrate progress. Have a ‘BHAG’ – A Big Hairy Audacious goal, something great to achieve, but a little over the top, that feels like it means something to you. Once you have set your direction, everything you do should depend on it.

You don’t have to think about opening a bike shop, you could already own one. The same rules apply, by having a commercial direction, you will help propel your business faster or further.

So, my top tips on business leadership, culture, and why people should choose you.

  • Find your purpose and why it matters beyond taking money alone.
  • Get an idea of ​​what your team culture is like. What’s it like working here? Ask your team why they work for you, it might surprise you.
  • Do you know who your customers are? How many different types are there? Who uses all your different services or buys different types of products from you? Make them all real by creating an avatar of them.
  • Tell your customers how you’ll treat them, how you’ll feel, and why you might go the extra mile.
  • Write a plan. Even if it’s written on the back of an inner tube box!
  • Establish where you are right now and where you want to go. Is it expanding what you already have, opening another store, or taking over the world!

You can still have a successful and profitable business without having a business direction, team culture and service statement, but by having and sharing them I believe you will increase your level of success, become even more profitable and , hopefully enjoy your business more. . That’s what he did for me.

I feel so passionate about helping and supporting business owners find more business success, more fun and happiness, not just for themselves, but for their team and their customers, that I offers a free 90 minute, no obligation discovery call to see how I can help you.

Contact me by email. Mobile number: 07769651020, or visit my website: ec.growthcoach.co.uk

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