At one point or another, all entrepreneurs will reach a place where they’ll question their survival especially in times of crisis like an unexpected world pandemic. As a serial entrepreneur in the retail industry, I’ve been tested countless times and have learned some core values that every entrepreneur should hold close. Below, I’ve created an acronym for the word “thrive” with tips for retail entrepreneurs to follow as they not only survive in this new environment, but thrive, no matter what comes their way.
New technology is invented every day. To thrive in this fast-paced industry, it’s up to you to be vigilant about the latest technology and aggressively employ those breakthroughs in your retail strategy. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, there was already a big movement toward innovating retail brick-and-mortars with omni-channel sales strategies, as well as gaining intelligence to understand what customers were looking for and their shopping habits.
Retailers need to focus on artificial intelligence (AI), radio frequency identification (RFID), beacons, video cameras and other technology that allows them to be more efficient, predictive, and meet the inventory and product needs of customers. The coronavirus crisis also taught us that we need to look at ways to make customers feel safe within our four walls. That could mean thermal cameras for temperature checks, robots that welcome or direct customers to products, contactless checkouts or using smart fixtures for virtual video chats and demonstrations.
It’s crucial that every entrepreneur establish, maintain and deepen relationships with vendors, bankers and stakeholders that have a vested interest in your success. Fostering these trusted relationships will make it more comfortable for all sides, if and/or when help is needed for things like new payment arrangements or extra staffing. Also, recognize that you only have a finite amount of time in each day, and you can’t be everything to everyone. Anything that is core to your business — meaning that you do it best — should be done internally. Anything that someone else can do smarter, cheaper or faster should be outsourced. Lastly, becoming a member of organizations and associations that are specific to your retail trade, as well as utilizing social media, webinars and conferences, can help you garner sound advice and stay on the cutting edge of your industry.
At The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC), there is no such thing as autopilot. As our company name states, we’re always looking to optimize our business, and that means constantly reinventing. Once a quarter, we attend what we call “hurricane sessions,” where we completely take apart our business, pinpoint what did and didn’t work and then devise 10 new ideas to make our business better. We’ve all seen examples of American capitalism at its finest during the Covid-19 pandemic, with so many businesses reinventing through methods like contactless curbside pickup or altering their format to become community markets to stay relevant with customers. There should always be a never-ending theme of embracing change and learning.
Running your business with the highest level of honesty and integrity is mission critical to thriving. Employees, vendors and suppliers need to trust that you’ll stay true to your word, whether that means on-time payment or a jobs that exceeds expectations. Trust is also more important than ever with consumers. Customers want to know that retailers have their best interests at heart, which means having the right products in stock to meet their needs, and making their safety a top priority when they’re inside your doors shopping. You always want to do the right thing, even if it’s sometimes painful or costly.
If you search for vitality synonyms, you’ll see words like energy, strength, vigor or life. If you have passion and a purpose in your heart for what you’re doing, your company’s chances of survival are great. It’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people who are passionate about achieving success; their energy can help revitalize your mindset when you feel depleted. Vitality also lends itself to the strength of your finances and resources, which means always keeping your company lean to weather unseen circumstances and working hard for new sales opportunities.
For me personally, this one might be the most important. At T-ROC, we believe our employees are our greatest asset, and without them, we have nothing. Crisis or not, you always want to over-communicate with your employees and display confidence that you have things under control. Collaboration — I call it reverse mentorship — means asking for employees’ insight and expertise on things, which can not only benefit the company but gives them a greater purpose and fulfillment. We’ve built our company culture around the people who work here, and it takes this team effort to thrive.
To learn more about Brett Beveridge, his company, T-ROC Global, his awards, speaking opportunities and upcoming ForbesBooks launch, visit www.brettbeveridge.com.
The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC Global) is home to four sales solutions companies that enable clients to fulfill all of their sales performance needs. The companies are: The Retail Outsource (TRO), Mobile Insight (MI), The Consumer Insight (TCI), and SYMBITS.
Brett Beveridge is the founder and chief executive officer for The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC Global). Beveridge is a serial entrepreneur who builds businesses from the ground up. Since founding T-ROC Global, the company has evolved to become a leader in the wireless, electronics, software and retail industries.