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Before you set up shop: The 5 P’s of Marketing

by on April 28, 2014 in Lead story, Nuggets, Retail, Small Business, Startups

Breaking into the retail industry can seem daunting.  With more consumers purchasing online, a high-street retailer has to work harder than ever to turn a profit.  And that’s why you’ve got to do things properly, right from the beginning.

The 5 Ps of Marketing are an established set of factors crucial to the success of any new business.  And they apply just as well to your shop as they do to major corporations.

1.  Place

Location is a factor that can make or break you.  It’s also the hardest thing to change once you’ve committed to it.  So don’t rush in.  Identify the local competition and see how they’re doing.

And just like choosing your home, you should be aware of how safe the local area is.  Setting up shop in an area with a high crime rate could have a serious impact on the cost of a shop insurance policy.

2. Products

This is the bread and butter of your business.  If you’re a specialist shop, you need to be sure there’s enough demand for your items.  If you’re a general store, you need to make sure you stock the brands that people look for. Having the right product for the audience in your location is vital, so check for regional variations that could affect your business.

In either case, you need to find a reliable supplier who gives you a good price.

3.  Promotion

The products aren’t going to sell themselves.  If you’re starting a new venture without a customer base or reputation, the importance of promotion can’t be stressed enough.

Send a press release to the local papers.  Print a batch of leaflets and deliver them to the local residents.  Fill your windows with exciting displays and special offers.  If no one knows you’re there, how are you going to sell them anything? So make a noise, invite the locals in and get to know your audience.

4.  Price

This is a tough one.  It would be nice to think that the average customer recognises quality and is willing to pay for it.  But the reality is you’ll probably be locked in a price war with your competitors from the off.

If you have a supplier with low prices and cheap delivery, you can shift massive volumes of products at a low price and still make a good profit.  Otherwise, if you’ve done your market research thoroughly, you might be able to settle on that magic price point where you and your customers are both happy.

5.  People

There’s you.  You’re a person.  Then there are customers and employees.  There’s also the friendly shopkeeper next door and your reputation in the local community as a whole.

Don’t get too wrapped up in stock and profit: your shop needs people just as much as people need your shop. So be open, welcoming and go out of your way to help your customers. They will reward with their custom and loyalty.



photo credit: Today is a good day via photopin cc

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