When you open up a new store, your first day of business tends to be a combination of sheer excitement and uncertainty about what the future may hold. On this momentous occasion, you'll likely experience many of the same thoughts as those who stood in the same shoes before you. But the challenge lies in turning these thoughts into actions that can grow your new business.
Here are four of the most common questions that store owners ask themselves on their opening day:
1. "How Can I Balance My Passionate Commitment to My New Business With My Other Obligations?"
It might seem easy to throw yourself into your new business venture by working around the clock, but this strategy is often not sustainable and could lead to burnout, problems in your personal relationships and health repercussions. From your first day of business onward, it's important to strive to find the right work-life balance.
2. "How Can I Increase My Revenue?"
You may have opened your store because you recognized a valuable market opportunity. As you operate your business, you should constantly be seeking additional opportunities to grow. This process may involve changing the product mix inside your store so you can sell more of what your customers want, or perhaps you can try tweaking your prices or promotions and monitor any impacts on sales. In addition, it might be smart for you to try to target a slightly different customer demographic or open a new business channel to distribute your offerings. You might also be able to increase your revenue by thinking differently about your marketing efforts.
Overall, it's important to remember that it's never a bad idea to experiment. By trying new things, you can get a better sense of what does and doesn't work.
3. "How Can I Reduce My Costs and Overhead, Especially During Slow Periods and Lean Times?"
In order to be as successful as possible, you must keep your cost structure flexible and aligned with your incoming revenue. It's essential to know which investments are returning the highest revenue. You'll also want to minimize your overhead, such as rent and utilities, and only engage in discretionary spending when it results in an ROI that keeps you growing. As such, you'll want to carefully consider every financial opportunity.
4. "How Can I Do a Better Job of Getting The Word Out About My New Business?"
Before you started your business, you decided that you have something valuable to offer your industry. Now, the trickier part is making sure that your customers are aware of the qualities that make your store stand out. While it's important to establish a marketing plan to reach new customers, it's also important to focus on turning your current store visitors into loyal, repeat customers. After all, word-of-mouth can be a powerful form of marketing.
By thinking through these questions on your first day of business, you will put your store in a position to grow.
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