Archive for November, 2010

Why Buying Cheap MDF Can Be Bad For Business

| November 26th, 2010 | No Comments »

A short while ago Total Retail Magazine published an article titled ‘The High Risk of Low Grade MDF’ by Melanie Lester from Jazolo on the dangers of buying low-grade E2 MDF for slatwalls and panels. The brilliant article highlighted the differences between cheap MDF and the higher quality, but more expensive E1 MDF slatwall panels. In these austere times when businesses are struggling to get customers through the door, it can be tempting to cut corners where you can and go for price over quality. However is this a false economy? And what is the price you are prepared to pay for cheap, poor quality shop fittings? The main difference between E1 MDF and the cheaper E2 MDF, as Melanie Lester pointed out, is in the way they are produced. MDF is formed by fusing together timber fibre using formaldehyde as a bind. Formaldehyde is classified as a “known human carcinogen”

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Using Facebook to Further Promote Your Shop Business

| November 24th, 2010 | No Comments »

So you’ve got yourself a Facebook page for your shop business and have updated it with comments, photos, links etc. So what do you do now? Just sit back and wait for the fans to come streaming in? Like all websites your Facebook page can be improved upon and successfully marketed with just a little more effort. Now that you know your way around Facebook a little more it’s time to change up a gear and make your Facebook page a successful marketing tool that brings in more business. Log onto your Facebook page now and take a good look at what you see. Ideally your page should feature all of these: Links to your blog (if you have one) Links to useful and relevant articles Photos Lively discussions Promotions If you have a blog page about new products coming in or just what it’s like to run a shop

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Shop Floor Sales Techniques – Greeting your Customers

| November 23rd, 2010 | No Comments »

Have you ever walked into a shop and been asked this question by the shop assistant: “Can I help you?” –  What is your first reaction to that question? For most people the reaction is a negative one and they respond with a “just looking thanks” or a straightforward “no”. The reason is that us Brits tend to be quite reserved and private. We don’t like to be ‘pounced’ upon as soon as we enter a shop and put under any sort of pressure to buy. However there is an opposite scenario to that one and that is the shop assistant who doesn’t even look up when you enter. If a customer has walked into your shop, then that’s a pretty good indication that they are interested in buying something; how you greet this potential customer could mean the difference between a sale or not. So how can you maximise

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Using Facebook To Expand Your Shop Business

| November 19th, 2010 | No Comments »

Many people presume that Facebook is a social networking site for teenagers who post pictures of themselves on nights out and whilst that may be the case to a certain extent, with over 500 million active users worldwide the chances are that the majority of your customers will have a Facebook account. So why should that concern you? Well Facebook is a great way to interact with these users, to notify them when new products come in stock or when you have a promotion and of course to gain new ‘fans’ – in fact it’s a great free advertising resource. Whatever your feelings about Facebook, there is no getting away from the statistics. 50% of all active users log onto Facebook in any given day, they spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the site and an average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events (Facebook’s

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Using Display Cabinets To Show Off Your Goods

| November 18th, 2010 | No Comments »

How you choose to display your goods is equally important when it comes to maximising your sales potential. And with such an array of cabinets, shelving and tables available it can seem a daunting task to pick out the ones most suitable for your merchandise. But this is the key to a successful display – choosing cabinets that will show off your products to their best potential. Now depending on your merchandise some cabinets will suit more than others. For instance you are hardly going to display jeans in a glass cabinet! So let’s take a look at some of the cabinets and shelving on offer and explore how they could affect your sales. Gondolas No, not the boats! Gondolas are free-standing mid-floor fixtures that usually have shelving all around suitable for displaying household items. If you are using a gondola it is essential that you follow the simple rule

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Lighting Your Shop

| November 16th, 2010 | No Comments »

Good lighting should not only attract customers and display your shop prominently on the High Street, but it must also lure customers inside and draw them towards products on display. In today’s retail industry, lighting is used in a number of different ways and it pays to reflect a little on the lighting arrangements in your own shop to ensure that you are displaying your wares to their maximum potential. Window Lighting The first thing your customers will notice about your shop is your window. Take some time to study the lighting arrangements here and make sure that the light beams are directed into the shop and not outwards at the customer, blinding them. Swan neck lights are very attractive and have the added advantage of being flexible, so they can be directed either upwards towards your shop sign, or downwards to illuminate your window. Take note too, of which position

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Making The Most Of Your Shop Front

| November 12th, 2010 | No Comments »

Your shop front is the first thing passers-by see and therefore getting it right can be of vital importance. The shop front does a number of things; it communicates to potential customers, telling them what you are about; it creates a general first impression and it should radiate a welcome that lures people from the pavement to stepping over your threshold. Take a good look at the street your shop sits on; what marks it out from the rest? Watch people as they pass by and note how many glance into your shop. Is there anything there to make them pause? Is there anything that draws people’s eyes away from the horizon and into your shop? Basically your shop front is the best advertisement you have for your shop and as people can spend thousands on advertising, it’s worth your while to make sure that the biggest source of advertising you

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How Online Networking Can Improve Your High Street Business

| November 9th, 2010 | No Comments »

Starting up on your own can often be a lonely road to tread. You may be meeting members of the public every day, but unlike working for an employer, there is no-one there for you to share your ideas with, get feedback and advice or just have a chat and a cuppa. Social/business networking sites can often plug that gap and although you may never meet these people face to face, it helps to have someone on the other end of the computer who knows what you are going through, perhaps they are in the same boat or have been where you are now and can offer some much needed advice and support. There are many networking sites out there now that cater specifically for businesses. Most of them have forums where you can chat and swap advice with other members, some have guides and blogs written by successful experts

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Working Out A Business Plan For Your Shop

| November 9th, 2010 | No Comments »

Key to every new shop and even every established shop is a business plan. It details your ambitions, what direction you want to head in as well as realistically planning out the figures for the present. Without a good business plan you are pretty much thrashing around blindly in a sea full of sharks. For new shop businesses, a good business plan is key to their success and absolutely vital if you need to approach the bank for a loan. However once shops are up and running it can be tempting to let that business plan drop by the wayside, after all you got your loan from the bank, the accountant is dealing with your sales forecasts and overheads, what use could a business plan possibly be for an already established shop? Think back to when you did your first business plan draft, all those ideas you can about where

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