By Richard Parker
When it’s time to scale your retail business, you may feel overwhelmed by the advice. However, to achieve growth, you have to implement the right strategies. Consider the following tips when you’re ready to scale.
1. Upgrade your point of sale system
Many retail startups try to run a lean business and avoid investing in multiple software programs unless they’re essential. However, if you want to scale, then it’s necessary to upgrade your point of sale (POS) system to make sure it can handle more sales and customers. It’s also important to pick a system that can grow with your company as it expands. For instance, Shopify’s POS system has three different plans, which depend on the size of your business. As you grow, you can move from the basic plan to the advanced one that offers support for more staff, custom reports and lower transaction fees.
2. Outsource accounting
It’s not uncommon for retail startups to attempt to do their accounting in-house with mixed results. Unless you can afford to expand your accounting team as the business grows, it may be easier to outsource it to a dedicated team that doesn’t take up office space.
3. Focus on shipping and logistics
As your retail business grows, you may face new shipping and logistics challenges. One of the biggest problems that companies encounter when they scale is keeping up with orders and making sure they arrive on time. When you’re handling a handful of orders per week, it’s easy to track them. However, it becomes more challenging when you get hundreds or thousands of orders per week.
One way to handle these challenges is to automate fulfillment and shipping. Instead of having employees manually check and fill orders, consider using drop shipping, which means your items would automatically go out from a warehouse as soon as the orders come in. Another option is to use a service such as ShipStation that integrates orders from multiple sources in one place and offers automation.
4. Invest in marketing
You can’t grow a retail startup if no one knows it exists. Although marketing is important for businesses of any size, it becomes even more crucial when you scale. This is the time to focus on how you’re presenting the brand online and offline. First, look at your social media presence and automate some processes without losing the human touch completely. You still want to have someone respond to customer questions and concerns. Second, consider expanding your website by blogging frequently and posting case studies or reports. Third, look at email and newsletters to keep customers engaged. Finally, don’t forget to check out advertising options that would work for your company.
If you follow the right plan, you can scale a retail business with fewer hassles. It’s possible to grow as a startup over time.
Richard Parker is a freelance writer and author at TalentCulture.com and Readwrite. He covers industry-specific topics such as SEO, small business solutions, entrepreneurship, content marketing, WordPress development, and web design. You can connect with him at Linkedin, and Google +.