Debbie Allen

Article Summary:

Even the most successful businesses can run into trouble in today's retail environment.

Thriving in Today's Retail Environment

Even the most successful retail businesses can run into troubles along the way. This is when the survival of the fittest comes into play. Some survive, few thrive and some just fade away. The success stories come from those that take responsibility and action to turn their businesses around during hard times.

It's easy to ignore the problems hoping they will go way. But, they usually get much worse. With the ever-increasing competition in retail today, retailers can't hide away doing things the same old way. New growth and change is coming in all directions from big box stores, discounters, Internet and airport shopping malls. Now independent retailers need to work SMARTER and embrace CHANGES that are affecting the industry before it is too late.

There are key differences between retailers that strive and thrive during difficult times than the ones that close their doors forever. The survivors learn from their mistakes, re-evaluate their business and continue in new directions. They have learned that mistakes are just BIG LESSONS. They have learned to listen to those lessons and to believe in themselves and their businesses.

Lessons From Survivors

Jeff, a retail storeowner from Ceres, California had to make a decision fast when his store burnt down. Should he rebuild at the same location or move the store? He decided to move to a new location and re-opened within 30 days. Jeff turned a disaster into a great opportunity with his move to an even better location. He proved that even through devastation you could make the best of your business. During hard times, Jeff reduced his overhead and downsized his staff to keep his business profitable.

Mary, a retailer from Park City, Utah believes that looking inside her business makes a big difference. "Other store owners in the same mall location are always complaining that business is bad. They say it's the mall, the weather, the city, etc. If there is a problem in my store, I need to look in the mirror and say maybe I'm doing something wrong. Maybe I'm the reason business is not as good as it could be. So I think, what can I do to make it better and turn it around?"

Deanna, a retailer from San Jose, California had no idea what difficulties she would face after opening her store. "Everything was going great the first couple of months we were business. It seemed as if we could do no wrong. Then the earthquake came. It damaged the street in front of our store. Customers had to park far from the store, this really affected the business. More problems continued with the war and California fires. It was difficult to get through those hard times, but we hung in there and survived. We survived because of a positive attitude we were always really nice to our customers and let them know they were appreciated."

Debbie Allen is the award winning author of "Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters", and an international business speaker who has presented to thousands of people in nine countries around the world. She is a frequent guest on dozens of syndicated radio talk shows throughout US and Canada. Debbie has built and sold seven companies, and her sales and marketing expertise has been featured in dozens of national and international publications. Take her insightful free business card quiz and sign up for her informative newsletters at www.DebbieAllen.com

Read all advice by Debbie Allen; Find more Retail Services experts

More advice on Retail Services
» The importance of retail merchandising
» Shoestring Retail Store Display Merchandising Tips
» all Retail Services articles