Seven techniques Virginia retailers can use to enhance business productivity

recessionbusters-headerWhen it comes to growing your business, the surest way to reach the top of your game is to enhance your business productivity. This means taking a good, long look at every aspect of your company from back to front end and everything in between. Virginia retailers have seen a surge in business in recent months as the economy improves and with the holidays just around the corner, it is more important than ever to increase productivity to keep up with the demand.

Here are seven techniques Virginia retailers can use to enhance business productivity.

1) Beat Them to the Door
No one likes being kept waiting at the door from the newest employee to that potential customer. A good manager and/or business owner will always beat everyone else to the door. Be there waiting and welcoming and see just how quickly staff and customer morale improves.

2) Engage Personally with Customers
Today’s customer seeks engagement with the brands they choose to buy with. In days gone by merchants had a position called a ‘floorwalker’ who made it his or her business to chat with customers in the showroom. If you’ve ever seen that British comedy from the 1970’s and 80’s, Are You Being Served, Captain Peacock was the store floorwalker who oftentimes made a real botch of public relations but customers absolutely adored him. His chief aim in life was to keep them happy.

3) Keep Your Pricing Competitive
Although you need to make a profit, it is imperative to keep your pricing competitive with other local merchants. That’s how all those big chains got as large as they are and even though you may never achieve quite the size of Walmart, you can still own your own market with a bit of competitive pricing.

4) Look for Cost Effective Solutions
Sometimes local retailers are asked to ship product and they just don’t have the wherewithal or space to build a loading dock. It is possible to get loading dock equipment that functions as if it were a real stationary ramp but can easily be stored in a container in between shipments. You may want to at least consider yard ramps and dock lifts. These can be used to load trucks and no actual ‘dock’ is needed!

5) Analyze and Resolve Issues
If you are trying to enhance operational efficiency, don’t put any issues on the back burner. They will surely be forgotten in the rush. Take even a few moments to analyze the issue and then do your best to resolve it. If a quick resolution isn’t possible, make a note on your calendar to address it at day’s end.

6) Motivate & Empower Employees
Nothing improves productivity quite like motivated employees. Use bonuses, awards and a variety of incentives to keep them motivated to achieve. Also, empower them by giving them the training they need to do their jobs well. An empowered employee is a productive employee. Keep that thought in mind.

7) Hit Heavy on Marketing & Advertising
Finally, remember that we live in a mobile society and just because your family has run your store for 50 years doesn’t mean that everyone has heard of you. Get listed with local online listings such as Google Business and hit the marketing heavily. Also, advertise specials you have going on because you never know who has been waiting for that particular product to go on sale!

The key to productivity is to keep customers and employees happy while finding ways to cut costs in order to increase profits. These 7 techniques for Virginian retailers have proven effective time and again. Just remember that success starts at the top so get there early to set the stage.

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