This blog is about my unique point of view of the eyewear industry. I firmly believe that to be successful in our industry today, a retail store or dispensary must A) offer a diverse selection of product including luxury and B) must offer the consumer a unique shopping and service experience in order to distinguish themselves from all the competition from other retailers, the internet, etc. And we will talk about this in detail over the next few posts.
But before we get to the specifics of product and experience, I thought a great place to focus would be how to begin to develop your own GREAT retail strategy. The strategy should include plans for buying, selling, marketing, merchandising, motivating, incentivizing, and creating a great environment. Today I want to start with “strategy” in general.
So, what is a good strategy?
Quick Side Bar: I think any strategy development MUST start with questions. “Answers” are great; however, it is hard to get the right answers unless you ask the right questions. I am here to make you think (and hopefully then help answer some questions). I am a member of a group called YPO, Young Presidents Organization. The group is made up of younger presidents of companies and entrepreneurs. These people don’t want to be told what to do… In the group we have a language protocol; we rarely use the phrases “you should” or “do this.” We talk from experience and ask questions.
I am not here to tell you what to do but to ask questions and make you think. You all need to own your own decisions and business strategies which means you need to develop them yourselves. If I tell you to do something, that means nothing. If you do something on your own, you certainly want it to succeed.
Back to strategy… I am obviously a big fan of asking questions as a way to phrase the issue. So for today let’s look at some real BIG PICTURE stuff. The questions you NEED to think about in order to start developing your own strategy.
Top 10 Questions To Consider When Developing Strategy
- What do you want to look like?
- Who do you want to work with?
- What are your core values?
- How do you treat employees? What can you do to enhance their experience and help them grow?
- Does your product assortment currently stand for anything?
- What do you want to stand for and what is your point of difference in the market?
- What do you stand for now?
- What do you want consumers/patients to think of when they see your logo or store or leave your office?
- Why do you think consumers/patients have chosen to come to you? Have YOU ever asked?
- Do you listen to your staff and clientele – really LISTEN?
- What connection or experience do you create every day for your vendors, employees, and ultimately your customers? And if you had to answer this for your practice in five words, what would they be? (Number 11 is for good luck!)
In my humble opinion, you can not have a sound strategy unless you are able to clearly answer all of the above questions. So take some time to really think about these questions and answers and in the next few posts we will discuss how to take the answers and use them to develop a unique strategy for your own store/dispensary.
Hope you found today’s post insightful and helpful. As always, please email me with any questions or comments. HAPPY THINKING!