How to Run a Successful C-Store – 2.005 Nov 2019, Posted by Industry Information in
Whether you operate several or just one, there are certain guidelines that help make your store a success. Too often, however, owners and managers get caught up in the day to day busyness and they forget the simple rules that will help them grow their business and therefore profit. It’s not always easy to improve, but with slow progress and commitment, you can achieve your business goals.
1.Keep it clean – This probably goes without saying. Sure, you keep your floors and shelves clean, but what about the parking lot? First impressions are part of the buying experience. If a customer sees trash, overfilled trashcans or empty boxes, they are less likely to visit your business. What about the bathrooms? Do they have plenty of toilet paper? Are they clean? Do they smell clean? It’s hard to constantly keep up with each location in your store so you may need to set an alarm on your phone or a chart to make sure each area is addressed.
2. Check Out Counter – What’s on your check out counter? When you overload it, you’re taxing the sensory system of the customer. Every single counter display does not have to be at the check-out area. This area is prime real estate for impulse items – small items that are bought quickly due to their cheapness or purpose. Once you find out which items are the best sellers, make room for a clean display of those products.
3. Don’t be out-inventoried – If a customer walks in and wants 4 candy bars, but only sees 2, they will take their business elsewhere. Sure, it’s hard to find the balance on the amount you need to keep in stock. Plan ahead by looking at inventory daily or every other day a least. Seasons will bring different buying patterns, but with a little research, you can be ahead of the game. Work with your sales rep to analyze inventory and the best wat to control supply.
4. Stay one step ahead – Speaking of inventory, reach out to your sales rep and find out what they are reading to stay up to date on industry news. The only way to succeed in this market is to be ahead of the game. There are so many resources available including magazines, blogs, and trade shows.
5. Solicit services – Our culture is a service-oriented one. If you have the ability, have you ever thought of offering fax services, a copier or free wifi? Maybe you could add money-orders to your list of services. Are there other businesses you could partner with? Don’t limit yourself and explore every possibility that would help your business grow.
6. Keep it Convenient – Remember, your purpose – to be a convenience store. Your goal is to have the drinks, snacks, candy and other items that people can walk in, purchase and leave with ease. Think about how the aisles should be stationed for ease of movement around your store. Also, how can you streamline all processes to help your customers get what they want – fast service? If it requires increasing your manpower, remember the return on investment. The more people talk about the ease and convenience of your store, the more people will visit.
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