At the end of the day when you’re ready to lock up your store one thing needs to be going through your mind: Did I do everything I could today to make this worth it?
This needs to be said for anyone running a business. You put in the time and money and you need to make sure you’re doing everything available to keep your business going and, of course, making a profit. I’m not reinventing the wheel with what I’ve been writing about, but I hope I’m able to reintroduce some basic ideas that I’ve been using over the years. Just remember; know your numbers, mix things up, and cross-promote. Those are the easy parts. The hardest part is knowing that everything begins with YOU.
The industry summit focused heavily on what card companies are doing to help brick and mortar shops, but are you taking full advantage of what the industry has to offer? Are you calling different distributors to find the best deals, best incentives, best customer service? Are you asking the manufacturers directly what opportunities they have for B&M shops?
Then it’s a matter of information. Do you stay current on the sports you sell cards for? Can you name the good players for each team and do you have plenty of product available suited to your market?
What about the products you’re selling? If I walk into your shop and pull something neat, do you know what it is? Or how many are in the product, etc. Look at the product sheets you get and learn them. No, they aren’t always 100% accurate, but it’s better than not looking at it at all.
I don’t really know if these card companies have any idea what it’s like to run a retail store. I wonder if they contact stores across the country to let them know they are available. Sure, they have “Black Friday Packs”, and “Prime 9” promotions, but do they call the shops and ask about business trends? Have you ever had anyone from Panini, or Topps, Upper Deck walk into your store asking about how product is moving? You have vendors in different types of business from shoe sales, to alcohol, so why not sports, non-sports cards.
I’m sure the Industry Summit is an amazing time, and I’m sure a lot of good information is broadcast to let everyone know everything is going to be o.k., but as a business owner it is important to remember it’s about you, your customer and the environment you’ve created for them.
If any of this information has been at all helpful, or disruptive, please let me know. If you need any other tips I’ve learned from running different retail stores then let me know.