On the simplest level, a retail business is one that sells goods or services directly to an individual. Within that seemingly straightforward definition, however, are countless shades and subtleties that inform not only the way we shop, but the way we live our lives.
Don’t believe me? Imagine going for one week without visiting a store of any kind. It might be challenging for some, but easy for others, depending on one’s needs and shopping habits. Now imagine two weeks. Three weeks. A month. Two months.
No matter what your lifestyle happens to be, you will have to visit a retail store eventually. Unless, of course, you’re totally self-sustainable and living off-the-grid, in which case your reading this article, on the internet, is a little strange. It’s alright, I won’t judge. As a matter of fact, not judging is one of the greatest positive aspects of retail, among many.
Why Retail is Good
The grocery store is the great equalizer. Here, judging others is pointless. Here you will see people of all classes and backgrounds shopping for cheese. Cheese itself is a sort of equalizer; there are countless varieties, from aged delicacies to those gigantic bags of shredded delight you spoon onto your tacos. Just keeping track of all the kinds of cheese there are to sell might prove monumentally difficult, but that is part of the appeal of running a retail operation.
Selling goods and services directly to the public is reliable work. People are always going to want things like cheese, bread, and milk. When you stock those things, you can be sure they will sell. As a business owner, having a strong baseline like that to work from is invaluable. Exploring the endless variety of inventory options available in a particular field may seem daunting, but the rewards are enormous for diligent, motivated business owners.
Retail is a field where the ability to make cheddar – by which I mean not cheese but cold hard cash – comes down to selection, service, and pricing. When you find a balance that customers love, your business thrives, and you achieve success. What could be easier?
Why Retail is Sometimes Less Than Good
Alright, perhaps, like Swiss cheese, that explanation of why retail is so amazing has a few holes in it. Retail is, as any business owner knows, a very difficult field to consistently thrive. Yes, there are so many kinds of cheese to sell, but how can you keep track of them all? Who can say what cheese will be most popular from week to week? If a famous Instagram personality insults a certain kind of cheese, will your sales plunge?
Aside from market volatility, you have a veritable locust’s swarm of other factors to consider: profit margins, supply, and demand, finding good help, dealing with the public – dealing with the public. That’s right, ask any former retail employee; the public, although it may be made up of largely normal people, seems to have a poor reputation with retail workers.
This comes down to a famous saying about the squeaky wheel getting the grease, or, if you like, the fattest gerbil getting the most apple slices. Some customers will never be happy, and yet, paradoxically, you must try to make them happy.
Just as Batman must battle The Joker forever, constantly putting him back into an asylum that apparently has walls made of cardboard and bars made of cookie dough, only to watch him escape and terrorize Gotham time and again, so too the retail business owner must deal with less-than-ideal customers day after day, month after month, no matter how much laughing gas they unleash on their fellow citizens. There is no escape.
Wait, Wait, Wait
So if things are so bad, why get into retail at all? The truth is, retail isn’t nearly as bad as the rainy streets of Gotham. There are countless opportunities in a wide range of fields. Enterprising individuals with the aptitude and gumption to try new things can carve out spaces for themselves in all kinds of niches. Imagine what you want from life and from your business. If your vision involves selling goods and services to your neighbors and friends, chances are you belong in retail. Like Batman, the world needs you.
Offering Financing in the Retail Space
One option to consider to incentivize sales is to offer financing. A customer considering buying a new TV, for example, might be more inclined to do so with financing options on the table. Financing arrangements help you build lasting relationships with customers and ensure that they see your company as more than a source for a product or service. That kind of connection is priceless in any business category.
The Financing You Need
It’s also worth considering financing for your business. Retail profit margins are razor-thin, and I don’t mean those razors with eighteen blades that aren’t thin at all. Between supply prices, losses caused by theft and over-ordering, and employee-related costs, you have a ton on your plate. Working with a trustworthy financial institution like Financing Your Way is a great option because it gives you the peace of mind and confidence you need to move forward with your plans for your business, whether you’re operating online or at a brick and mortar location.
A great example of how financing can help a business with regard to the retail sector is the veterinary field. While not traditional retail spaces, veterinary offices are increasingly expected to carry a wide variety of pet products. Pet owners want to ensure that their animals remain healthy and happy, and vets with a better selection of items are sure to be more appealing to customers. Veterinary office financing allows you to stock your inventory with the best and latest products, helping you retain more customers following an initial visit.
Small business loans, bridge loans, and equipment leasing are just a few of the options on the table. The first step is to evaluate your needs thoroughly. Once you’ve made a decision about your financing requirements you may speak to an experienced financial adviser and move forward with the application process. With that kind of help in your pocket, the challenges of the retail field won’t seem as intimidating. And, of course, the potential rewards are as numerous as the varieties of cheese on Earth.