Do You Need to Boost Sales in Your Retail Business?

It is no secret that many retail businesses in the UK are struggling. Indeed, online shopping has all but made buying in the mortar and brick shop a rare experience, especially for those in the 20’s. But a good number in the retail business continues to thrive through a mixture of technology adaptation and old-school marketing. The fact is that as long as there are pedestrians, walking by your shop, you can always pull them in.

Here are some tips that can see higher footfall in your retail business, and higher revenues.

Offer better views

These days most people will look up what they need on the internet first. Making your wares more visible entices those who would have them in mind. Go out and look at your shop from the street. Does it entice enough? What can passersby see?

Make your window display more attractive by enlarging the window, and attention seeking lights. Place an adboard on the pavement with your discounts and offers.

Sales promotions

This is a tried and tested method of attracting traffic to your shop. The good thing is that you can set up sales promotions very quickly. Good examples include BOGO (Buy One Get One), Buy One Get 50% off, time-limited discounts (e.g., 10% off 11.00-12.30) and discounts on certain items.

Make it an experience

When teenage and young adult shoppers come into the shop, they are coming in for the shopping experience. Otherwise, they would have made the purchase online. Make their experience interesting to encourage them to test out more products, which increases chances of main and impulse purchases. If you are a fashion shop, for example, have a photo booth where shoppers can take their photos in different outfits.

Work on in-shop appearance

How are your goods displayed? Can your customers walk comfortably without bumping into each other or your wares? Different shop sections should be carefully signed for shoppers to find easily. Ensure that all products have price tags, with any discount information clearly visible on the aisle and the packaging.

You can alter the look of your shop by simply moving things around. It can be as simple as exchanging brand positions. This has the added benefit of giving your customers the opportunity to try new brands and products.

Discover and use technology

A website is a standard requirement for any business these days. It tells your potential customers what you offer, where you are located and any other information such as discounts. Social media like Facebook helps you reach out to the community. Lead potential shoppers from Facebook to your website and you will start seeing an increase in both online and foot traffic.

Finding a Flatshare in Birmingham Tips: the Dos and the Don’ts

Birmingham is an exciting city for students and those starting out in their careers. There are lots of things young people can see, do, and experience in Birmingham beyond school or work. Talks of fancy nightclubs, top-notch shopping centres, sporting venues, concerts, vibrant art & culture scene, and a raft of world-class universities and colleges to name a few.

When it comes to accommodation, renting a flatshare in Birmingham is the best bet for most young people. It’s affordable, and you get to experience what Birmingham has to offer with your flatmates. Looking for the right flatmates and flatshare in Birmingham, nonetheless, isn’t always a walk in the park.

Consider the following dos and don’ts to make your hunt for the perfect flatshare in Birmingham a little easier.

The Dos of Finding Flatshare in Birmingham

(1) Do Your Plan and Research

When you are searching for a flatshare to rent in Birmingham, it’s crucial to plan. You can start off by listing what you are looking for in roommate as well as in a flatshare. By knowing exactly what you are looking for, it will be much easier to narrow down your search.

You can use the internet to research on the flatmates, affordable area, and your potential flatshares in Birmingham. Go ahead and read reviews online.

(2) Do Meet Your Flatmates Before Moving In

Some people make a mistake of moving into a flatshare in Birmingham without having a one-on-one convo with their roommates. The chances, however, are that you might have conflicting interests with your flatmate, making it harder for you to live day by day. So, spend some time together over coffee, cold drink or even lunch.

(3) Do Visit the Flatmate with Your Flatmate

Most people know who their flatmates are before finding the right flatshare in Birmingham. It’s okay that way, but you need to survey the property together so that you can get the feel.

(4) Do Consider How you’ll Spend Much of Your Time

If you’ll spend most of your time in school, it’s best to find a flatshare in the neighbourhood unless you don’t mind the commute. The same goes for those who’ll be working in Birmingham — a close-by flatshare will save you lots of headaches.

The Don’ts

(1) Don’t Narrow Your Hunt for a Flatshare Birmingham to a Specific District

Some people close their mind to an individual district or neighbourhood alone. That’s a big no-no. By casting your net wider, you’ll be able to get the best flatshare in Birmingham for your needs.

(2) Don’t Overlook the Deposit

Some landlords are quite strict about deposits. Talk it over with your flatmate so you can know if you can afford the deposit.

(3) Don’t Go with Your First Flatshare

Explore more to get value for your money.

What Should be in an End of Tenancy Cleaning Checklist?

Most tenancy disputes arise from end of tenancy cleaning issues. This is because many tenants fail to appreciate the fact that end of tenancy cleaning involves cleaning the house top to bottom to restore it as it was at the beginning of the tenancy.  The cleaning may fail to impress the landlord because some areas have been overlooked, for example, dust on the ceiling and under furniture. Using an end of tenancy cleaning checklist ensures that no place is overlooked. What should be in this checklist?

Living room cleaning

  • Wipe clean all flat surfaces
  • Wipe and polish all flat surfaces
  • Clean the door
  • Clean the stairway and railing
  • Vacuum the upholstery
  • Wipe and clean the windows including the sills and ledges both inside and outside
  • Wipe and polish glass surfaces and mirrors
  • Clear Cobwebs from high corners
  • Wipe clean wall switches, sockets, plugs and lamp shades
  • Mop and vacuum hard floors

Kitchen cleaning

  • Clear and clean kitchen cupboards and drawers both inside and out
  • Defrost the freezer and clean the refrigerator both inside and outside
  • Degrease the microwave and wipe clean the outside
  • Clean all utensils, cutlery and crockery
  • Clear and clean the dishwasher including removing any accumulated lime-scale
  • Clean the soap dispenser including the filters
  • Degrease and clean the hob and grill
  • Degrease, clean and polish the extractor fans and filters
  • Clear mold and wipe clean wall tiles
  • Wash and wipe kitchen countertops
  • Clear lime-scale from the kitchen sink and polish the faucets
  • Clean and polish the windows including sills and ledges
  • Clean and polish wooden surfaces including door frames and skirting boards
  • Clean and polish wall switches and sockets
  • Mop the floor

Bedrooms cleaning

  • Wipe and polish all wooden surfaces
  • Wipe clean the doors including the top
  • Wash and polish all glass surfaces including closet mirror and window panes
  • Clear and clean the wardrobe, cupboard and bedside drawers
  • Dust high places and clear the cobwebs
  • Wipe and polish wall switches, sockets and plugs
  • Vacuum the upholstery
  • Vacuum the rugs and mop the exposed flooring

Bathroom cleaning

  • Clear lime-scale from tub, sink and faucets
  • Clear the shower screen on both sides
  • Disinfect and clean the toilet bowl and cover
  • Clean mold off the walls and floor
  • Clean and polish all glass and chrome surfaces
  • Clear the shelves and cabinets
  • Wipe and clean the door, frames, skirting boards and towel rail
  • Wipe and clean the wall switches and sockets
  • Wipe and clean the window panes, sills and ledges
  • Mop and sanitize the floor

If you are using an end of tenancy cleaning service, ensure to hand this checklist to the cleaning crew for guaranteed work.

How to Negotiate for Post End of Tenancy Cleaning

Post end of tenancy cleaning is a pain that every renter has to deal with when moving house.  the standard tenancy agreement says that a tenant has to leave the house in a state like he/she found the house, failure to which part or all of the tenancy deposit is forfeited.

Most people will overlook this and go ahead and do the post end of tenancy cleaning DIY style instead of hiring a professional cleaning service. They think that these services are too costly and money can be saved. Actually, getting a good professional end of tenancy cleaning service is not all that hard.

Negotiate with a referral

If someone you know has recently moved, you can ask them to rate the cleaning service they used. If the rating is good, ask for the cleaner’s contacts. Many sales agents will be happy enough to hear that you have come to them through a referral. You can take advantage of this to negotiate for a further discount. You can hint that you know someone else who wants to move too, and you would spread a good word about the cleaning service if an attractive discount is offered.

Negotiate from the ads

There are tens of post end of tenancy cleaning services that advertise on different platforms each day. They are on social media, newspaper classifieds, online classifieds, local supermarket noticeboards and even random posters on walls and utility poles.

Talk to a few of them, eliminating those who take more than 2 minutes to pick up the phone. You can say that you would like a quick quote for post end of tenancy cleaning. Sales agents will want to draw you in with a cheap price quote. Write this down together with the name of the sales agent. Go to the office, ask for the agent and negotiate for a discount.

Negotiate by doing some work

The amount of work to be done weighs heavily on the final cost. You can do some of the tasks and leave those difficult to handle for the cleaning service. Some simple tasks that can be handled include washing the utensils, cleaning kitchen appliances like the oven, and scrubbing the toilet. Leave the cleaning service to handle more difficult tasks like cleaning off lime scale from the faucets or dusting high ceilings.

Getting a good post end of tenancy cleaning price is not as hard as you may think. Remember that the costs involved in hiring a professional cleaning service are lower than costs associated with a disputed cleaning job.

7 Top Apps for a Small Retail Business

Is your retail store becoming a handful to run? Indeed, running a small business as a lone entrepreneur can seem a bit overwhelming. There are taxes to handle, customers to communicate with, stock keeping tracking, and tens of numerous other tasks to prioritize. The good news is that you can easily handle all these tasks with a few apps on your computer and smartphone. Check out these apps to run a smooth retail store.

Expensify

Untracked petty expenses can eat into the profits of a small business. Examples are a cup of coffee for a prospective customer, taxi fare for a late employee, or the cost of a missing bulb. Expensify helps track these expenses. You capture the picture of a receipt and file it in a specific budget line.

Woocommerce

Having an online store is almost mandatory for a small business that aims to expand. But an online store can be troublesome to handle in stock management and handling payments. Woocommerce is a platform that works on the popular WordPress website engine. Both are free, so you can set up your online store and run it without engaging an expensive web designer.

Mailchimp

A small retail store can exploit the power of email marketing to expand its market in the neighborhood. Mailchimp is an email marketing app that will allow building an email list of up to 2,000 subscribers for free.

Whatsapp/Facebook Messenger

Social media apps allow a small business to keep in touch with its following. Facebook messenger allows messaging directly to your Facebook fans and friends. Whatsapp enables direct messaging with people on your phone contact list using your internet data plan instead of mobile airtime.

Shopkeep

Are you tired of clunky, ugly looking POS systems? Shopkeep will enable you to run your brick and mortar retail store with ease. It is both an inventory and inventory management system, so you never have to spend hours on a calculator working out how much you got from the last batch.

Hootsuite

This app helps manage several social media from one platform instead of logging into each of them separately. You can also cue your content to go out at specific times.

Google My Business

A brick and mortar retail store need to be found by potential walk-in customers. As the biggest search engine, shoppers are more likely to search for it. Google My Business allows a business to create a profile on Google which appears on the first page when a search is done.

How Does Retail Businesses Boost In-store Sales?

Retailers have always tried to understand their customers with varied success. A retail business has to contend with waves and dips in sales. To keep a continuous flow of customers, a retail business can use a few tips.

Loyalty programs

People love to feel appreciated. A study in 2006 showed that customers with a rewards card did their shopping while smiling more, chatted longer with the café employees and said  ‘thanks’ more. Loyalty programs are easy to set up with loyalty cards, bonuses, and referral incentives. A loyalty program does really increase customer loyalty.

Personalized service

Customers feel that they are receiving personal attention when personalized details are used. Learn to call your customers by their names. A business can use the data collected in the loyalty program to craft personalized messages for birthdays and other life events. Social media platforms like Facebook are also powerful personalization tools.

Fewer but good alternatives

An interesting study showed that shoppers would actually spend less when they have very many options. The study used two tables one with three options for jam, and another with 24 brands. Surprisingly, 31% chose a jar of jam from the table with 3 brands while only 2% picked a jar from the table with 24 brands. A retail business is better off with a few quality brands than lots of untested products.

Create scarcity

Creating an illusion of scarcity has always been a popular marketing tactic. Phrases like ‘limited offer run this week only!’ are much used with good success. Luxury brands go a step further. Retail stores with luxury brands have snobby but professional staff, creating an illusion of items beyond usual reach. This works well with luxury brands which get their fame from exclusivity.

Feeling the items on offer

Apparently, people will readily buy and pay more for items that they have laid their hands on. Touching creates an illusion of possession which subconsciously urges the shopper to buy and pay a bit more for an item already in hand.

Freebies

Everyone loves freebies. Free samples are an expression of confidence in a product. When a retail store offers freebies like stickers or even free mints, shoppers will naturally feel a need to reciprocate, which is expressed through a willingness to buy.

Items placement

Consumer studies show that placing popular items at the end of the store forces shoppers to transverse the aisles and in the process do some impulse buying. Another approach involves placing popular but cheap items at the entrance. Once a shopper buys one item, she will be willing to buy more.