Sunday 11 August 2013

Where Are We Going?

Vision is an essential element in many aspects of life but in business it is critical. In fact, for traders, it is probably the most important single ingredient at this time. In this article we attempt to identify an important vision element.

Queen Victoria Market Traders are not alone in this search for direction. The global retail market is struggling to cope with wayward consumer sentiment. Myer CEO, Bernie Brooks recently observed - "The reality is that we've got a very frugal, a very difficult customer and one that we have to work harder to please."

Recent survey results suggest that consumers are not going through a passing phase of frugality. In fact they are becoming more likely to save rather than spend. So it is retailers who need to adapt. Retailers need to break out of the old ways and face the challenge of exciting their customers.

A full vision statement requires a lot of input from all stakeholders at QVM and, as much as we need it, that is not going to come from this article. But that shouldn't stop us from choosing a simple vision like "Creating a market stall that excites my customers and identifies me as a destination retail outlet superior to my competitors in mainstream retailing."

For many of us it is unlikely we can achieve that vision by presenting our Queen Victoria Market stalls in the same way as we have done for the last 5 or 10 years. Most of us need to raise the bar and to assist in that we have designed a self analysis questionnaire that identifies many of the things we need to consider. How do you rate on these criteria?

                                                                   Poor.    Below.    Average.    Above.    Very Good
                                                                                Average.                  Average
Overall stall presentation -
Individuality and point of difference -
Clear message -
Signage -
Quality of fittings -
Verbal presentation -
Attentiveness -
Product innovation -
Customer services (delivery, contact, etc.) -

Basically we are in competition with every other retail outlet in Melbourne (and online) and many if those are not going to survive. QVM Traders need to set a new standard of excellence to ensure our survival. Are you up for it?