The one subject that traders are probably the most sick of reading about is retail change. We have almost become numb to the constant wailing about the need for change and that is ok as long as you are a trader who at some stage has listened and reacted. Those who haven't, really need to respond now.
A recent article on LinkedIn by a guy called Bob Nardelli (ex CEO of The Home Depot and Chrysler) talked about the end of 2-3 year business plans. He said that some plans today only last 2-3 days because the rate of change and uncertainty is so dynamic particularly in industries like energy (and not much less in retailing). Imagine setting a business plan based on the global price of oil just 6 months ago. That plan would now be in tatters and in fact if you didn't react straight away to that situation, you are probably no longer in business, unless you bet on a price fall.
Changes in retailing have been dynamic but there are still many market traders conducting their businesses in exactly the same way they were 5, 10, or even 20 years ago. The single biggest change of course is in the way shoppers shop. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review, "In The Future Of Retail, We're Never Not Shopping", just nails the problem for those retailers who haven't changed. Shoppers now have many different ways of shopping, and if you are still doing things they way you did 5 or 10 years ago you are only covering one aspect of modern retailing. If you are just waiting for shoppers to come past your stall, like we all used to do, then you are missing the shoppers who have discovered other ways of sourcing your goods. And it doesn't matter how much you complain, or how much you wish the old days would come back, or how much you blame others (management) for your dilemma - things are unlikely to change for you.
Ready for some reading? Here are some articles that might kick-start that change in your business and you can join all those traders who have already made a start.
6 Things Star Wars Can Teach Retailers -
Trends In Retailing http://www.tutorialspoint.com/retail_management/emerging_trends_in_retail.htm
Don't believe in change for changes sake? Well, here is an excellent article by a strategist called Jon Steel - in which he cleverly compares age old methods of communicating with customers (would you believe graffiti from the ancient city of Pompeii) and how that ties in with modern communication. He doesn't believe in change for changes sake but he has some interesting observations on how to apply age old business principles in new ways.
Finally, we recently wrote about some great low cost business courses set up by Small Business Victoria. These could be a very effective way of embracing new retailing in your business. -