As your business starts to grow, you may consider opening multiple outlets to expand the scale of your business. Running a multi-outlet business requires much more effort than managing just one single location; however, it is not impossible. Here are 6 practical things you may want to consider if you are planning to run multiple stores:
Every business should remember this: Build from the ground up. This means that before opening any other locations, make sure your very first location is already running smoothly and most preferably can operate without your presence. This is because you will have to split your attention between different outlets, which leads to your absence sometimes in a specific location. Moreover, a flawless performance at the first location can create more impression on customers, thus building a positive reputation for your business. This can help to attract more customers to your newly-opened location.
To expand the scale of your business, you need more resources in order to not be overwhelmed. Plan in detail about how you will fund your expansion, such as using your current revenue or taking a loan. Being clear and specific with finances from the start would help to avoid any financial problems arising in the future.
Moreover, you should also consider human resources, as this can directly affect the operation of your new stores. Are the current number of employees enough to handle the increasing tasks, or do you need to hire more people? You may also want to ask yourself if you need other people to manage the stores with you, or to partner with a third-party company to share the tasks.
It is essential to research the local areas and target audience of your new outlets. Understanding your market thoroughly will help to create a suitable marketing strategy for specific areas. A plan may work in this location but no longer be effective in other places, for example due to cultural differences. You can consult local people (i.e. by a quick survey), do research on the Internet critically, or actually hire local people to gain insights into your new neighborhood.
Although you may run multiple stores, they are still one big company. Therefore, it is important to maintain a consistent way of working for your business. This would help you to better manage several locations and strengthen the brand image with customers.
As a manager, you should create standards for employees to follow, which should be applied to all outlets. Specifically for retailers, these standards are often about monetary transactions, information confidentiality, customer service, store layout and merchandising.
Make sure to check and analyze the performance of all stores frequently, so that you can have an overview of their performances compared to each other and as a whole. Some important aspects are sales, most popular products and staff performance. Updating this information regularly can help you to adjust your plan and management in a timely manner.
Thanks to the development of technology, businesses are now handling complicated tasks with ease. You can use different software and hardware for repetitive or calculating tasks. Moving your management system to the cloud can also be an option you should consider, because it allows you to manage multiple stores anywhere, anytime with an Internet connection.
Multi-store retailers often use point-of-sale (POS) systems to handle transactions, inventory management and employee management. In 2020, POS software has a market size value of $9.3 billion. Knowing this growing demand, ConnectPOS, a point-of-sale provider, offers various POS options for retailers to choose from. Examples for multi-store owners are the option to select multiple warehouses in one bill, and a centralized system to manage multiple locations.
We hope these tips will help you to run multiple stores successfully. You can explore more features of ConnectPOS for your multi-store business here, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
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