Running a Successful Liquor Store – What You Need to Know
Liquor stores, while having the potential to ensure a heavy income, tend to fail more often than not. Today’s liquor store owners aren’t doing the necessary research or committing enough of their time to their business – which in turn show by their store’s lack of success. However, with proper advice and good strategy, your store can instantly start bringing in more traffic, building a bigger profit, and maintaining better customer relationships. Here are six helpful tips on how to make your liquor store a success.
STICK WITH THE FACTS
A common thread between liquor store owners is that they tend to stock up with items based off their own personal preferences. In order to run a successful store, you need to take yourself and your judgments out of the equation. It doesn’t matter what you drink, what you notice, or what your intuition tells you – stick with the facts. Bring in a new POS system that allows to gain insight with each purchase – including promotional effectiveness and KPI reporting. The right POS system should not only be able to document and track how much you have in stock at any given time, but show you exactly how much each product sells in comparison to others. Remember, what matters most is that you stock and sell the items that earn the highest margins.
ESTABLISH REASONABLE GOALS
Whether you own a liquor store or not, every small business owner needs to understand how much revenue they need in order to meet their expenses. This goes for expenses per week, per month, per quarter, per year, etc. Using an industry guide to help you determine realistic, attainable goals is a resource not many store owners take advantage of. Determine how much revenue you need to break even, and from there you can establish profit goals.
KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE
When people enter a liquor store, they either know exactly what the need, or have no idea. Either way, it’s vital to have a certain level of expertise about your inventory. When a customer comes in looking for something specific, you can direct them to its exact location. If you’re asked for recommendations on certain wines, gifts, taste preferences, etc, you can make confident statements and satisfy the customer. Having a solid understanding of your inventory not only brings a level of comfort to your customer, but establishes your credibility.
HAVE AN ONLINE PRESENCE
At this point, most business owners understand the importance of having an online presence. However, it’s shocking how many businesses lack a strong website, or stay present on social media. Do everything you can to make sure your site is optimized for a local SEO, stay on top of your social media, update your website, and interact with your online following. If time is an issue, partner with a specialized marketing company that will run your social media, create original content, and keep your business as innovative as possible with specialized branding.
HAVE ONLINE REVIEWS
Great reviews on big sites, such as Yelp, do great things for any business. It encourages new customers to trust your business’s integrity. However, one underrated tactic that should be utilized more is starting a blog through your business’s website and social media accounts. It serves as one big database full of reviews. Posts will allow potential customers to build a relatable, authentic relationship to your business and leave them ready to come in. Try getting more of your customers to leave a review on Yelp, as well as add a blog section to your website where you’ll be able to post useful pieces yourself, as well as let customers create their own.
SHOW SOME LOVE
When your customers see you as a friend, they’re more likely to spend more. They’ll also return more often, ask your advice, and recommend your store to others. Most liquor stores survive off of their “big whales” – the customers who come in frequently and buy in significant quantities. Make sure you’re reaching out to those customers and giving them reasons to return to your store!
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