All businesses want to grow. Whether it’s a business that has been in the market for long or a business that has just been launched, growth is vital for all. As long as the business is growing the challenges – although existing – remain dormant. But once the initial gaps are filled, reaching a meaningful growth curve can be excruciating.
Let’s take the case of a brand that has been in business for the past three years and is still struggling for growth. In such a situation, the obvious thought that most leaders have is that there is a lack of proper planning. Accordingly, they get involved and start micro-planning every aspect of the business including setting outlet-wise targets for the team.
This is essentially done by taking a particular area, understanding the store-wise throughput and then pushing teams to increase the same. For example, if in one area a business of Rs. 10 lakh is done in 1,000 stores, this gives a throughput of Rs. 1,000 lakh per month. The leader will now ask the team to increase the throughput to Rs. 1,500 lakh. If they do this then, 50 percent of growth can be achieved.
Managers will be asked to make outlet-wise business plans and outline the support needed by them to reach their business goals. While everything looks doable on an excel sheet, most times, implementation is not easy. What’s important here to understand is that there is a way in which outlets behave and if managers don’t take this into account, then it becomes tough to implement plans
One of the basic challenges in retail is bringing in consumers. Most outlets have a fixed number of customers. People generally don’t travel distances if basic needs are fulfilled by a store near home. If they do travel, it is just once a month for monthly requirements. For replenishment, people prefer going to outlets near their homes.
When business managers plan on an outlet basis, desiring incremental business from the same outlet, the numbers never increase exponentially. Most times, there is only a marginal increase.
The next stage is the support stage, which includes factors like visibility, offers etc. This induces action and as a result, the customer makes a purchase and tops ups for two-three months. Hence, what the offer essentially did is that it gave the store higher sales for one month and then a dip over the next two months. Take the average of these months and one will find that numbers are almost the same as the usual trend of the store.
Most businesses find themselves in such situations at least once. Vijay Sokhi, Founder Director of Sharp Consulting and Implementing Company (SCICO), believes that businesses have to make sense. Any product preposition that adds more meaning to the consumer by reducing his time will do better than others.
Sokhi believes that creating loyal customers is a very important aspect of any business. Customers ensure consistency and once a loyal customer becomes a brand ambassador, they bring in more customers. However, this process is continuous and takes a long time and still leaves the most important question unanswered – How does an outlet bring about growth?
It becomes very frustrating when the growth of a business is in shackles. However, experts like SCICO are always around to ease business problems.
SCICO understands that there are only two ways in which a retailer can grow – by increasing their presence and increasing their range. Sharp’s Map Tap Adapt and Sharp’s Pentagon are the two jewels that can act as growth propellers to any business.