One of the most critical keys to the success of any business, no matter the industry, is having a thorough business plan.
According to a survey conducted by Palo Alto Software, out of the thousands of business owner respondents, those who completed business plans were twice as likely to successfully grow their businesses or obtain capital than those who didn’t write a plan.
Not only does having a plan allow you to gain a firm grasp on all the moving parts of your business such as revenue streams, profit margins, and methods for how you’ll market your business, but this plan also sets the direction of your focus. After all, you can’t meet your goal if you don’t have a map to help you get there, and the same goes for retail and cosmeceutical sales.
Why Your Retail Needs Its Own Plan
So, at this point, you might think the biggest retail mistake is not having a business plan, which is partially the case, but more so, the number one rule of retail you never want to break is not treating retail like its own business unit or entity. Yes, retail will tie into other revenue streams and elements of your business plan. However, if you truly want to make retail a highly profitable section of your business, which it should be if you want to experience long-term sustainability, you need to outline a plan that focuses solely on the actions you will take to grow and expand your retail revenue.
The First Step In Creating Your Plan
As we previously mentioned, your retail plan will inevitably tie into other elements of your business, for example, treatments and services, but that’s not where you’ll begin. Retail has numerous facets that make up the bigger picture, and the first place to start is your goals. If you created a pie chart of all your business revenue, how much of the pie would you want retail to take up? Now, if you take that overall percentage and divide it into monthly totals, then weekly, then daily...how much retail do you need to sell per day in your clinic? When you take this step of mapping out your ultimate goal and breaking it down into smaller, incremental goals, you’re able to get a realistic picture that guides the creation of the rest of your plan.
Reverse Engineering Your Remaining Retail Plan Components
Once you’ve mapped out your monthly, weekly, and daily goals, now you can move forward with the actual merchandising and selling of retail. What most clinics do is purchase a mass quantity of inventory and then they’re stuck with having to move all that product. This approach immediately puts your business in a deficit, and you risk losing money or only breaking even on your retail in the long-run.
By setting your goals first, then you can reverse engineer the rest of your plan. For example:
Merchandising: How much product should you have on-hand and how can you source those products so that you’re achieving the best profit margin?
Educating: How will you train and educate your staff so that they feel empowered and equipped to sell your retail with confidence and expertise?
Selling: How do you plan to position your product lines with your treatments and services? How will you and/or your team approach the sales process and point of sale with your clients?
Promote: When will you run product promotions? What strategies and tactics will you use during these dedicated promotions or pushes? How will you fit retail into your spa or clinic’s overall marketing plan?
As you can see, with the proper planning, retail can transform from simply being an additional offering for your clients to being a highly profitable income source for your business. The question is, will you resist the urge to dive headfirst, or will you take the time and few extra steps up front to ensure your future success?