The power of the individual

I am conscious of the wide range of readers on the SmartCompany site and the recipients of the RSS feeds each week. You probably couldn’t find a more eclectic readership profile which ranges from small to medium business owners, to associates and execs in large multinational corporations. In any given week I may receive five or six emails commenting on the site itself or conversations by phone and face-to-face around the week’s blog.

Two comments on my blog: The soft side to the Christmas rush from Kate Groom and the anonymous sounding Jurek were spot on. In trying to provide an overall view of the retail market in the run up to Christmas I highlighted the macro view from the major manufacturers and retailers. In the blog, I discussed how it had been a quiet few weeks and promotional activity was about to kick in to help ‘prime the pump’ and get us all back into stores before the Christmas rush started.

Both Kate and Jurek rightfully reminded me that no matter what is happening in a macro sense, what I do in my business, my suburb, my street or my store is what really matters. We all have the opportunity to pick our way through turmoil and downturns more resiliently than our competitors, and harness the upswings and booms more cleverly than our competitors. And this isn’t only true within the small business community. While a major retailer may have 90% of its stores trading badly one week, 10% will always be up.

That 10% will always be able to shape and communicate an offer by reaching out to a shopper or providing such a consistently great experience that their shoppers want to visit and shop with them.

Kate Groom said: “Even if the ‘whole’ of Australian retail is soft, an individual retailer can achieve strong results. That average is made up of stars and poor performers, so what will you do to be a star in revenue and profit?”

Kate went on to say of the “compressed profit period” that “it’s surely far from ideal, especially for small, independent business with stretched cashflow, so the question becomes, what can I do to boost revenue and profit in the other 10 months of the year?”

And both Kate and Jurek agreed that the best retailers find a way. Kate finished with: “it pays to remember that you have control over your destiny and the ability to influence that.” Jurek echoed the point with: “The winning retailers will make it happen, not wait for it to happen.”

Very true.

In his role as CEO of CROSSMARK, Kevin Moore looks at the world of retailing from grocery to pharmacy, bottle shops to car dealers, corner store to department stores. In this insightful blog, Kevin covers retail news, ideas, companies and emerging opportunities in Australia, NZ, the US and Europe. His international career in sales and marketing has seen him responsible for business in over 40 countries, which has earned him grey hair and a wealth of expertise in international retailers and brands. CROSSMARK Asia Pacific is Australasia’s largest provider of retail marketing services, consulting to and servicing some of Australasia’s biggest retailers and manufacturers.


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