Welcome to our last issue of 2014!
This year our annual Trends feature came together through a survey we sent to our readers. When asked about how you were planning on retaining your customers in the next year, many of you answered with some form of an increased online presence, which makes sense given the fact that strategies have to be adjusted in order to accommodate the changing face of retail.
Because as cliché as it sounds, the only constant is change. Whether you like it or not, the way people shop and spend both their time and their money isn’t what it was a year or even a couple of months ago.
And while it’s easy to complain about Internet sales and big-box stores — all valid challenges, mind you — the truth is most customers don’t really care, and complaining about competition does nothing but waste what “extra” time you have.
Instead of shifting blame, shift your thinking.
Venture outside the walls of your store and make new connections. Dedicate an hour of time a week to social media. Host an event and see how it goes. Of course, you can’t do it all and need to focus on what works, but being focused doesn’t mean that you can’t adapt and evolve over time. Being focused means identifying what exactly you’re committed to adapting and evolving.
So instead of shifting blame about the changes in the industry and consumer habits, perhaps shift your thinking. Focus on new ideas and the people who do help you out because a job still has to be done. Commit to a conscious shift in how you approach problems, how you talk to customers and how you run a business.
You might just see a change for the better.