How to Set Retail Goals
Updated October 6, 2023
Setting goals for your business can give you something to focus your efforts on, whether that be growing your customer base, driving sales, or encouraging customer loyalty. Retailers (and all businesses) should have goals for both the short and the long term. A business without any goals cannot grow, because its people have nothing to strive or reach for. Give your employees, your business, and yourself something to strive for by learning how to set retail goals.
1:- What Do You Want Most From Your Business?
Ask yourself this question every day: what’s the one thing you want the most from your business? Financial security? To make a positive impact on your customers? To blow away the competition?
Everyone will have a unique answer to this question. Some people want money and some want only the satisfaction of knowing they helped someone solve a problem, and still some want both. What is your motivation? What drove you to start a retail store in the first place? Answering this question will bring about the clarity and focus you need to set realistic goals for your business.
2:- What Are Your Values?
Once you’ve decided what you want out of your business, it’s time to define your business’s values, as well as your own. Do you value honesty and integrity? Your customers likely will too. Do you value money over everything else? You might find trouble connecting with customers and employees.
A business’s values are a reflection of the people that are a part of it. If you’re doing business in an honest way, with integrity, customers will recognize you and your brand as authentic. This helps promote loyalty and drive sales, because who wants to buy something from a dishonest person or business?
Solidify your values, write them down, and most of all, live them inside and outside of your business. No matter what your values are, they are important to you and will help you to set and accomplish your goals.
3:- Pay Attention to Sales Numbers
In order for your business to grow, you’ll need to increase your sales and to do that, you need to either raise prices, cut costs or generate new leads that can turn into paying customers; or all three. Generally, however, customers don’t appreciate a sudden increase in price for their favorite items, so let’s lend some focus to the other two factors.
Cutting costs can be as simple as turning off certain lights during the day or replacing the employee who spends their days browsing social media. Or, it can be as complex as reorganizing your marketing campaigns to better reach their intended audience.
Creating new leads means reaching out to new people and convincing them that they should lend their business to your brand because of x,y, and z. Those reasons, that x,y, and z, should be genuine. You won’t attract many customers by saying things like “using our brand will make you cooler than your friends”. Something along the lines of “shopping with us guarantees the best in customer service” will garner more attention and seem much more honest to potential customers.
Paying attention to your sales numbers will help you identify which items your customers prefer, and which times of the month or year your business is most profitable. If you’re generating most of your sales in the summer, figure out what is driving customers to you during those summer months.
If your sales are declining during the winter, perhaps a simple plowed parking lot can improve your foot traffic. Never underestimate the power of a simple sales report. Pay attention to the numbers, get behind the reasons for those numbers, and set goals to make appropriate changes to your sales numbers.
4:- Get a POS System
Why should you get a POS system to help you set goals? Simple. Modern POS systems aren’t simple cash registers any longer, they’re powerhouses of information that you can use to improve your business and set long and short-term goals.
Remember those sales numbers we just mentioned? Those can be viewed via your POS system. Having inventory troubles? POS systems can track inventory in real-time. Unsure what your customers want from your business? Customer profiles provide a detailed sales record of your customers’ purchases.
Setting goals is largely dependent on information. The more informed you are, the better you can set realistic goals and map out the path to achieving those goals. A POS system is a wealth of information for you to consider and use to set goals that you can be proud of.
5:- Look at Your Competition
Wait, why would I look at my competition to improve my own business? Well, for starters, if your competition is outselling, outperforming, and outdoing your business in customer service, you’ll want to take a close look at what they’re doing differently. Sometimes, it can be such a simple fix that you won’t need to set any goals, and other times you may need to set several goals to bring yourself to their level.
The competition can show you exactly what you’re doing wrong (or right) and help you set goals to match their level of service, and eventually surpass it. The beauty of having competition is that it provides a platform from which to observe trends in the industry and gain a better understanding of what customers are truly looking for.