Before continuing, my title is not rhetorical, so if you are looking for those kinds of post… this is not for you. Stop now, before you waste any more of your time. 😀
So… Anyway, now that that’s done, let’s continue…
I have a brick and mortar shop. It’s small, and sells general merchandise at retail.
Lately, though, sales has been on the decline, and not only is the store itself hurting, but so is my budget.
I have to admit, running a retail business is not that fun. It is very exhausting. This business relies on volume to succeed. When sales volume drop, the business suffers. However, to have a high sales volume, you’d have to work your ass off.
Since it’s a small store, we only have one person in the shop. We used to have one clerk, but “issues” cropped up, and we had to let them go.
Now, it’s just me and the wife.
It has been very draining.
The daily grind to run the business is exhausting. Then, add the declining sales, and, well, being motivated can be tough.
So what changed? We have been in the business for at least ten years. During those early years, the store was doing great! During the last few years, though, performance dropped. I am looking at the market condition as the culprit, but there could be other underlying factors.
The market changed. There are more players on the field, and some of them are more strategically located. They are closer to our target market, hence, our customers do not have to go to our location to buy the things they need.
Our working hours changed. Since it is just me and my wife running the store, our operating hours has changed. I have a full time desk job. My wife is supposed to operate the store. But she could only open the store in the afternoon up until late in the evening.
And most important of all, our location changed. We were effectively kicked out by the landlords in our old space – the one where we have been in operation for more than five years. We were told that they would do some “renovations”. Well, as soon as we transferred to a nearby location, they opened their own store. Huh…
Well, it gives me some sort of satisfaction to see that their store has not survived and seems to be closed now.
However, we are also suffering from the move, and, frankly I am not sure how long our business will last.
Running a small traditional business is tough. I have been looking into modernizing our business practices, probably incorporating some internet things into it, but I seem to be the only one seeing the potential benefits of it. My wife sees the negatives and the impracticability of it. I’m thinking of finding ways to increase sales, and not abandon ship.
She wants me to find other side hustles to pad our income, or better yet, completely replace the store, because she finds it exhausting.
I cannot fully run the store by myself. From purchasing the goods for sale, manning the store and also working at my job – I already got my hands full… How in the world can I squeeze in another side hustle?
Yesterday, I was editing my wife’s video for upload to her vlog, and I kept getting interrupted by customers. I don’t think I can work on another side hustle while running the store at the same time. If I do get another job, will she be able to run the store by herself? I doubt it.
What am I thinking of doing?
- I’m thinking of fixing the display. I have to make our products more visible.
- Place some useful product ads outside the store to entice customers to buy.
- … There’s no number three. That’s all I got for now.
Why not go online? I don’t know how this would work. I know all about how to give benefit and value to customers, but I don’t know how to implement this to our traditional store. An online shop would be impractical because the goods and products are much too common. The least I can do is to build some sort of site to increase brand awareness of the business – to make us a better choice, but I am at my wit’s end here.
I’m typing up this post as I contemplate on cleaning out the store’s funds to pay creditors that are due today. The bad news is that I won’t be paying all of them, and there are still more coming up this week, such as the rent and electricity. I feel overwhelmed. It’s like I am in a dark place, and while I can still see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can’t really say if I would be able to make it to that said light.
I really don’t want to be posting all this negativity, but I somehow need to get all these out.
I really don’t know what to do.
I have been trying to build a business off of online writing and content creation, but it is still too soon to see any growth and development. I’m probably not doing it right.
I hope your day is better than what I am having. Hahaha…
See you around.