If you’re running a small business, you’ll know the clue is in the name: small. Somehow your premises, if you even have one, and your home are full of stock, maintenance and other items. How did that happen?
It’s not good for business either. It gives customers an impression of you to have all your stock out in the open. For one it looks unprofessional, like you can’t keep your front store tidy, and for another it will look like your products aren’t selling, and there must be a reason for that, so they won’t buy either.
If you’re feeling swamped in items, take a look at our guide for things you can do to make more space in your small retail premises.
Optimise your space
You can apply a lot of interior design tips to your premises to fool your customers and yourself that you have so much space to fill with so little items. You’re going for lots of items on display, but organised. If you’re working in high fashion, yes, minimalism evokes modern and exclusivity, but you’re looking to sell, so it’s best to have some of everything on the shop floor.
Reduce the clutter around your displays. If it isn’t adding to the décor or it has no major purpose, get rid of it or hide it. Make use of your vertical space in practical ways. Don’t fill it with art and have all your items at knee-level. Install shelves and use them where you can.
Allow as much light as possible to get in through the windows, giving the idea of a wide space. And if you’re low on natural light, like there’s a block of flats right across the road, invest in a lot of lighting. Install mirrors to give the illusion of a wider space, and they will make your lighting work twice as hard.
Invest in a storage unit
Of course, if there’s far too much in the back of the store, or it’s starting to encroach on your living space, you can look into renting one of the personal storage units from Safestore. This would be especially handy for online retail stores with no premises whatsoever. Your stock will be stored and looked after like it were Tutankhamun’s tomb, safely tucked away for you to access whenever you need it.
There are various storage sizes available so that you’re not paying for space that you’re not using and you can even visit the storage units with a virtual walkthrough to make sure. There is units available from a tidy 10 square feet to a whopping 500 square feet. You will be able to hold a lot of products with that.
In this world of tech-reliance and germ-phobia, there is a lot of advancements that are leading us towards the idea of a “smart city”. These include tech that reduces carbon emissions, ups security and, the most embraced of the bunch, offers contactless payment.
You know that ancient cash machine that “ch-ching’s” every time you open it is dating your very modern and chic retail space and isn’t doing much good anymore. The contactless payment method has been embraced by everyone from Elon Musk to the little old lady selling flowers on the street.
The extra security offered by its end-to-end encryption is a strong advantage, as is the fact that germ-covered hands no longer need to swap notes and coins, but the main point is that you’ll get to toss out that bulky cash machine that is blighting your front store.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.