Small Retailers are Always Overlooked
When you pick up the paper and read that the Dow is up or down, consumer sentiment is high or low, corporate profits are good or bad, they obviously aren’t talking about the small retailer. Corporate America’s stock value is directly tied to last quarter’s profits and forward thinking estimates of future earnings. Small retailers have a definite advantage in that they can think about long term planning without worrying if they are going to hit this quarter’s projections. Big business’s answer to more profitability is another round of cost cuts, which usually means job layoffs. ProphetLine is a small POS Software company that always plays to its main strength, which is being able to adapt quickly and nurture niche markets. Microsoft can’t be beat by our throwing more money at a marketing plan, but we constantly convert their customers to our POS software because we can cater to small business and their specialized needs. Small companies with fewer than 5oo people make up 52% of the private sector work force and were responsible for 51% of the nation’s gross domestic product, but when you read about innovation in technology, it’s always technology that only the big can afford.
Yesterday’s paper had a large article about price optimization software built by SAP and Oracle and the starting price tag was well into the millions. Small retailers can’t afford this, but they can take good data from their POS software, develop an inventory budget, build a purchasing plan and rely on the most important asset they have, their gut instinct and knowing their customer demographics. Wal-Mart tried to up-scale their apparel lines and better compete with Target. They later found out this was a mistake and it will take them better than a year to clean up the mess. You, the small retailer, can clean up your mistakes quickly with markdowns and sales and re-invest that money in quick turning inventory. Small business is always ignored by the government, corporate analysts and the reporting newswires. Flying under the radar can be good if you know your strengths and play to them.