Is your Website Helping you Gain Business

Is your Website Helping you Gain Business?

Many business owners think that by creating a website and making it live, their business will grow.

That is only true if there is strategy; effort and budget dedicated to driving prospects to the website; the website is optimized for conversion, and it truly speaks to your unique value proposition.

In this day and age, it is crucial to have an online presence, however online presence without a strategy can have the reverse impact.

Can your website be found?

The obvious point here is that if your website does not show up on search engines for relevant keyword searches your business will not get any online traffic.

The more dangerous point is that if your business carries a popular name that is not unique. What I mean by that is if you have a business that carries common words in the name such as prosperity, windows, drain, etc.., you might not show up even when prospects are searching your business name directly.

This only happens if your website is not optimized for search engines. The danger here is that if prospects were told about your business, they will search you on Google, and if they can’t find you, they will more than likely click on someone else’s business and convert somewhere else.

Is your website as good or better than your local competitors?

If you think about the user’s experience, how does your website stack up against your local competition? Will users be able to find everything they are looking for? Are the services and products you offer clearly stated? Are the benefits of hiring you presented with your competitive advantages? Do you have testimonials on your website? Is there a strong call-to-action on your website?

If you answered NO to any of these questions, you should re-evaluate your website and make changes to reflect what prospects are looking for. Most website visitors will stick around less than 15 seconds if they don't see what they intended to find.

Think about all the time, energy, and effort it takes to drive prospects to your website. If your website is the first thing your prospects see, then your website is a true reflection of your business, your work, your quality, and your promise.

Are you proud to tell your prospects to visit your website? If the answer is no, then take immediate action.

Are you present on all social media platforms?

Social media marketing is very powerful. For some businesses it serves as a lead generation and customer acquisition tool, for others, it serves as a branding and credibility tool.

If you are working in the home improvement sector, social media is not necessarily a strong lead generation tool (although it might be, depending on the type of product or service you offer), it is really more important for credibility and trust.

If a prospect is about to call you, more often than not they will check your social media pages. Are those pages in sync with your website, your value proposition, and are those pages a true reflection of your business?

Again, if the answer is no, you are potentially missing out on some calls.

Is your Google My Business listing optimized?

If you are a local business, it is highly important that your Google my Business listing is optimized. We wrote a previous article on how to optimize your Google My Business listing that you can read up on.

You want users to be able to find your listing, reviews, description, hours of work, and location when searching for a product or service like yours. More importantly, you want prospects that are directly searching for your business name to see a neat, clean, and relevant listing.

To summarize, it is very important that your online presence on all mediums be consistent, portray trust, professionalism, and the true character of your business.


How We Tripled a Client's Email List

First, I wanted to share some statistics around email campaigns and the success associated with them. The average open rate for email campaigns across all industries is 21.8% and the average click-through rate is 2.78%.

So, if your email list has 10,000 emails on it, 2180 individuals will open that email. Out of the 2180, you will have 278 individuals click a button in the email and land wherever you have asked them to land.

It varies between industries and I will use retail as an example because it sits very close to the average and it’s relevant to the example I will talk about below. Retail as an industry lands at 21% open rate and 2.5% click-through-rate.

Here are some factors that influence the success rates of email campaigns (open rates and click-through rates):

Mobile Optimization

If your email is not optimized to fit different size screens and devices your click-through-rate will be significantly lower.

Email Subject Line

Research shows that 47% of users open an email based on the subject line.

Value Offer

Be clear on how the recipient will benefit from the value you are offering, whether it’s content or promotional pricing.

Landing Pages

Once you get the user to open the email and click on the desired button, it is important that they land on a page that makes it easy to complete the action you wanted to complete. Simple and loud call-to-actions, solutions for the problems your audience is trying to solve, and unique value are some of the things to be included on the landing page. Too much content and navigation can create uncertainty and can cause the user to get interrupted mid-way or prompt more research.

If you are a retailer, you have plenty of opportunities to capture emails at the point of sale and get permission from your customers to stay in touch. Retailers that ignore email capture are setting themselves back and lose out on potential revenue. The cost of capturing emails in-store is very low, if not free. Setting up an email campaign and managing your email list is not very costly and if the campaign is setup properly, with enough emails, of course, it will always produce a positive ROI.

If you are a multi-location, high transactional volume retailer, the speed at which you can grow your email list is much faster than a single unit, high ticket/low transaction volume retailer. We recently partnered up with a luxury eyewear retailer and helped them triple their email list. 

Case Study - Eyeconcept

Eye Concept is a local luxury eyewear retail store, staffed with licensed Opticians and an Optometrist on-site. They are located in Oakville Place and have been there for about 6 months.

We brainstormed with the owner on how to increase awareness in the community around the existence of their store, drive more traffic to the store, and increase their existing email list. Knowing their goals, we planned an event that incorporated all three objectives.

First, we set up an online contest that awarded two winners a free pair of Tom Ford sunglasses. Next, we secured space in the middle of the mall for two days to do a live event. Finally, we launched the contest a week before the live event and encouraged the team at the store to sign people up to the contest, not only when purchasing a product but when they just come in to browse.

While the store was not busy, we encouraged the team to stand outside and engage people walking by to sign up for the contest.  In order to sign up for the contest, the user had to leave their email address. Consent to be added to their email list was optional, but we found that 72% of our contest entrants gave consent to send them future promotional emails.

The entrant was able to earn extra ballots by inviting friends to participate through a unique URL, or by liking their Facebook and Instagram page. This add-on helped increase our social media followers.

We promoted the contest on Facebook and Instagram locally as well. On the day of the live event we set up a backdrop in the middle of the mall brought in two digital screens that advertised the contest, and set up an iPad stand to encourage people to sign up for our contest.

We also brought a Polaroid camera that allowed mall patrons to take a picture in front of our backdrop while trying out some models of their exclusive lines of sunglasses and some party props. The crowd was able to walk away with good memory and a printout picture from the polaroid of them having fun under our brand.

We also encouraged all visitors to go down to our retail location and receive a free gift. We had swag giveaways that we distributed to all visitors. This action allowed mall patrons that would normally miss their store to come in, visit the store, get to know the team, the variety of products they sell and helped build more exposure around their store.

The live event was on for two days and we continued the on-line contest for another week. After two weeks of total contest entries and the live event, we were able to triple our clients’ email list. The total number of email addresses collected was almost an even split between the live event and the in-store/online activity.

Not only did we triple our clients’ email list, but we also exposed our clients’ store and brand to the local community increased brand awareness and provided a memory for their future clients. In the following months, we are able to measure the direct impact the contest and the live event had on total sales.

The impact of Experiential Marketing events had been proven tough in terms of hard data and ROI. The experience of the participants can be measured through various surveys, email sign-ups/social media followers increase, and many other such activities.

The measurement of the impact of the event on total sales and revenue however carries a lot of variables in between that can impact that number. Being a Digital Marketing and Field Marketing agency, we have combined the best of both worlds and have created a product that can more accurately measure the impact of Experiential Marketing on total revenue and Sales. Contact us for more details.

 


How Important is a Top Listing In Google?

How Important is a Top Listing In Google?

I want to start off by telling you that this is a sales pitch…in a way… Well maybe not… However, I will ask that you call us if you want us to help rank you after you finish reading this. For now, all that I ask is that you manage to keep your attention on the next couple of paragraphs and learn the importance of being at the top of Google.

Are you an electrician who specializes in EV charger installation? Maybe a plumber who specializes in basement waterproofing services? Or a financial advisor who provides critical illness insurance?

Regardless of what type of product or service you sell, whether you’re a videographer, sell shawarma or custom t-shirts, your clients go through a certain process in order to choose the solution for their problem. Before showing up on the top of page one, you need to understand that process and how clients interact with search engines at each step of that journey. Let’s assume I need to find a new optometrist because I just moved to a new neighborhood.

First, I am going to take my phone out and Google search “optometrist” near me. Google says 60% of people that search a business near them make a physical trip to a location of their choice within 24 hours. I am going to look at the first 3-5 options, open their website, read reviews, and do a little bit more research. I will either decide on the spot to call someone and book an appointment or I will re-visit the topic again in the following days. If I revisit the topic in the next few days I will probably go through the same exercise again, remember a couple of names maybe and repeat the process.

If you are one of those optometrists that show up on the top, 3 things are important to me:

1. The User Experience of the Landing Page

A landing page is the first page you land on once you click on the business. There are several things to consider on your landing page such as: Did the landing page load fast enough? Is the website optimized for Mobile devices? Is there an easy way to interact with the business – is the “book an appointment” button or the “call now” button in front of me? Is the website modern and clean? Can I trust based on my first impression that this establishment cares about their clients? Do they care enough about their own business to keep things updated? Is there a map of their physical location on the website? Can I see some client testimonials there? All these factors contribute to the image I am creating of that business.

2. Does the Business Answer the Questions to My Problem?

If I searched “optometrist” near me, is it clear on the landing page that I am looking at an optometrist office? Although it seems obvious you will be surprised at how many businesses want to promote a specific product or service and confuse users by occupying most of the real-estate on the home page with their current promotion that often is not related to the core service or product that made the user land on that page.

3. Other Online Presence

Now that I am somewhat sold on the business, I want to do some additional research. I will look at reviews, social media pages, online mentions of that business, and Google Listing.

All of these things will contribute to the process of deciding who to give my business to. It seems like a lot, doesn’t it? I just want to point out though that none of these points are relevant if you do not show up on the search results when customers are searching terms that are relevant to your business. Remember how the journey started? I took out my phone and Google searched “optometrist” near me.

If you need help getting your business there, call us! Try searching “drain repair” or “bathroom vanities Kitchener” on Google. All of our clients ranked on page 1 within the year of hiring us. You can check out our other SEO Articles if you want to know more about how to rank high on Google.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management and Digital Marketing. We are Toronto SEO Experts, helping businesses rank on the first page of Google.


How to Setup Your Own PPC (pay-per-click) Campaign

PPC (pay-per-click) advertising has been around for a while now, and contrary to popular belief you don’t need to be an advertising master or a computer wiz to do it yourself. There are many tools and tips online that will help guide you through setting your first ad campaign and measuring the results of your advertising.

Before starting your up your PPC campaign, it is important to be prepared with some information:

  1. What is the goal of your ad campaign? Is it to bring more traffic to your website, get more calls to your business, or drive physical traffic to your retail store? Write this down before setting up your ad.
  2. Who is your target audience? Try to understand who has a need for your product or service. Be specific in determining your target customer
  3. Location – which geographical area do you want to target with your ad and why?
  4. How much is an average customer worth to you? Do most of your customers buy your product or service once or is it a repeat type of service or product that you are providing? What is the average repeat rate and frequency of your customers? All of this will help in determining the value of a customer.
  5. Determine your advertising budget.
  6. Google search your product or service and look at some of the ads your competitors use. Try to think about their purpose, their goals, and the effectiveness of their ad.

Related Article: Best Practices For Your Adwords Campaign

Once you go through this exercise, use your Gmail account to create an AdWords account and register in the Google academy for ads. I highly suggest you complete the AdWords Search and Fundamentals courses in the Google academy for ads before starting your campaign.

Google does not require you to complete these courses in order to use its advertising platform.

If you decide that you're just too busy to go through their courses, you can use their AdWords Express platform that makes it very simple and easy to advertise. The AdWords Express platform is very intuitive and can do most of the work for you.

By answering a few questions, AdWords Express will walk you through designing your first ad campaign.  The downside of AdWords Express is that it’s not very customizable and does not give you the full range of tools you need to optimize your campaign.

In my years of managing PPC campaigns, I find that some of the things I have learned about specific industries, such as what keywords produce the highest return on investment, how to effectively bid, maximize conversions and pick the right media platform based on product/service/industry, cannot be taught in a course.

If you are already doing your own advertising and have some questions, give us a call at 416-268-7241, we will be happy to answer your questions.

If you feel that your product/service needs to be found online and you are just too busy to do it, give us a call at Retailors Group. We help businesses create an online presence, produce more leads, increase your website traffic, optimize your webpages for conversion, and help increase sales.

About Retailors Group

At Retailors Group, we help small businesses in Toronto establish and grow their online presence through a full Digital Marketing strategy. We offer Digital Marketing services such as SEO, Digital Advertising, 360 Virtual Tour, Social Media Management, Website Design, and Content Marketing Services!

Whether you are interested in getting your business online or you are looking to add to your current digital strategy, Retailors Group has a solution for you.


How On Site Sales Assist Helped Double Sales?

How On Site Sales Assist Helped Double Sales?

When you think about On-Site Sales Assist, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it another salesperson, is it a clerk who processes the transaction, or is it maybe a person that helps re-stock and bring the product out?

That’s what I thought until I was presented with an opportunity to bring in a sales-assist team for one of my 18-day events and I had a decision to make. It was tough because I had the budget to do so but I couldn’t see the value in doing so.  

I have always struggled with the concept of hiring a team of people to “assist in sales” mainly because I thought these teams of people are not fully immersed with my brand and because I couldn’t justify getting help when my team was big enough to handle the volume without any help.

Related Article: When is Employee Training the Right Solution for Low Sales Productivity?

I evaluated the pros and cons and decided that for this particular event I would give it a shot. The presentation the team put together changed my paradigm of what a sales assist team is and how they will benefit my event. With more than a pinch of hesitation, I embraced this partnership and launched the event.

On Site Sales Assist

 

Two days into the event I was already sold on the idea of hiring a sales assist team. Here are the 3 reasons why:

1. They were special event experts

Although my team was composed of sales professionals a lot of them have not done special events before. Selling at trade-shows, off-site events and special events is very different than selling in a retail location. We were targeting customers who had no intention of buying our product before engaging in a conversation with us and the sales assist team did exactly that, engaged walk-by traffic in conversations.

After they engaged them in a conversation, they were able to filter the opportunity customers with a few questions and bring in a sales professional to take over the conversation. They had designed games and activities to help engage the crowd without focusing on our product directly. The purpose of the activities and games was to show the crowd a good time, create a memory, and make people comfortable in our environment.

2. They allowed my team to do what they do best

By not having to worry about bringing customers in and trying to engage a crowd, my team was able to focus on what they do best. They spent a lot of their time discovering needs, connecting with customers, presenting solutions, and closing sales. They didn’t have to think about learning a new skill of pro-actively starting a conversation about their product with a crowd that 10 seconds prior to walking by our booth had no intention of buying our product. The whole process really made my team comfortable and feel less out of place.

3. Ultimately they cost less

After seeing the benefits of having a separate team to do the special event type work I started thinking of making this a permanent process for all my off-site events. After looking at the costs involved in hiring temporary staff, hiring a recruiter, designing a training program and turning these employees over as much as I would have to, hiring an on-site sales assist agency is much more cost-effective and better equipped to add value.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.


How Do Poor Standards Impact Sales in Retail?

How Do Poor Standards Impact Sales in Retail?

My sales team always asked me, how do poor standards impact sales? Why can’t we just go and close sales? After all, that is what you need us to do isn’t it?

First, let’s explore how poor standards impact sales, then we can discuss how to get your sales team to buy into that concept.

What is the definition of poor standards in salespeople and how do we define good standards?

Related Article: When is Employee Training the Right Solution for Low Productivity?

The world of Retail is comprised of a wide range of products. Depending on the industry, the impact a good sales team can make varies. In some industries, the difference between a bad and a good sales team can lead to 3, 4 even 5 times more sales. In other industries, the difference a good sales team can make is less impactful (excluding all other factors such as merchandising, promotions, price drops, etc…). The pay structure is generally aligned with the impact salespeople make. In a high impact environment, the commission structure in retail can be very lucrative, surprising to a lot of my colleagues outside of retail.

poor-standards-impact-sales-retail

So, let’s define poor standards:

  1. Lack of big picture understanding or buy-in: When the team doesn’t understand or has not bought into the company vision and mission, the commission structure acts as the biggest behaviour driver. In this case, the team uses their own tactics to close sales, sometimes with disregard to the long-term impact of the interaction, sale, and customer experience. This has led to the negative connotation of the “used car salesperson” position. More often than not, in this environment, the sales team forgets that in every customer interaction, they represent not only themselves but their store, their manager, the brand, the company, and all other partners involved. Needless to say, the long-term consequences can be dangerous, even detrimental to the company, and heavily outweigh the short-term sales gains.
  2. Lack of consistency in the customer experience: The absence of a poorly communicated brand promise, or the absence of one, is another sign of poor discipline. When the customers’ experience is defined by the company merchandising standards and the current mood of the sales team working, it allows for the personality of the sales team to play a role in the customer experience. When this happens, the company has given complete control to their stores on how they want customers to experience their brand, without defining what is important to the company itself. I am a big advocate for the empowerment and giving stores complete control over the customer experience. It can carry a lot of positives, as long as the field team has clearly defined objectives on how to translate the brand promise on the sales floor.
  3. Lack of clearly defined standard operating procedures: When the team is not given clear guidelines on how to operate the business they generally figure it out on their own. Most do a really good job of creating systems that are effective, efficient, and logically make sense. I have seen many managers and teams come up with their own procedures, even when one is given, and most times their procedure is just as effective, if not more effective than the company standard. So, you might wonder what the problem is then? Why don’t we let every team make their own systems and processes? The challenge with the team creating their own is prioritizing. Every team will put more focus and attention on what they deem important, not what the company has identified as a standard. The lack of consistency in running the operation will inevitably translate into a lack of consistency in how customers experience each store. Furthermore, this will create confusion within team members that move stores, which will lead to compliance issues.

The beauty of the 3 issues identified above is that the field team is not responsible for any of it. The team will operate in an environment created by the leadership team. The leadership team itself is responsible for creating an environment where poor standards are not acceptable.

The leadership team is responsible for ensuring that there is strong buy-in and engagement. They are also responsible for ensuring that there is a strong brand promise and that every team member understands how they contribute to the execution of that brand promise.

Related Article: Best Practices for Effective Onboarding of New Hires

The leadership team is also responsible for creating standard operating procedures and doing it in a way where the field team will contribute to having their fingerprints on it.

In conclusion, the first step of fixing poor standards starts with an evaluation of our own discipline and standards. If our personal discipline is strong and our own standards are high, we will not accept it from our team.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.


When is Employee Training the Right Solution for Low Sales Productivity?

When is Employee Training the Right Solution for Low Sales Productivity?

We have seen small and big retailers go through the following exercise:

When we see low sales productivity, more employee training is provided. Employees get equipped with more product knowledge and the company’s existing sales training is reinforced.

There are two things to consider when going down this road:

Is product knowledge really the issue that causes low sales productivity?

I know that product knowledge is a key component of being a good salesperson. It is obvious that if I don’t know my product I will most often fail in closing the sale and fail at providing a good customer experience. Having high product knowledge gives me and my clients confidence in the future of the business relationship.

Strong product knowledge, however, is more of a hygiene factor. It is almost certain that if I lack product knowledge I will be a below-average salesperson, however, having strong product knowledge is not predictive of strong sales. It is more of a necessity and a job requirement rather than a performance enhancer.

So, if I provide reactive product knowledge training as a fix for low sales productivity, more often than not I have not identified the root cause of the product knowledge problem. The root cause might be in the original training design, on-boarding process or even worse, have nothing to do with the Product knowledge of the sales team.

Related Article: Best Practices for Effective Onboarding of New Hires

The consequences of getting the team to go through this training exercise without identifying the root cause of the problem are:

  • Creating distrust and hurting the credibility of my company
  • Lower morale and disengagement at the training sessions
  • Lower sales productivity and loss of sales because of time spent away from selling
  • Over a long period of time it can impact the company culture and make it acceptable for employees to be reactive and have low attention to detail

Will sales training target the current gaps in performance?

If the team has already been put through sales training, then I operate under the assumption that they are familiar with the sales process. Sales is both a science and an art. Sales training is usually aimed at teaching the science component. The art component gets developed over time and it takes coaching, experience, and one-on-one attention.

If the gap is in the teams’ understanding of the sales process (the science component) then putting them through the existing sales training again should add some value. The bigger question though is why did it take two training sessions to gain understanding? And will the second session accomplish what the first one didn’t?

Training in itself only holds value if it is reinforced and applied in our day-to-day activities. If I have to put my team through the same training twice then I wonder if there are gaps in the follow-up process, the sales management, or if the training itself needs a redesign. I would probably scrutinize the above-mentioned components before committing to another employee training session.

Does the team believe the sales process makes a difference?

Another cause of low sales productivity might be the teams’ trust in the existing sales process. If the team doesn’t believe that the current sales process makes a difference or helps in any way, they resort back to their previous experience, history, or own knowledge of sales.

The challenge with this is that your customers will be treated differently in every store and the consistency of the customer experience will diminish. Aside from that, the team will no longer be committed to the same process, which will allow for a spontaneous culture change. Losing control over your sales culture can be both dangerous and costly.

Related Article: Proactive Hiring vs Settling for the Best Available Candidate

To sum it up, I do believe sales and product knowledge training are key components to a strong sales culture and are a necessity for an engaged team. A few things I can do to eliminate the possibility of making the above-mentioned mistakes are:

  • Listen to my team. Get their feedback on the current training programs and processes. They live and breathe these every day, they will provide the truest feedback.
  • Involve my sales team in the design of the training program. Not only is their feedback necessary, but they will also feel a sense of pride and ownership in the program itself. They will become the biggest ambassadors of that program.
  • Ensure that every level of management goes through the training program. For a program to work, there needs to be alignment across the whole department.
  • Follow-up on the behaviours and actions learned in training, not the results.
  • Recognize good behaviour as well as good results. Do not recognize good results without the right behaviour attached to it.

There are many other things to consider when discovering the cause of low sales productivity. In my next article, I will explore how poor discipline impacts sales.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.


Best Practices for Effective Onboarding of New Hires

Best Practices for Effective Onboarding of New Hires

In my last article, I explored the benefits of proactive hiring and the impact proactive hiring has on my business. I talked about prioritizing the important over the urgent and setting aside an hour a week to do interviews, regardless of my staffing needs. Now that I have hired the right people I need to put them in the right position and set them up for success.

So, what does effective onboarding look like? Who is involved? Do I need a structured process in place or do I just trust that my most tenured employees can take care of it?

Over my 10 years of experience in hiring, onboarding, and leading people; I found onboarding to be one of the most important and most overlooked time blocks of an employee’s tenure. So why is it important to have a structured onboarding process?

Related Article: 6 Benefits of Pop-Up Shops

1. It is the very first impression of the organization

First impressions go a long way. A properly structured onboarding process will show the employee that my company is professional, cares about the success of its employees, and does not care to sacrifice time and resources in the short-term to benefit long-term. Once the first impressions are made, the employee will always look at the company through the “lens” they put on in the onboarding process.

2. It is the best time to build strong discipline and good habits

You ever heard the expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? The first 90 days are really important in setting up clear expectations, building the right daily disciplines, and eliminating shortcuts. I have also found that this process helps the existing employees enhance their own discipline just by being a part of this process. On the flip side, skipping steps, encouraging shortcuts, and not setting clear expectations can create some habits that will be really tough to break in the future.

3. Proper onboarding helps build confidence and increase engagement

Every new employee carries a certain level of anxiety when starting a new job. Having a proper onboarding process that includes continuous feedback on the employee’s learning and will help eliminate that anxiety, increase engagement, and develop a strong relationship with the organization.

4. It creates consistency

Having an effective onboarding process will create consistency in the way new hires are brought on, which in turn will translate to more consistent customer experience. Think of Starbucks for a second. Have you ever wondered how they have the same level of service across all of North America? Their onboarding program is extensive, structured, and focused on the job itself, the story of the company, the culture, and all the people within.

After exploring the importance of having an effective onboarding process, here are a few tips:

  • Create an onboarding journey schedule that is very specific.
  • Involve every stakeholder in the process of creating that journey
  • Ensure that every day is documented
  • Develop specific metrics for the “onboarder” (the person responsible for the onboarding) and hold them accountable to those metrics.
  • Provide consistent feedback to the new employee
  • Evaluate the onboarder once a month.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.


Proactive Hiring vs Settling for the Best Available Candidate

Proactive Hiring vs Settling for the Best Available Candidate

Operators in Retail will tell you that the most frequently asked question from their executives is – how do we increase sales? How do we capture a bigger market share? How do we get 10% growth vs last year’s sales?

Every leader will have a different answer to the questions asked above, and there are many ways to look at your business and identify an opportunity where you can do better. In the next few articles that I write, I will explore different components of the retail business that directly impact sales.

In this article, I want to focus on a very basic one. Hiring.

Specifically, I want to explore the difference in proactive hiring vs reactive hiring.

Being an operator in retail carries countless responsibilities and most of them require time-sensitive completion and high attention to detail. So, a lot of what I do in retail is both, urgent and important.

Mistake #1 – I am fully staffed and I don’t need to do interviews.

When my stores are fully staffed and I am not in need of additional employees the urgency of recruiting and doing interviews becomes very low. With that being said, has it stopped being important for me to find the best talent out there?

There are many ways I can effectively spend my time that requires my urgent attention so I will not bother looking for good talent, especially when there isn’t a current opening.

Mistake #2 – I will pick the best available candidate from the round of interviews I do

When my stores are short-staffed the hiring need becomes both, urgent and important, so what I do then is to schedule a bunch of interviews and pick the best candidate/candidates from the pool of people I interviewed. Seems like a normal process, right?

Mistake #3 – I picked the best available candidate so the onboarding process will be shorter

Now that I hired the best individual from the pool of candidates I had, I am convinced that with their experience and background they will not need as much training and on-boarding so I will take some short-cuts in their onboarding process in order to get them on the floor sooner.

Here is what my experience has taught me on proactive hiring. I worked a program where all store managers were consistently recruiting and interviewing. Regardless of current staffing levels, every manager was responsible for doing one interview a week.

Related Article: 6 Benefits of Pop-Up Shops

When I am in need of an employee and I interview ten candidates I pick the best available candidate. Regardless of how strong or weak the total pool of candidates was, I had to pick one. It might be a superstar or it might be a below-average candidate, it just so happened to be that at that moment they were the best available.

Doing one interview a week allowed me to pass on and keep the average and above-average candidates on file. When I found a superstar I hired them, regardless of current openings. In retail, more often than not you can hide the additional payroll costs of an employee without doing a lot of damage to the P&L. With current turnover rates in retail, I know the need will come soon anyway.

Now imagine what your business would look like if you and your team consistently hired superstars? What is possible?

The best part is, it only takes an hour a week to do a proactive hiring program.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.


Establishing your Online Presence as a New Business Owner

Establishing your Online Presence as a New Business Owner

Deciding to venture off and be a new business owner is an exciting time. Albeit exciting, any existing or new business owner knows that the first stage of opening your new business is tough, painful, risky, requires long hours, and can be stressful at times.

You are trying to get your business off the ground and you start to realize that prioritizing your time will be a challenge. Where do you spend your time? Is it in business development? Maybe you should set up a good accounting system to avoid future pains, or maybe you should spend some time hiring because getting the right people at this stage is key.

Getting caught up in the whirlwind of necessary activities leaves very little time for important but non-urgent activities. We all fall for it. Establishing your online presence as a new business owner at the beginning stages is crucial to have long term success.

Below you will find some items to do in order to establish your online presence as a new business owner.

Get a website

Online Presence

Don’t push it aside for later. It takes time to develop your online presence and the longer you push this aside, the longer it will take for you to be found.

Nearly 50% of small businesses in Canada do not have a website. Here is what they are missing out on:

  • 95% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses. Appearing on popular search engines like Google is directly associated with your website. (Source: searchengineland.com)
  • Your website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide information to your consumers
  • Businesses that do not have a website lack credibility. If a potential consumer wants to know more about you but can’t find you online, they might second guess doing business with you.
  • Competitors that have websites are taking business away from you

I’m sure there are a dozen or more reasons why you need a website, but we’ll save that for another day.

Related Article: Quick SEO Guide for Small Businesses

Create high-quality content on your website

Online Presence

When the Internet first came about and businesses were creating websites, they treated them more like an online brochure. It was effective back in the day but now websites are best utilized for more than just who you are and what you offer.

You’ve probably heard this before, but here it is again, content is king.

Having a section on your website for a blog or original articles tailored to your audience will allow you to create a community of people that will keep coming back for more.

Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without.

Let’s not forget the benefits of Google loving relevant content and making it available for searchers to find giving you even more people that know people to join your community. The organic momentum from this compound to something greater than you could have ever imagined.

Get on social media

Online Presence

Social media is not just about liking pictures and entertaining yourself. If you’re a small business owner, there are a variety of reasons to get onto social media.

A staggering 67% of the population in Ontario, Canada use social media. Those that use Facebook specifically spend on average 40 minutes a day on this social platform.

Outside of the large audience, having a social media presence helps with brand awareness, loyalty, and authority. Consumers and search engines will establish more trust behind your brand when you’re available on social media.

Similar to your website, having a presence on social media isn’t just about showcasing who you are and what you do. Remember that cool content that you are producing on your website? Share it on social media! Your reach will now exponentially increase.

Related Article: 7 Reasons Social Media Marketing is Still Underrated

Being available on social also gives you the opportunity to improve your customer service. Giving consumers a platform to express delights and frustrations gives you, the business owner, a chance to show gratitude and gain valuable feedback. Those that are upset will allow you to try and turn an unhappy customer into a happy one.

There is quite a bit of platform you can choose to establish your social media presence. Don’t try to get on every platform. Find what works for you and your industry and stay active. It’s better to have one social media account and be hyperactive vs being on 4 and not being active.

Register your company and website on business directories

Online Presence

Staying consistent with various points made in this article, registering on online business directories helps to further increase your online presence.

Ultimately, you want to be found online and there are a plethora of directories that you can register on. There are free ones and paid ones, so do your due diligence on finding the right one for your business. Here is a good list of online directories to check out.

Once you establish your website and social media accounts with relevant content you can point these sources to these directories. In turn, these directories will work on your behalf to point consumers to you.

You will now be accessible, visible, and reputable once you tie all of these components together.

Remember, getting your online presence may seem non-urgent but it is very important. It is a lot of hard work that requires nurturing in order to develop but the rewards will be well worth the time.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.