I read an article today from Restaurant News titled, "The Biggest Reasons Restaurants Lose Customers."
While the article was specific to restaurants, there were two bullets on the list, that can literally be "bullets" to the head of your business.
Dated Or Non-Existent Web Presence - But we are retail businesses. We hate the web, right? The best retail businesses use the web as a tool to help expand their business. Remember, MANY people see your social media presence before they even get to your website. Three quick tips on your social accounts:
Be sure your accounts are clear and congruent. Make sure people can tell, preferably within a five second window, what you do and why they should come to you.
Use lots of pictures. Quality pictures.
Use the right platform. Maybe your customer is on Facebook, maybe they are on Twitter, or maybe they are even on Snapchat. The world doesn't care about how much you think Instagram is a waste of time. If your customer is spending their time there, put your brand there consistently.
Bad Management - One of the toughest conversations I had to have with a client in my early years as a consultant was with a business owner who was poisoning his business. He was both owner and manager (common with entrepreneurs and startups), and was a brilliant guy. The problem? He did not handle complaints well. He took them personally and was not focused on helping his customers have a great experience. If you took a look at the restaurants reviews on google, only a small percentage of negative reviews were about the product. The majority of the negative reviews were about how rude the "manager" was. Bad management can have a negative impact on customers, employees, and your business as a whole. Remember, the manager is the "face" of the business. Good business owners are not always great managers. Be sure the face of your business is a smiling one who can knows how to reward good behavior and properly deal with complaints and problems with a smile.
I am adding a third here because it wasn't mentioned in the article. Failure to invite customers back. Of course you can ask them to come again when they are in your store, but what are you doing to contact them when they are not there? Do you have an email list that you contact periodically to give them a reason to come visit you? It costs money to get customers in the door. Once you have them there, wow them, and then get a way to contact them with specials and offers in the future.