small business advice

Retail and the 5 Senses, Part 4: Taste

Retail and the 5 Senses, Part 4: Taste

Ever walk out of a business with a good taste in your mouth, even if it wasn’t a restaurant? For food and drink-based businesses, the importance of taste is obvious. For retailers, not so much…

Retail and the 5 Senses, Part 3: Smell

Retail and the 5 Senses, Part 3: Smell

… the brick-and-mortar experience boils down to the five senses. Those are the only means your customers have to experience your business, so making sure each sense is catered to is vital…


Retail and the 5 Senses, Part 2: Touch

Retail and the 5 Senses, Part 2: Touch

When selling products, there are certain events that raise the likelihood a customer will buy a product. A customer sees the inventory, that’s step one. They walk over to it and stop to look, step two. But once a customer actually touches the item, the likelihood of them making the purchase increases dramatically…

Retail and the 5 Senses, Part 1: Sight

Retail and the 5 Senses, Part 1: Sight

The best experiences in life are sensory. A hot chocolate on a cold day, a barefoot walk on a sandy beach, the clean smell after it rains— all of them are playing to the five senses. So why shouldn’t the brick-and-mortar retail shopping experience?…

5 Tips for Mastering Your Wholesale

5 Tips for Mastering Your Wholesale

Retail isn’t really about prices, it’s about profits. Adjusting prices is definitely one way to address profits, but the most successful merchants also ask, “what about the wholesale cost of my incoming inventory?”…

3 Steps To A Better Corporate Culture

3 Steps To A Better Corporate Culture

On the surface, the most successful small businesses usually aren’t that different from the competition. They sell the same products at similar prices, but when you examine success, the one thing that usually sets them apart is their culture….

Let There Be Light: 5 Rules for Better Lighting

Let There Be Light: 5 Rules for Better Lighting

You’d be amazed at the difference lights can make. The right lighting can make a space feel inviting and warm. The wrong lighting can make it feel dingy and drab, or even downright foreboding!…

Find Your Sound: 3 Tips for Building a Loyal Customer Following

Find Your Sound: 3 Tips for Building a Loyal Customer Following

How does an Icelandic rock band (who once released an album sung entirely in gibberish) win multiple awards and go on to be one of the most consistent, successful bands in alternative music worldwide? It sounds improbable. In fact, it sounds downright strange. But that’s kind of their secret…

3 Free Tools to Streamline Your Back Office

3 Free Tools to Streamline Your Back Office

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says: “To say is to forget. To write is to remember…”

Behind Enemy Lines: Assessing Your Competitive Landscape

Behind Enemy Lines: Assessing Your Competitive Landscape

It’s a common mistake. A young, ambitious entrepreneur will see a coffee shop open up on every corner of their city and think to themselves “I should open a coffee shop”. Hopefully, they have a seasoned adviser to ask them, “How do you plan to compete with all the other coffee shops?”...

3 Simple Strategies for Employee Accountability

3 Simple Strategies for Employee Accountability

It’s that time of year again! The days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder, and the in-laws are hunting for bargains on airfare. The holidays are upon us and that means it’s retail’s time to shine! - or at least brace. Here are a few stocking-stuffers to help you maintain firm control even during the busiest times...

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 3: Life Optimized

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 3: Life Optimized

Any parent will tell you that doing a little bit of work as you go is a far better approach than letting things pile up...

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 2: Stock Levels

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 2: Stock Levels

“We’re out of stock.” Four words every customer hates to hear. And if customers hate to hear them, retailers downright loathe saying them. It means a lost sale and a disappointed customer, or (as your profit report will tell you) money lost now and money lost later...

Training Day: 3 Key Insights to Employee Training

Training Day: 3 Key Insights to Employee Training

We’ve all been there, at the counter; watching helplessly as that poor cashier struggles and fumbles around with the system...

The Myths of Small Business Growth

The Myths of Small Business Growth

Here at Shopventory, we work with thousands of merchants all over the globe, so we figured it's about time to address the myths about small-business growth and offer some of our own insights into the best ways to grow. 

You're Being Reviewed

You're Being Reviewed

The advent of sites like Yelp, Angie's ListHundredX, Facebook, Google Reviews, and scores of others has absolutely changed the game in retail, especially for the food service industry. This means Customers will be drawn to— or driven from— your business before they even leave the house...

Blogger's Digest

The Internet has brought us all a treasure trove of content. From a good Netflix binge to the free courses offered by Stanford University, there's a lot online to consume, more than one could in a lifetime. Much of it is indeed cat videos and pointless arguments, but the small business owner can find reliable gold mines if they know where to look...

To Go Big: Go Small

To Go Big: Go Small

You may have noticed something different at your local grocery store recently. You've probably also seen it in the restaurants in your city or even the local liquor store. It's something downright radical: Local Alternatives...

5 Basics You Need to Know to Cash In On "Pokémon Go"

If you've been out in the streets at any point in the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed people even more engaged with their phones than normal. You may also have heard or seen something about the summer phenomenon that is Pokémon Go...

Small Business Lessons From The World Cup

Fair-weather soccer fans and fútbol fanatics from around the world are currently glued to their televisions, running up huge streaming-related iPad data bills or (lucky ducks) catching the action live in Brazil. From amazing "Flying Dutchman" goals and countless team selfies, small business owners have a lot to from the World Cup this year. Entrepreneurs can benefit greatly by studying the organizations, brands, teams and fans of this epic event. Let's score some goals. world cup

Maintain brand consistency: Not only has FIFA nailed this lesson by maintaining an active online and off-line presence, but individual teams and companies have been driving brand consistency through their blog posts, hashtags, social media strategies, advertising campaigns, even their swag.

You can't do it all. There's no "i" in team, as they say. If you have employees, remember to be a coach to your team—not just a boss. And don't be afraid to ask for help or say no. In social media especially, it's easy to spread yourself thin and lose focus. Fostering true community engagement online is impossible if you insist on having a tepid presence on every platform. FIFA has official accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. They aren't playing with Pinterest or LinkedIn or Vimeo or Snapchat, but they are doing right by those four active platforms.

Don't just share—engage. Brands have been steadily streaming tug-at-the-heartstrings content throughout the World Cup—bite-sized stories that engage fans, followers and customers. Or take a cue from the players themselves, whose cheeky videos, tweets and Instagrams have gone viral again and again—be real, get to know to your fans (err, customers) and give them a glimpse behind the scenes. Personality is magnetic across all platforms.

Winning isn't everything. Sure, every country wants to win, but the World Cup is truly about fans coming together over a shared love of the game. Despite cultural challenges, regional unrest and countless other everyday obstacles that our planet faces, events like this bring the world together to share in the excitement. As a small business owner, it's important to take your competition in stride, play fair (no red cards, y'all!) and keep your heart in the game even when your pride takes a hit.

Get by with a little help from your friends. That is, know your ecosystem and what other companies complement your business. In the same way FIFA leverages partnerships with Nike, you could be leveraging meaningful partnerships with your suppliers, media and more. Teamwork!

And now for the important question—who are you rooting for?