Unconventional tips from Managing Partner of Vijay Sales to compete with online stores and expand their retail business.  # **Maintain Transparency with Customers** Being transparent with customers in retail business refers to: - Treating customers like guest and offering them good service and environment at showroom. - Tell them factual things about products; don’t mislead them about features of products.  - Give value addition to customers with products they purchase. For example, if a customer comes to buy a TV, tell him which TV suits his requirements and budget. - After customer finalizes the purchase of a product, don’t leave them dependent on company for repair and warranty service. - Listen to their problems and help them to resolve their issues. - Give them assurance to give maintenance service.  - Ensure products guarantee and warranty to customer through yourself  - Treat every customer and transaction as a relationship and give him a reason to return to you.    ### **How to Maintain Vendor-Supplier Relationship?** According to Mr. Nilesh Gupta, “giving value addition to vendors is also necessary as customers, to build a win-win relationship to the vendor.”   To build a healthy vendor-supplier relationship, you must:  - Maintain a good relationship with vendor by giving him special concessions. - Offer visibility and customer base to vendors. - Provide market access to vendors.  - Don’t purchase high margin products that have no demand in market.  - Ensure the following to maintain healthy relationship with vendor: - Good quality product  - Good supply chain - Good customer service  ### **How to Manage Family-Run Business?**  Most often contention between family members in family-run business moves towards partition, mismanagement and bankruptcy.  To avoid such situations in your family-run business, you can adopt important tips from Mr. Gupta:  - There should be only one leader or decision maker in the family-run business. Appointing more than one leader always creates misunderstanding, mismanagement in a business. - Bring financial discipline in business by giving financial decision making power to one leader. - Family members must have respect and faith in the leader. - There should not be comparison among family members.  - Leader should resolve all the issues in family-run business. - Divide the responsibilities among family members according to their capability and interest.  - Every person has different efficiency and way of doing work, so don’t judge them. - Maintain unity in family members.  ### **How to Develop an Effective Team?**  “Out of all important pillars of an organization, if I have to choose one, then that would be team”, Mr. Gupta proclaims, as he suggests the following time-tested ways to build an effective team: - Give job security to your employees so that they can work without any fear.  - Give freedom to team members to make mistake. - Let the team members bring innovative ideas.  - Maintain a healthy and transparent environment in organization.  - Listen to smallest employee of the company directly, and take steps to solve their problems.  >**_“People make companies’ not the Other Way Around”_** ### **How to retain a Good Manpower?** Once you have built a high performance team, the next important question arises is how to retain that team for longer period.  Retaining manpower can be made easy through these steps: - Along with company’s growth, help the team members to grow because that is the only reason they will stay with you longer. - Maintain a good intent for team members.  - Treat employees like family members.  - Give home like working conditions to employees, maintain healthy environment at work place.  - Don’t over burden employees with excess work pressure. - Let the employees enjoy the work. ### **How to Bring Financial Discipline in Business?**  In a low margin business like retail, maintaining perfect financial discipline has been very difficult for businesspersons.   The mistakes they make in business are: - Taking unnecessarily loan to expand business. - Diluting equity share to get short term gain. - Making short-term gain, gives long term loss. - In short-term fast gain, they commit many mistakes.  - They are forced to work for investors not themselves. - Working under the pressure from investor to generate profit. - Make mistakes to gain short-term gain and make long term loss. _To avoid these mistakes and bring finance stability in your business you should:_  - Not try to expand business more than your capacity. - Not go for equity for funding in haste to attain exponential growth, as it makes you share your profit with partner, and work under pressure to generate profit hastily, ending up making blunders.   - Not take unnecessary loan, take only when it is required. - Not compromise with business fundamentals to get quick gain. **How to Tackle the Fierce Competition in Retail Business?**  With the surge of online sellers, running a retail business has become as challenging as never before.  However, there are always ways to tackle any kind of challenge in market, with strategies suggested below: - Don’t get overwhelmed by competition - Competition prompts overall market to grow by invoking innovative approaches among incumbents  - Competition makes you take proactive decision in business without letting you relax. - Competitors bring innovations that can help you learn and explore new ideas. - If you are a market leader, you will have all responsibility to bring innovation, but competitors share that equally.  - If a competitor sells a product at Rs 90 that you are purchasing at Rs 100, and if you do not have capability to sell the same product lower Rs 90, then it is better to focus on other products.   - Do not compete with competitors by selling at very lower margin, which can hurt your business. Sell other products that are giving good margin >**_“Do not consider competition as competition but ‘Supporter’_** >**_“Competition always ‘keeps you on Toes”_** ## Summary - Treat customers like guest; give them good service and environment at store. - Give value addition to customers with products. - Listen to customers’ problems and help them to resolve. - Maintain a good relationship with vendors by giving them special offers. - Appoint only one leader in a family-run business. - Leader must resolve all the issues in family-run business. - Divide the responsibilities among family members as per their capability.  - Listen to smallest employee and take steps to solve their problems.  - Don’t over burden employees with excessive work pressure. - Let the employees enjoy the work. - Don’t take unnecessarily loan to expand business. - Don’t dilute equity share to gain short term loan  - Don’t compete with competitors by selling at very lower margin, focus on other products.