How do you keep people loyal to your shop? How can you improve your margins while delivering the best possible customer experience? Successful retailers are constantly thinking about these things, according to Amelius Bos, partner at Lentink. ‘Retail entrepreneurs struggle to thrive. Because margins are often narrow, there is a culture of extreme watchfulness. Astute and creative purchasing, along with the right shelf plan, are essential. The entire “purchasing-warehouse-shop-sale” process has to be flawless, which means that the effectiveness of IT operations is also critical. In addition, it’s important to use e-commerce as a means of forming and maintaining a direct relationship with both existing and potential customers. Pull marketing is a keyword – how do you plan to “pull” customers to your shop?’
What if I were the owner myself?
It’s precisely because of the challenges facing retailers today that Lentink stands alongside them in the high street. ‘We perform our basic services such as financial statements, administration and bookkeeping at a high level. However, we also consider how retailers can best anticipate and respond to the continual changes in the retail environment. I try to put myself in the retailer’s shoes – what if I were the owner of this business? How would I be fine-tuning it? What is the best legal structure, and which tax opportunities can we still benefit from? What are the IT measures we need to take in order to best serve our online customers? Which economic measures can we still take to maximise our profits, and which management information needs to be available, and when?
The personal is also a priority
In all of this, Amelius never loses sight of the fact that retailers are not only entrepreneurs, but also have a private life. ‘I also look at the arrangements people have in place for those unexpected twists and turns that life can sometimes take. For example, what if you were to become disabled, or worse, to die? What if you want to retire, or are getting divorced? What effect will that have on you, both personally and as an entrepreneur? We create an overview of all of these matters by means of a scan so that entrepreneurs can make carefully considered choices.’