In retail? 2020 – not the best start eh!


Without a doubt we are facing a new model, a new for retail. What went on in the past has gone – all businesses that sell product will have to face facts – our world has changed. Good news is, there are some answers

Your 2019 may have been excellent. But with more uncertainty in the mix there is a grave danger that 2020 and beyond is is going to be a lot tougher. Which is good news for some. I’ll be honest if you just want to fluff about and moan – this isn’t for you. I can’t help you.

But, if you are interested in making a bit more with what you already have  – I can help – guaranteed. I can help you increase your market share across town and county –  increase turnover and move you towards customers that want to buy from you time and time again.

I also know how to do that with online tools. You don’t even have to open the door to a customer, which of course suits in the times. One of my clients results are below.

 This is a Sussex Based business that is doing better than OK. Sure, somethings needed to be changed – but with systems in place the future is assured which is good news for it’s staff and the owner.

The presence has been shifted from offline to on. With a few changes to website- click and collect and local delivery bolted on – it continues to survive.

By you being there 24 hours a day, allowing customers to place orders even when you are not around, offering them special bits – like pre order and click & collect and even delivery  – mean you can sell more without the ball ache of turning up/opening.

Importantly, by changing just a few of the things you are doing – you open up a whole new market place, for those who..

  • are too busy to shop locally
  • can’t park/have to get kids dressed
  • want what you have but can’t get to you

It is why I developed these systems over a period of years, it’s because I’m not a website guy, but a business development that gave me the edge with many of these things. I needed to find simplicity, needed to make things easier to do, easier to use – not something that needed a full time operator and specialist staff to be able to work with and on.

I developed a series of tools that allows small business, small retailers to really take on the world and offer consumers what they needed, not what a web guy had to offer.

This 2020 – Covid-19 – Lockdown – issues can be made a lot easier.

So let me t me help you, because these ‘selling more’ in all markets are what I do. I find tools to make things easier, I teach processes and build systems to solve problems you are facing.

I also not stupid enough to promise an increase your biz by 10x or even 20x – but simply show you how to do more with what you have – 1.1x is a start  – that’s ten percent more. 


What Nikki Hobbs said about me …. “I have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone looking to increase the success of their business.”

Some of the problems I solve.


  • Being able to use social media as a tool rather than a time sink.
  • Being able to grow a list of possible customers that you can message through your online platform.
  • Being able to track sales and get paid in advance.
  • Being able to compete with the likes of Argos, Amazon and Tesco with click and connect.
  • Be open even when you are closed.

With some of these tools it’s possible to sell to those customers that didn’t buy from you today. With some small changes you can improve cash flow, build repeat sales, take on your competitors – including the biggest players in the industry – and win.

Instead of spending your money on social, on seo, on stuff that will never work we can, together get traction in a different direction.

Look  – Things Are  Not Working Like They Were – Even before this shit storm.

There more than an outside chance that many parts of your business are not working like they were – perhaps, you feel the need to create something bespoke for those top end customers – who spend the mega bucks on the same shizzle your pond life customers moan about.  Either way you need to deliver your products to them and be available – and that’s hard if you are you are in a fixed place of sale. Just one tip for you.

You are investing hard earned time and money in your business at the moment. How is that working – do you know what you get back for each pound invested?  Chances are you don’t have a scooby. What about 80/20 – this aged principle of nature and maths – getting rid of the pond life customers that only want cut price, price matched. You can’t compete on price  – it’s a sure way to the poor house.

So Here Is What I’ve Done and Why I’ve Done It

I’ve been sickened by what was on offer to small and medium sized firms, sick of the b.s, the lies and utter rubbish that’s thrown around like it’s some holy text. It is possible for small firms to have/do/be a major player in any market place – provided you get real with some of this stuff. 

In order to take on the market place on your terms you need to…

  1. Automate sales – works for your 24/7
  2. Make ‘sharing’ an easy option
  3. Additional tools – direct mail and sms if required
  4. Access to a ‘members website’ with additional resources – and help
  5. Puts in place ‘budget payment’ options for bigger sales – get paid in advance
  6. Frees up your time to promote and sell – provide service

It gets better because I’ve also included, coupons/vouchers and  built in email and full online shopping options in a small business package.  This means you get the tools to engage with your customers and potential customers. 

Try Not to Get Shafted

There are far too many small firms and  retailers that are being shafted by web designers – selling £20k online shops, to many one and two man bands with great products  – but just not selling enough to feed the kids. 

Thousands of small firms just not being able to fight through the problem of business rates, staff, cash flow, before Covid-19 – every turn someone was waiting to take a swipe or knock you back down. So, that’s what I solve, that’s my reason for doing what I do.

I am a complication remover to give you the chance to make a difference – to you, because without you there is no business.

If you are not in a position at the moment to sell your stuff online, if you are not able to communicate with your customers, offer them deals, offers, come back soon, prosecco evenings – special stock just for them, click and collect, social sharing – you are as they say (proverbially) f&$%*d!  It’s where retail is at. 

This is what many of your customers expect – maybe not all,  but they do expect more. Little secret – HMV hasn’t died because it didn’t care – it died because it didn’t communicate to its customers – didn’t add value customers were expecting  – oh and the hedge fund that owns it, knows more about money than the board of HMV – that’s how it ends for many – and you if you are not careful.

This Very Old Fact Is True

30 years ago, factory workers began to be displaced by machines and cheap foreign labor. The worker cost £6.50 per hour but the robot only cost £1.50 per hour. Anyone willing to work for £1.50 per hour? Lots of business owners are doing just that.

Today, retail sales are being replaced by websites and media, with automation. Imagine for a moment that you were a door to door salesman (they were quite common even twenty years ago) how would you ever compete with Amazon, or  an online bookstore like Abebooks or even WH Smiths in today’s world? They key to this is ‘yeah, but not all’ – that’s important.

Some are doing very well – but you the small biz owner just don’t have the ten grand to throw at a full blown – e-commerce operation and then have to pay the web guy to make updates and changes for an hourly rate every week.  And then there is the need to compete with Wowcher, Groupon, Argos – every other massive firm that wants to take your share of the market – to put it’s size nine on your windpipe and slowly push on your throat until you give up – walk away, die!

This very recent fact is even more telling in 2019 than it was in 2018 – “at least 25% of all sales are now made online” – if you don’t have an online presence you really will be losing out. But that’s not the full truth is it.  You know what the deal is – you know what your customers want, ease, flexibility etc etc. Key is making that happen.


Colin Palmer said about me “I couldn’t believe my luck! Here I was talking to someone who knew what he was talking about, could cut through the ‘white noise’ and also spoke my language; and he understood exactly what I wanted.”


But who am I? Why should you listen to me? 

I built my first online shop in 2000 – twobigshoes.com selling oversized, imported Italian shoes. I’ve spent twenty years working with financial services professionals improve their online presence and I have a team that helps me create ‘effective’ websites, and working with small businesses – to make more money and do more.

I’m a bit of a geek (some would say freak) – for the last twenty years I’ve been saying that this ‘internet thing’ will change everything and it has. I also wrote a really geeky book about pensions – it’s called the Great British Pension Swindle – it’s on Amazon. I understand complexity and its engagement with the internet – but for a retail business the internet is like the size nine on your throat, if it pushes hard enough you’ll die. 


All of my work comes with ‘better than cost’ money back guarantee – I’m that cocky (sorry) – if after 12 months of working with me, if your business and your business finances are not better I’ll refund you £150% of whatever you’ve paid me over the last 12 months. 


Online Plans

Perhaps your online plans are going wrong or there are some e-commerce fires that just ain’t burning as bright as they should. Sadly, a lot of small businesses end up spending a small fortune on things that just don’t deliver. There is a good chance that you’ve already spent good money on websites and marketing that just hasn’t worked and in retail this is becoming harder and harder as the shopping pound gets drawn online more and more. But – it is solvable, you do have a choice.

  • Are you sure that your customers are spending what they could with you instead of elsewhere?
  • Are you able to promote and sell, encourage your existing customers to come back for more?

Provided you can answer yes to these then you don’t need me if it’s a no then there is a good chance that you are missing opportunities to sell more. 

I’ve produced some more information, you can listen in the office today. https://www.therichardsmith.com/podcast-special-retail-businesses/

When you are ready you can then pop to https://www.therichardsmith.com/shop where there is some more sales information.

This podcast (it’s also on Itunes)  is not only about sales and marketing, it’s also about having a modern set of business tools working for you, making sure that your presence is professional and that your possible customers can buy – and today. Also making sure you know what is happening in your market and what you can do to solve the problems.

Honestly – I give this information away knowing that most of you won’t take any action, won’t do anything with it – for those that do take some action will find that their business changes very quickly.  A reminder, that those who got stuff right a few years back managed to survive and thrive – think Argos or Amazon – those that got it wrong Woolworths – Poundland. If there is any chance that one on this list could help.

  • Automation of of orders
  • Social and search marketing improvement 
  • Facebook/Google paid ads
  • Email marketing and brand building – offers | deals | repeat sales
  • No/poor or worse incomplete e-shops
  • No budget payment facility (paid up front for bigger orders)

When you look around your business  today ask if anyone has the skills needed to be able to solve any of these issues with you, in a way that makes sense. If you have, perfect you’ll be flying in no time, if not  welcome to my world, this is what I do.

I’ll help you solve those issues once and for all but with no long term commitment – I don’t want a job. But I do want to make sure you get the absolute truth about moving forward. 

Couple of things to do next.

You can also listen to the special audio – no optin required/ no charge https://www.therichardsmith.com/podcast-special-retail-businesses/

You can also find out more on https://www.therichardsmith.com/shop

When you’re ready to move on this – I’ll be waiting. Until then…

Richard

Phone/Whatsapp 0774 007 6226

leave a message and the very best time to get back to you.

PS. Just in a case you missed them https://www.therichardsmith.com/shop click onhttps://www.therichardsmith.com/podcast-special-retail-businesses/ – lots on here – all free.