You and Your Business
Those outside of the liquor store business do not know how hard it is to run a liquor store business. There is a lot of hard work to make your business run, and only hard workers are capable of doing the running.
We acknowledge there are trade secrets to all businesses and corporations, but, we are not in all businesses and corporations. We are in the liquor and wine store business. That is who we cater to and that is what we talk about because that is what we know.
We could talk about the back end of things (taxes at various levels of government to keep your business running, only being able to buy a certain product from a certain vendor in your area (it’s not like you can save money by comparing prices from competitors), having to wait for a vendor to pick up a buy-back, placing an order…most days of the week, training to spot and monitor all customers, but, drunks and minors in particular), and in some future blog we may, but, today, we want to talk about what your customers see.
To your customers, you are a (the) local community liquor store, with products and services for their needs. They come in, find what they want, and leave, possibly coming back another day. (Going into the customer base, as you know, would be a post unto itself.)
For your customers, whether loyal regulars, those who come in only once in their life, or those between these two extremes, you have a clean, organized, well managed store with efficient service. (If they do not see this last part, you need Cheers POS, if they do see this last part and you don’t have Cheers POS, Cheers POS will only help you.) They don’t appreciate all that you do (including the employees you chose to hire for them) to keep things above the status quo.
The Hard Work Part I
Your customers do not know how you and/or the manager you hired for your business balances the till and does the bookkeeping everyday so that they have a business to patronize. They do not take into account how you display your products, mirrors, and cameras for loss prevention purposes so that they have a business to patronize. Your patrons do not care that you and your employees have the extra responsibility of carding if suspicious of a person’s age so that you stay in business.
They know you always have the product they need, or can order it and have it be there within three or four days, tops (which is why they come to you and not the grocery store). Your customers also know (or are surprised to learn) they can get special orders (including kegs) for special occasions, and how easy YOU make this for them, even though there are special procedures to complete and limited space is taken up…not to mention informing your staff of the time and order, and procedures of the order(s) and the pick-up(s)…THIS week (as next week’s orders will be altogether different).
These reasons begin to explain why your customers keep coming back to you, rather than the competition.
They may or may not understand that things go wrong, and even though you would like to get them rung up quickly, you may have a line of people…and somebody’s card isn’t working, or there may be a difficult order at the drive-thru, which you must go and fetch.
Customers do not know how you choose the prices you do (again, back end things), or how you and/or your employees have to make up labels and switch them out on products between ringing up sales…and managing displays…and front and facing products…and making out a purchase order…or a check for your vendor this same day. Nor do they know how you must compete with your competitors to provide your business and products for them.
And you don’t want them to know. That is not the facade you want to project. You want them to see a clean, well stocked, well-managed, fun, adequately staffed, friendly business.
You know how important your employees are for your business.
You must trust your employees. They are there at times when you are not at your business; you NEED to make sure the people you hire are capable of doing their job and taking incentive. They must respect you because of the small, intimate nature of the business…no matter how big the building is. If somebody is not doing their job in any capacity, you will know about it, real fast. It is such a big deal to find the right people.
Those outside the liquor store business cannot imagine the hard work you put into finding, hiring, and training your employees. Your employees must be knowledgeable and friendly to EVERYBODY who comes to patronize your business. It is almost a familial environment, both among your staff and towards your customers. (You know you must hire the right people suited to your clientele.)
And this is all on you. It is YOUR business and you run it your way. You do not answer to corporate regarding quarterly reports, nor is there a specific layout or way of cleaning according to a higher chain of command. It is all on you. You MUST train your employees to do things the way you want them done in the liquor store you have worked so hard to establish in the community.
They must not only be knowledgeable about alcohol but about the location of specific items in your store. Every store’s layout is different, there are no nationwide chains of liquor stores; one cannot go from state to state and find the same kind of layout and products from store to store like a box store or fast food chain. This is why your employees MUST be knowledgeable about how you keep your store.
You make it easy for your customers by having a well laid out store and hard working, educated employees who help your customers get what they want.
The Hard Work Part II
And, nobody appreciates what you and your employees do to keep your store clean and inviting. You and your employees:
- Dust bottles in between customers.
- Clean the glass on your display cases, coolers, and doors.
- Stock the coolers (rotating products and brrrrrrr!).
- Climb ladders in the back room to get heavy boxes to put items on the shelves to keep them full
- Put up displays.
- Order the products and items that will sell in your community.
- Meet with your tight-scheduled delivery people to make sure you both got this week’s order right…in between the customers who come in only when you need to do this
- Clean the bathroom(s).
- Sweep and mop — EVERY NIGHT, not to mention, waxing the floors or shampooing the carpet periodically.
And coming back, maybe 12 hours later, or less, to do it all over again. For them, your customers.
We know. We know how hard it is because we, at Cheers POS, have been there.
This is one of the reasons we have developed Cheers POS, because neither your life nor your business need to be any more complicated than it already is.
As this whole post has pointed out, you have manual and physical things to do at your liquor store that MUST be done. We want your life to be easier. We do what we can to help you concentrate more on the floor of your store. For your customers.
You have many jobs to do in your business — you do not need difficulties. Neither do your customers deciding to spend their hard-earned money, choosing YOUR store. It is for your customers, you keep your store the way you do.
Few people in the neighborhood do what you can.
We know, and we cannot thank you enough.