Witnessing gardeners taking care of their garden for a living, we’re thinking running a retail business is a lot like gardening. If we consider a product as a seed, our garden has also got thousands of plants to take care of. The bigger the garden is the more care is needed. It is how a business goes. When retailers decide to expand their business, they are going to handle thousands of tasks. Thus, what are the might-be-challenging tasks?

How are running a retail business and gardening similar?

In order to grow the plants well, there are three important factors that we need to pay attention to soil, water, and sunlight. But each plant requires a different amount of them. For example, sunlight brings the nutrients for plants to grow but too much sun can cause the leaves to wither. Besides, we also need to notice the climate, when is a suitable time to add nutrients, or to prune each type of plant. So the thing is how can we know what time and which plants and which ingredients that they need.

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Beyond the plant level, we also need to figure out a way to optimize the whole garden to make the most out of it. For example, should we plan unions next to carrots to deter pests away from both, or should we add more flowers next to vegetables to attract bees, which in return pollinate the other plants, leading to a bigger overall yield. 

So we always need to understand the whole landscape to foster growth for all aspects of their garden. The task is not easy at all. Since the garden is quite large with thousands of plants, the garden owners have to hire a team to work with them and support each other. Each person is in charge of a specific part like drainage system, soil cultivation, seed quality controlling, harvesting, etc.

What should we notice?

Thinking back to the business, the bigger it grows, the more complex the business management is until it’s too much for a person to handle. That’s why once the business grows, it requires different roles within the company to take care of different aspects but work together towards the common goals to thrive the business. If you are running a start-up, keep on reading our article on How start-ups increase sales 5x with the smallest cost by technology.

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Since each role has their own mission and responsibilities, the challenges that they face are also different. Here are the common ones: 

  • CFO
    – Difficulty to control cash flow due to over purchase order and absolute stock.
    – Sales overstock is very low due to the lack of instant alert information.
  • CMO
    – A smart tool to analyze the effectiveness of any promotion or campaign.
    – Delighting customers by product availability and demand analysis.
  • Merchandising Director
    – Making a purchase plan and forecast for thousands of SKU 
    – Balance stock in all retail stores
    – Manually analyzing sales and stock demand
  • VP of Stores
    – Spending too much time on paperwork to check data and read manual reports.
    – How to maximize the efficiency of store staff to improve sales performance.
  • CIO
    – Don’t have a data science team and expert in data mining to support the C-level team.
    – Manual work which takes time and does not deliver useful retail information.

Understanding these challenges, many retail companies are eager to find a technology solution that can help them address all of them automatically. In your opinion, which type of solution could be able to address these challenges? Let’s have a further discussion with us.

Author

Data and process-driven business consultant with a demonstrated history of working with retailers. My aspiration is to help businesses to scale-up and thrive by implementing unified systems.

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