I work with the outdoor retail industry including specialty bike shops & outdoor retailers. As tariffs approach 25% from china-made goods, many retailers have started to panic. Some believe this will end their business, or cause huge losses. Although I empathize with them, I also see that in all things, there is a silver lining. Those who have the right attitude and choose to think strategically, can overcome any challenge to their business.
Stay Positive. Don’t waste time and energy complaining or getting upset, especially with coworkers and customers. If you are positive and calm, problems will seem smaller to others. Remember that inflation happens every year to many industries. Many businesses have experienced sudden changes and overcome them and moved on. It is often when we are challenged, that we learn and grow the most.
Think strategically. The best way to handle rising prices is with rising salesmanship. Help customers focus on the value and benefits they will receive from owning and using the product. The importance of price to a customer shrinks as the number of ways they can use it and get value out of it increases in their mind. This is a universal principle. Count the blessings, not the costs. If you must talk price, let customers know that since prices are going up, buying now may help them save money than waiting even a few weeks. This adds urgency to the sale and will help you close.
Get a tax plan. Now would be a great time to have a tax professional look at your balance sheet and income statement to see what strategies could be put into play this year to save you more in taxes. I have my own book of strategies I use to help my clients. Some strategies can save over $10,000 alone, and combined with others, it can be surprising what is possible. There are so many perfectly legal ways to save taxes, but they have to be done right, or they’ll disqualify. Make sure you work with a good tax professional that knows the details and can get you set up.
Take a deep dive on your business and the numbers. Maybe there are ways to get a lower interest rate on loans. You might consider stocking up before prices increase more. What are your top selling brands, products, and the seasonality of your sales? How effective are your marketing dollars? Could there be other ways to market you haven’t tried? You might consider getting a more efficient software, redesigning your store layout, changing up your selection, drawing more attention to popular selling merchandise, and discounting the slow movers. For any business, there are always changes that can be made to help. Consider hiring a business advisor, marketer, or a good accountant to help you.