With tough and steep competitions, any business has to constantly be on the lookout for possible competitors that could affect his/her own business’ performance. This is true too even for small retail hardware businesses whose modest beginnings have the potential to be a big success given the right marketing strategies, good customer relation, and resiliency amidst economic inflation. “As the market continues to consolidate & stores continue to evolve to meet new competitive demands, many established retailers think that to open a hardware store in today’s market is maybe a bridge too far. It is true that customers now have more choices to spend their dollar in the hardware category than ever before however, opening a store now is no harder than it was before large format stores entered the marketplace, ” as independent retail hardware specialist Kevin Carr observed.
But, the case might be different for you. If you are lucky enough, your hardware business might be on its way to your much-prayed-for success. Here are tell-tale signs that you might just be getting to that point:
- You always run out of supplies: If you find yourself regularly running out of bags of cements to sell, or always needing to call your extension cord supplier because all those 1000 pieces you bought were gone after less than a month, that sure is a sign that your products are selling like hot cakes. That’s the dream! Just keep on going.
- Clients from faraway places go out of their way to go to your store: When you started, it is expected that your clients will be just those neighbours who might need pieces of concrete nails, rolls of wires, or some screws, but as time progresses, you suddenly find yourself serving clients from other towns—perhaps through word of mouth, people began recognizing how reasonably priced your products are and how they are guaranteed to be of good quality.
- You have enough finances for expansion: If upon your yearly accounting or even just during the assessment of your monthly expenditure you found that you have more than enough cash inflow to expand your store for a bigger space where you could store more products, that sure is a great sign that you are hitting the ceiling. Thinking of an expansion is not a bad idea especially if the influx of your clients per day has tripled as of late.
- Customers begin to look for spare truck and car parts: Thinking that your retail shop has been expanding the variety of products it sells, expect that from time to time, clients might inquire about when are you going to sell things like NTN bearings, UD Nissan diesel parts, Nissan truck spare parts, among others—that you feel like suddenly, people think you are as accommodating and as advanced as some great deals on eBay that sells previously used items for Nissan UD in commercial truck parts. While some hardware stores may accommodate such requests, you can politely tell them that it would be better to look for a real motoring spare parts shop where their chances of finding these items are higher. Regardless, it is flattering that clients think highly of your business to think that you are a go-to place even for rare items that are usually offered by big distributing companies.
- You get compliments from clients: This is an obvious one. When people start mentioning and comparing your hardware store from other nearby shops and you hear great praises not from just 1 but several customers, then that sure means your business is in a good place. Keep up the good work, and never let go of your grip. Success is something that you always have to work hard for so never rest on your laurels and lose it all of a sudden.