How to build for growth

There are many people out there in business that plan to one day open up their own shop. Entry is not exactly difficult but success can be an entirely different story, especially for retail in particular. With low cash flow and inadequate understanding of variables such as branding, operations, and expansion retail has gotten increasingly complex. K-mart and Sears, who once represented the industry, are struggling to weather the storm of competitive e-commerce, big box stores, Wal-Mart and other attackers. To ensure success authors Collins Hemingway and Arthur Rubinfeld stress the importance of four basic principles.

  1. “Make No Little Plans” – One thing that is essential to growth is to think big. Being hopeful, optimistic, future-oriented and imaginative are keys in generating new concepts born of the values that give a company its reason for being.
  2. “Go Long” – From the American football expression that refers to long passes to score big and crush the competitions morale. The corollary to retail is moving products rapidly to generate high profits so your rivals cannot catch up to you. There is no way to get around the numbers so strive for high margins as a kind of insurance. Also pay attention to operations by operating smarter to cut costs without compromising your brand.
  3. “Own Main & Main” – This principle covers the understanding of how to place your stores. The term coming from the method of Starbucks to look for corner locations or “Main Street” locations that work best for its concepts. You must know your customers and where they are in order to select the best location for your stores.
  4. “Push the Envelope: Path to Growth” – Simply avoiding mediocrity and staying fresh. Stores must innovate and adapt to each new era in retail. If you stand still your competition will pass you by in a heartbeat. Your mission is to stay compelling to your customers.

Arthur Rubinfeld was the executive VP who grew Starbucks from 100 outlets to more than 4000 stores by innovating with co-tenancy and co-branding relationships. Collins Hemingway was a director of business development and international marketing at Microsoft who also co-authored with Bill Gates on Business@The Speed of Thought. In order to build for growth Rubinfeld and Hemingway stress principles of thinking big, being oriented toward growth, finding the right location, and planning for the future.

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