Get your store to stand out from the pack.
Whether it’s Fourth of July or football Sunday, people have plenty of reasons to visit liquor stores. But when the competition is right down the road—or even across the street—what is it about your establishment that makes it stand out?
Everyone gets the same promotional signs and displays from the same distributors, so that’s not going to work. In a world of “sameness,” you should focus on creative ways to make your store more unique.
Of course, implementing any sales strategy is going to cost some money. That’s why our fourth tip helps you understand how to use business financing to get the cash you need.
Here are few tips to help you grow your liquor store sales:
Offer more products and services
Your competition may sell the same domestic beers and wines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stand out. Start by offering more products. Craft beers, for example, are popular. Consider selling a large selection of craft beers, as well as hard-to-find drinks.
In addition to selling beer and wine, sell snacks, such as chips and nuts. Also, consider selling lottery tickets and prepaid phone cards. In many cases, customers will come in to buy only these items, allowing you to capture those consumers who aren’t big drinkers but need other services.
You also get to benefit from impulse buyers. For instance, customers come in to grab a scratch-off ticket and spot your sale on whiskey. Although these customers arrived with a goal in mind, they may fear a similar deal won’t come around again, according to Psychology Today. As a result, they’ll leave with a lottery ticket and a bottle of whiskey.
Host events and classes
If space permits, give customers the chance to try your products through classes, tastings and other events.You often get new products from your distributors. While these products may come with fancy displays and signage to entice consumers, consider allowing customers to have a free sample.
If they like the new beverage, you’ve got another sale. If not, they’ll still have more encouragement to visit your store in the hopes of trying other products in the future. If you want to expand this idea, have a formal wine tasting.
Many of your customers may think they’re skilled mixologists but don’t know how to make anything beyond a simple cocktail. Hire a bartender to host short mixology courses at your store. After taking the class, customers can pick up the alcohol they need to make a new drink at home.
Reach out to other businesses
While consumers present significant profit potential, you can rake in a lot of revenue through business-to-business transactions. Restaurants, local sports venues and others need a supplier for alcoholic beverages, and your liquor store can be that source.
Form partnerships with these businesses to establish longstanding contracts. If you want to sweeten the deal, offer discounts for buying in bulk. Although some businesses won’t be keen to a formal partnership, they will be willing to return if you can offer the alcoholic beverages they need at the right price.
Find the best business financing
So at this point you’re probably thinking, “Great, but how am I supposed to pay for these strategies?” Understood. If you’re like most retailers, cash flow is already tricky. But these days you do have plenty financing options that can help you manage. You just need to do a little planning.
Of course, any time you’re borrowing money you should be using it to increase revenue more than borrowing it costs you. That’s why it’s critical to check and improve your business credit scores. Strong personal and business credit will allow you to qualify for financing with favorable interest rates. It doesn’t make sense to borrow money at a 90% APR if you’re only going to make 50% on the loan.
Once your credit’s prepared, you can check with your business banker about their products or go through an online lender. Today’s technology makes it possible to shop for different types of financing online, right from your couch, and get quick cash for your business.
I know you didn’t get into business to deal with the financials, but a little effort here can open up a world of opportunities for you to grow your liquor store sales. Have fun with it. Think about all the ways a little extra cash can help transform your business from “just another store” to a destination. Cheers!
This article was originally written on June 9, 2015 and updated on November 1, 2016.