How to become a retail consultant

How to become a retail consultant

We have discussed a little about what retail consultancy is across the Deathground site, but as a recap, it’s all about helping businesses that sell, sell more. In this guide, we are going to talk about how to become a retail consultant.

Now that doesn’t have to mean, its all about hard sell, just about building great relationships with the audience, and enhancing what it is you do.

Maybe you don’t have a discernible set of values, perhaps no one knows quite what it is you do. Retail consultants will help you develop a core theme across your business and show you how to make it work in a way that benefits both the customer and the company.

So let’s talk about how to become a retail consultant

The best way to explain this journey is probably from our own experiences.

A decade ago we didn’t do this as a business, then we fell into the bricks and mortar retail market and didn’t do too bad at it. We made mistakes, and that’s okay, but we learned from them and over time found out what works and what doesn’t in commerce.

One of the best things about a retail consultant is if they have a track record, they will know the mistakes you are about to make before you. Which can save a business an absolute fortune.

So for us we ended up here as we have walked the walk and now we know how to talk that talk to other small businesses.

If you are here because you are wondering how to become a retail consultant, then our first advice is to get some solid generalist experience that shows you the necessary workings of the entire retail model. You may not excel at one area, but understanding how to find someone who does, is still important.

Where I may excel in the advertising side, a colleague may be better at the operational improvements side. That’s natural, you need to find your thing – but experience counts. We are always on the lookout for business-owners with an existing retail background – get in touch below if you want to discuss potential opportunities.

1 example of how a retail consultant may help

In the early days of our business, when I was a kid running a shop who didn’t have a clue, I didn’t expect to end up owning a chain. You dream of it, but you know the realities of retail.

No-one’s made that shop unit work ever.

Retail is dead mate.

Can you make a living just selling those?

I’ve heard them all. This is me in the early days. A shambles right?

how to become a retail consultant

 

Excuse the low resolution image

Sorry for the poor image quality, I didn’t think a decade later I would be writing this blog you see. Sadly, I don’t have that many images from Day 1. I was too busy working head down in my shop.

Fast forward nearly 10 years and I have sold many of those original stores, to focus on our online operations and manufacturing. I got a little lucky.

I sold the bricks and mortar stores 4 weeks before pandemic caused a national lockdown and our web sales went up 10-fold. Luck not judgement, but as with any business, it’s about staying in the game and being there when the opportunities present themselves.

Back to my story

Back to my story on how to become a retail consultant and how it can help people like me. If you want to read a bit more about that – check out this shopkeeper story:

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When I started I stocked a range of products, including what we call a ‘Convenience Line’.

A convenience line is a simpler version of a product with a low cost to entry for the consumer. Think Asda Smart Price or Tesco Value.

This product would become a staple of our sales. We made a good margin but there it was capped. There wasn’t much more a price improvement for us as a buyer whether we bought a large amount or little.

This was a big error.

Why?

Well, as the store grew and as we opened new stores, there were no economies of scale that would allow me to make a larger profit on selling those items.

Worse still, I was trapped with someone else’s brand name on the package and always run the risk of a competitor selling the product at a lower price, or being found online from the brand themselves.

There are obviously things we did do, such as arranged regional exclusivity agreements, but it didn’t take away from the damage it was doing.

Our only chance to get out of that pickle was to match the flavour, and brand our own version.

Which we did.

We even found the same manufacturer, branded it nicely and had a larger margin now on the same product.

BUT – to the consumer, it wasn’t the same product. Many humans are creatures of habit and don’t like change. These customers continued with the old brand while new customers got offered the new.

It meant as we opened new stores we were in a better position financially for every transaction but it left a legacy.

Today we still sell that old brand and it has lost us tens of thousands of pounds or gross profit.

Had someone allowed me to forecast the future, or explained this to me at Day 1 – and even if they charged me thousands, I would still have been better off.

This is the value of experience. As a consultant, this is just one area of support you may give, and you’re learning will continue always. From reading great books on helping others, to improving retail advice skills, while understanding new ways to market online to offline.

These are some of the ways a retail consultant can help and probably why you are inspired enough to ask the question – “How to become a retail consultant?”

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