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Small-scale retailers get eaten up by larger competitors if they aren’t able to take advantage of highly-lucrative investment opportunities.

Leveling the playing field now requires devoting significantly more attention to ecommerce, having the best sales reps money can buy, ensuring a spectacular holiday season, and capitalizing on the next big seller way ahead of time. Securing these investments gives small retailers the chance to match the prices and foot traffic of chains while establishing a unique image that stands out among so many industry staples.

Thankfully, alternative business financing companies like United Capital Source offer small business loans tailored exclusively for retail stores looking to expand without the usual risks of obstructing cash-flow and stalling day-to-day operations in the time it takes to pay off the debt.

REMEMBER YOUR SECOND STORE

According to LinkedIn, experts have predicted that by 2017, 60% of all retail transactions in the United States will involve in the Internet. This seems logical considering over 70% of in-store retail sales are made after the customer discovered the product online. What should retail business owners take away from this?

Their websites should be absolutely perfect, and their online presence must make them as accessible as possible. Big chains provide accurate views of in-store and online inventory, so small retailers must do the same by utilizing structured product data by Google and integrating their ecommerce sites with their in-store POS infrastructure. This way, when an online purchase is made, the website adjusts its inventory on its own. Retail sites must be mobile-friendly, professional-looking, and easy to search for and navigate.

The average brick & mortar retailer reportedly spends 1/10 of its budget online. This won’t be sufficient for much longer if technology continues to increase its influence on sales decisions. Some companies like to hire a development or marketing team every year or so while others believe it’s much more cost-efficient to hire an in-house specialist to manage what is basically a second store. Either way, maximizing the likelihood of customers accessing and using your website is undoubtedly essential because it will certainly increase revenue.

RAISING THE BAR FOR NEW HIRES

A digital specialist, however, is just one of the many new hires you’ll have to take on in order to adapt to the rise of technology. Before making an in-store purchase, customers have a tendency to search for the same product on their phones to see if it is available for a lower price somewhere else. Aside from online accessibility, you can avoid this by recruiting effective sales representatives who understand how much more effort they must put in thanks to the shrunken attention spans of their customers.

Rather than just hiring candidates who meet basic qualifications, you need to make sure your new team can effectively encourage customers to follow through with their impulses and buy on the spot. Recruiting the best sales reps and digital specialists obviously costs time and money but small business loans were created to handle investments of this nature. You will receive all the funds you need to pay and market your company to your new hires while covering regular expenses. Paying off the debt will only seem difficult until you realize how much more traffic is being driven to your website and physical location. After all, if someone asked you the quickest ways to increase revenue, what up-to-date retail business owner wouldn’t put digital marketing and effective sales representatives at the top of the list?

JUST ONE SLOW SEASON IS ALL IT TAKES

Third on that list would likely be buying inventory in bulk, which is a necessity for any seasonal business. Just one particularly slow season can send a retailer into deep water. Retailers who conduct the brunt of their annual sales during the summer or holiday season need to use the slow season to order excessive inventory at discount prices, advertise exclusive offers and hire additional staff to handle the increase in demand. Sales are down during the slow season but with the help of a small business loan, you’ll be able to make all the necessary investments without digging into operational or personal funds.

A Merchant Cash Advance is specifically tailored for seasonality. This program supplies a lump sum in exchange for a percentage of future credit card sales. There are no due dates or monthly payments, meaning you don’t have to start paying a fixed fee immediately after taking out the loan. Instead, you’ll pay off the loan when sales skyrocket, producing a thick stream of revenue that will easily surpass your debt.

THE CASH IS THERE WHEN YOU NEED IT FAST

If you pay off a small business loan on time, you become eligible for a second, much larger loan that will get to your bank account even quicker than the first. Alternative lenders have the power to approve loans in just 24-48 hours and distribute funding in a few business days. You’re going to need cash fast if you plan on taking advantage of opportunities to compete with larger competitors. For example, smaller retailers typically cannot afford to lease store space in popular locations, like malls. But if a good deal on a lease in one such area were to arise, you would have to issue a down payment fast because countless businesses will be vying for a major boost in foot traffic.

Larger retailers also tend only sell products that have already garnered millions in sales and come from companies that have been in business for at least three years. This impedes their ability to notice new products that are picking up steam under the radar. A smaller retailer, on the other hand, would be wise to buy potential blockbusters in bulk, even if they are expensive. Low prices might satisfy the general public but customers with more money might be persuaded to buy unique, high quality products as opposed to those that have been circulating for years.

BECOMING A GO-GETTER

Small business loans give smaller companies a shot at the big leagues, and in the world of retail, businesses either expand or die out. Many small retailers sell amazing products but only those who seek out alternative business financing companies like United Capital Source are able to make investments that position themselves for greatness. If you know where to find the tools you need and know how to use them, it’s up to you to pick up the phone and show your competitors what it truly means to capitalize on an opportunity.

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