The Looking Good process is a simplified, yet comprehensive method of assisting the local retailer in defining their store in their community. The questions of "what do I display?", "what do I charge?", "where do I put it?" are all questions that can find an answer in the Looking Good process.
The value in the Looking Good process is the assistance provided to the retailer in the development of priorities. Following that, aiding in the development of a more comprehensive plan to address all of the variables affecting the successful and profitable operation of a retail store. From a small hardware store in a large community to a large store in a small community serving the old community and a new rural consumer population of hobby farm owners. This means addressing all of the factors that are important to that community, from product selection to product presentation....from pricing to promotion....from personnel to process. All need to have a place, all have a priority, all require attention, all require a plan.
The Looking Good process is broken down into six specific categories:
Planning provides a natural starting point for a new store. The planning part of the Looking Good process provides and excellent review process for an existing dealer/retailer who may be considering expanding the existing business or expanding into new areas and offerings for the market. The planning part of the Looking Good process is part of an ongoing evolution of the business to which a retailer must plan, prioritize, and implement. After which the store must analyze the results and adjust, where necessary, which leads to the next new plan.
Having product is not the key to your success, having the right product is. How do you know what is the right product?
What does your store stand for? Most consumers make a judgment of what your store means to them from the product selection you offer them. If the product selection meets their needs and is complete in it's offering, then you become meaningful to that consumer and that customer will be back again and again.
To fully understand the importance of proper presentation, you must first be aware of the benefits that proper presentation can bring to your customers, and ultimately to the success level of our store. When a customer enters our store it should immediately make a statement to what your store stands for.
Presentation can create consumptive behavior, it can increase customer count, upgrade sales from a single item to multiple items to cover a project, increase the average sale per customer, increase market share, and increase gross profit dollars.
The pricing strategy chosen has a profound effect on the store's image as well as to determine the long-term viability of the business itself. Whether speaking of an individual item or an entire store, retail pricing can be either a "gas pedal" or a "brake".
Determining the "right price" of the products you sell combines a little bit of science with a healthy dose of substance and research. The science lies in the understanding that consumers set the price, not retailers or worse yet, the manufacturers. If the price is wrong, consumers shop elsewhere resulting in declines in customer count, sales, and profitability.
Promotion is the art of telling a story to the consumer which will establish an image, create consumptive behavior, increase market share and increase gross profit dollars. Promotion is an invitation to the consumer, asking them to visit your store and is a long-term investment in the future of the business.
The definition of "process", as described by Webster is: "continued forward movement; a series of actions or measures; a method of operation". To be successful with your business plan, you need a method of operation in place to contunue moving forward, and a process in place to help assist you in measuring your success.
The P of "Process" is designed to carry the plan of all the other P's forward. Without a process in place to accomplish this task, you will never know the reason for your financial success or failure. There are too many variables to track in today's competitive retail environment without a plan in place. Emphasizing the P of Process will just increase the odds that your business plan will be successful.
United Hardware employs knowledgable field personnel in conjunction with offering a variety of tools and programs to assist our dealers in implementation of the Looking Good process and ultimately their personal business goals.