It’s been eight months now since we opened our new store in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Opening a new store certainly has a number of challenges. One of the most important challenges is building a positive “image” of your business to your new customers.

As we are a neighbourhood store, it’s important that we do not build up a perception of being overpriced amongst our customer base.

It's important to forge links with the local community - not just by donating cash, but by helping out in local church events held elsewhere in the community

As our business is still in its infancy, we are very careful with our pricing strategy. We follow Londis’s RSP, but we also gauge what our competitors are doing and pay close attention to the prices that the multiples are charging.

For example, we have been promoting heavily during the summer to build a positive perception about our pricing.

It’s also important to forge links with the local community, not just by donating cash but by helping out in local church events or events held elsewhere in the community.

These can have a massively positive impact on your business – engagement with the local community is a must.

Embracing technology is also a must and social media can play a big part in promoting your business and shouting about the great work that you do.

Ensuring that your customers have a great experience in your store can also go a long way in building the perception of great service in your store.

It’s simple, but  saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, along with making sure you cater for the requirements of your own customer base, is essential.

To summarise:

  • Be careful with your pricing strategy – ensure you are not overpriced compared to your competition.
  • Use social media to shout about the great work that you do.
  • Engage as much as you can with the local community.
  • Concentrate on ensuring your customers are delivered the best possible experience.
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