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    Great Ways to Improve Your C-Store This Fall

    Convenience stores are supposed to be quick and convenient for their shoppers. In a constantly changing retail world, convenience stores need to stay competitive. When it comes to c-store improvements, it is often a case of fortune favoring and smiling on the bold. You'll need to work on new ideas if you want to create new revenue streams and attract new customers.   What better time of year to make some changes than this fall?

    Below are some great ways to improve your convenience store this fall and in the future:

    1. Increase Your Advertisement: Do not cut back on your marketing expenditure, advertise more. Try thinking outside the box and instead of the standard outdoor and window signage go for newspaper ads, flyers, or maybe even a car wrap.
    2. Generate a Buzz: Send a press release to the media once something new happens within your store. This yields free possible coverage. Consider hosting classes, community events, meetings, networking events and unique promotional events to generate a buzz for your store.
    3. Have a Flexible Pricing Strategy: This should be a year-long activity but fall is a great time to revisit your cost of goods and profits if you haven’t given them much attention lately.  Your price must be competitive and right for your customers.
    4. Move Outdoors: People love fall weather and often take advantage of it when planning community events.  When something looks like going on around your store, people will want to check it out. Be involved in sidewalk sales. When you do this, you can pull in more customers and create the needed traffic for your store.
    5. Create an event: Take tip 4 a bit farther and host your own event.  Partnering with non-profits is a great way to make this happen.  For example, a local youth organization that’s looking for ways to reach out to your store’s community.  This will help your c-store build credibility with your local community, increase your sales and help some people in need at the same time.
    6. Let Your Store Be Attractive: Take advantage of cross-merchandising strategies and impulse sale opportunities. Employ lighting techniques and creative displays to attract customers. Play videos for product education, customer entertainment, and any other promotional tie-in.  Most importantly, embrace the season.  Consider decorating for the upcoming holidays.  You could even delight customers with festive music and scents.  Remember, an energetic store is a magnet.
    7. Maintain Good Accountability of Your Money: This is an obvious step. However, most convenient store owners neglect this and lose track of their financial record. Get involved with every little detail, create a budget, maintain official book-keeping records, keep an eye on your cash flow and control inventory.  Fall is a great time to get caught up with financials as the busy holiday seasons are approaching and tax season is just around the bend.
    8. Be Social: Make sure that you've a steady stream of activity on and off line showcasing great fall trends. Customers, who see a flurry of activity from you, will patronize your store. Use social media to position your convenient store as the place to shop and buy.

    For there to be a comprehensive c-store improvement, excellent customer relationship is key. Have a listening ear to their needs and wants. Offer value-added services and fall trends products alongside letting your customer know you appreciate their doing business with your store. Remember always that the customers are looking for an experience and not just a product.