The Ides of March

A few interesting things happened today which give some perspective to the current sate of retail in my world. One client called to discuss the system and technology issues related to open a second store. Another client called to discuss the possible sale of his business. He’s in both a vertical market and a geographic market that has been really hard hit. I don’t get involved with selling business, he simply wanted a sounding board to run some thoughts by. The third significant call today was from a magazine doing and article about new and emerging technologies that would apply to the independent retailer. The interview with the magazine brought into focus how each of the clients who I spoke with today used technology. One only invested in technology or systems that he had the internal resources to implement and a could articulate how he could get a return on his investment. The other client is what I call technology minimalist. He only used his system for basic functions and seldom used data to drive decisions.

The final question the gentlemen writing the article asked was, when do you recommend your clients invest in new software or hardware?  It’s an easy question since I’ve been using these three criteria for the last ten years.

  • What problem(s) are you trying to solve
  • Do you have the internal resources to implement the solution
  • What is the return on your investment.

Do invest until you can answer these questions.