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Retail Success Can Lead to I.T. Heartburn

I am proud to have a good friend and past client in the sports nutrition and fitness business.  He’s built a solid brand and people come to him from far and wide because of what he doesn’t sell them.  You heard that right.  He delivers insight, well researched advice, and clear guidance about what folks should not buy in this era of wide eyed magical fat loss or muscle gain.  He guides clients to a solid base of products and keeps his in-store selection to proven products which stand the test of time.  (But I thought the Internet made buying all supplements and nutrition products in a store expensive and unnecessary because of all that overhead?  Isn’t everything I need online?)

This retailer has just opened another location to support his growth and he’s conducting live webinars and private coaching sessions online to extend his reach.   He’s hired multiple people over the last few years and has NOT received any government bailouts to do it.

So in this era of everything Google, free shipping, and the all knowing Interwebs…this guy is adding retail space and growing the local tax base of 2 cities here in Central Iowa.  He’s crushing it!

But now, he’s facing new challenges:

  1. He has 2 sets of IT hardware to deal with at two locations.
  2. He has 2 phone bills.
  3. He has an older POS system that runs each location separately.
  4. He can’t be in both places at the same time.
  5. He doesn’t have a complete backup and data recovery solution for both locations.
  6. He is mobile quite a bit these days and can’t access anything from home or on the road.
When you’ve worked hard and begin expansion in your retail or service business, don’t forget about the core issues that can eat your brain.  Hold the I.T. Zombies at bay.  Explore all options to put your data and telecommunications in the cloud.  Doing so will typically yield lower costs, less brain and time suck for you the owner, and will position you well for future growth.
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