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How to Find External Partners for Your Retail Business

Being the boss of your own business has many responsibilities, including the reality that you call the shots when it comes to making business decisions. In addition to managing vendors, finances, taxes, billing, shipping and ordering, you have to make sure your retail stores are properly protected from unforeseen circumstances. Being in charge can be perceived as either a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it, yet fortunately there are experienced, external business partners to help you along the way. You should consider lining up your own partners in the following areas:
 
Business Insurance Companies: From natural disasters, to employee theft and overflowing sinks, retail businesses are vulnerable to events that could affect your bottom line and ability to keep your doors open. Uncover new ways to safeguard and manage your exposures with business insurance solutions from CNA. When you work with CNA, you can trust that they will provide resources and services to help you identify and manage the risk exposures across your business. Additionally, CNA has resources to help you be in the best position to protect your property, assets and products.
 
Parcel Auditing Companies: Having a strong shipping strategy is important for retailers that sell online, have physical storefronts or both. One of the most important parts of this strategy is actually identifying — and then collecting — where you are owed money due to parcel errors or other shipping fees applied to packages you send. By using a parcel auditing company, you can more easily manage your parcel contract negotiations while also helping to reduce shipping costs and uncover massive savings along the way thanks to this powerful parcel audit technology. Possibly the best part, however, is that many of these companies do not apply fees to your business unless a parcel refund is identified and recovered through their services.
 
Point-of-Sale Providers: Incorporating a POS into your store strategy is not only good for business, but it’s also a supportive way to help manage your operations. Strong POS providers all have customer service teams dedicated to supporting their retail clients, therefore you can trust you are being helped when you need it most. Often, this help is needed at the most unexpected times — yet it’s this exact reason that having trusted, external business partners is so valuable. When looking to identify which POS provider is right for you, also consider their policies in helping their merchants 24/7 should you need their support. After all, commerce is a 24/7 job for many retailers.
 
In addition to the above mentioned external business partners, don’t overlook the value that community groups, the local chamber of commerce, state and national level retail associations and other external organizations have on your business. There is no shortage of retail support when looking outside your internal team — the catch is you must identify who and what makes sense for your business, then let these external business partners do their best in supporting you in order to do your best, as well.
 
Find more ideas to strengthen your customer relationship in CNA’s 2018 Guide to the New Realities of Small Retail.
   

   
  

From the Author
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of RetailMinded.com, an industry publication that has been recognized worldwide for its leading retail insight. With a core concentration on independent retailers and small businesses, Reyhle is a frequent guest and contributor to various media outlets that include The Today Show, Forbes and countless B2B publications. Additionally, Reyhle has been the spokesperson for American Express’s Small Business Saturday since 2014 and is the author of the book Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business from McGraw-Hill. Reyhle writes regularly as a retail thought leader for various industry resources that include Entrepreuner.com, Fiverr.com, Forbes, IBM and more, as well as having taught Retail Management at Columbia College for eight years as part of their adjunct faculty. Reyhle is also the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference. Learn more about Reyhle at RetailMinded.com.
 
Disclaimer
The purpose of this Guide is to provide information, rather than advice or opinion. It is accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge as of the date of publication. Accordingly, this Guide should not be viewed as a substitute for the guidance and recommendations of a retained professional. Any references to non-CNA websites are provided solely for convenience, and CNA disclaims any responsibility with respect to such websites.
 
To the extent this Guide contains any examples, please note that they are for illustrative purposes only and any similarity to actual individuals, entities, places or situations is unintentional and purely coincidental. In addition, any examples are not intended to establish any standards of care, to serve as legal advice appropriate for any particular factual situations, or to provide an acknowledgement that any given factual situation is covered under any CNA insurance policy. Please remember that only the relevant insurance policy can provide the actual terms, coverages, amounts, conditions and exclusions for an insured. All CNA products and services may not be available in all states and may be subject to change without notice.
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