I’m sure you’ve come across a point in time when you’ve asked yourself this question: How did “x” business become so successful? Perhaps it wasn’t phrased in that manner, but you get my point. PetSmart is one of those very successful enterprises and there are a number of reasons why.
Not too long ago, Robert Moran, CEO of PetSmart, spoke to the Wall Street Journal in a video interview where he answered some questions regarding his own business practices that led his enterprise to where it is now. Let’s have a look at a few points we can take from that video:
- Keep an eagle’s eye on trends with your customers – Moran has seen that customers have a tendency to be more concerned about their pets’ health. They take decisions for their pets like with any other member of the family. In fact, he noticed a tendency for customers to seek organic non-grain foods. What was the result? These kinds of food arrived on PetSmart’s shelves. As important as it is to keep an eye on your margins, business development also involves catering to your customers as much as possible.
- Build your store proportionately to customer behavior in its location – Before opening a new PetSmart, Moran must have a look at how much traffic goes through that area on a daily basis. In low-traffic zones, it’s not logical to open up a 4,000 square-foot mega store. One enormous part of business development is attempting to fit the establishment to the people around it. But that’s not all. PetSmart also keeps in mind the customer spending habits within an area. If you open a store in an area where customers like to spend less, then you must ensure that the products reflect that kind of spending behavior.
- Cater to the strongest demographic – Over time, PetSmart has attracted a lot of LGBT customers. Their trends are somewhat different than customers of other demographics. I’m not telling you to completely give up catering to all your other customers, but make sure that your “modus operandi” includes having a plan for those who bring their wallets the most. If you have a lot of Hispanic customers, you can’t expect proper business development without introducing a significant amount of products that they would enjoy. Your marketing messages should also reflect this. For example, your advertisements should include something that appeals to the demographic without being overly exaggerated.
Everything could be summed up in one simple statement: It’s all about the customers. It still isn’t too late to take some of this business development advice from Robert Moran. The more you get a feel for what your customers want, the more successful you become.