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Small business case study


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  • 1. Paul Rickett
    January 2010
    Melding Analytics & Intelligence for a Small BusinessA Case Study
  • 2. Paul Rickett
    30 Years in high-tech Sales & Marketing
    Sales management domestic and int’l
    Market research for new products
    Distribution strategy
    Helps companies use and interpret business data
    Took over wine management of small market wine store on in 2007 – this is our case study
  • 3. Our Store
    Domestic Market c.2800 adults
    Plus High Season Tourists
    High season is April to September
    High month for most wine stores is December, for us its August
    Small, relatively new in market
    Established competitor next door
    Semi-regulated business – no buying power
  • 4. The 2007 Challenge
    Wine was our strategic growth product but we didn’t know size of market opportunity
    Didn’t know much about the customers
    What they like, don’t like etc.
    Why they shopped at the store
    New business owner didn’t know too much about the detail of his business
    Many people on Island and most especially visitors didn’t even know we existed
    Business opened in 2004
  • 5. Business Data – The Foundation
    Analysing and understanding your data provides a foundation for
    Measuring Change
    Refining Marketing strategy
    Improving Sales techniques
    Raising customer satisfaction
    Satisfied customers are Repeat customers
    Refining product selection
    ...But, its how you use the information that counts!
  • 6. Key Internal Data
    By country (e.g. France, Canada etc.)
    By type (e.g. red, white, sparkling)
    By agent (importer)
    Determines when to increase inventory
    Certain holidays indicate what type of wine to carry
    Inventory Turns
    One of the most imp0rtant statistics for a retail business – inventory is the major source of cash flow difficulties for most
  • 7. Key External Data
    Industry statistics
    Also competitive analysis via observation
    Census data
    Alcohol consumption data
    Average wine consumption in BC
    Tourism data
    Hard to find specifics for Bowen
  • 8. Customer Survey
    Annual customer survey provides formal stats and customer input (2007-2009)
    Done every February
    In-store survey
    Other alternates like On-line
    Challenges with surveys
    Design and Test
    Getting people to respond
    And accuracy of response – people may not like to disclose personal details
    Are results representative?
    Limitations and validation
  • 9. What we use it for
    Collecting demographics
    Soliciting email/contact info
    Consumption habits
    How much do they drink and how much they spend
    Customer Satisfaction
    Competitive analysis (where else do they buy)
    Hours, trends, event effectiveness
    What they like, dislike about store
    Assessing market share
    Prediction e.g. Impact of economy in 2009
  • 10. Key Points on our Survey
    How many responses provide valid results?
    Statistical reliability (e.g. Confidence level)
    Consistency of questions year over year
    So we can measure change
    Quantitative and Qualitative questions
    Hard data
    Open ended questions
    Cannot stress enough the importance of design and testing of a survey before ‘going live’
  • 11. Analysing Data
    Results keyed into a spreadsheet
    Answers are both entered as classified (numeric) and literal (text) depending on question
    Most data is simply grouped and analysed in percentages etc.
    Statistical measures we use
    Simple count, stack and rank, percentages and ratios
    Mean & Mode, Standard deviation
    If a result does not pass the “sniff test”, research before publishing.
  • 12. Using External Data to Validate
    Is our data representative?
    Do respondents mirror population?
    Canada census for local market
    Test consumption data and patterns against 3rd party e.g. Drinking habits
    Benchmarking our performance vs other stores
    Sales/sq.ft of store
    Inventory turns
  • 13. Some examples of results
    Are we doing better according to customers?
    Increased selection in 2007
    Satisfaction Ratio for ‘good’ vs ‘boring/average’
    2007 1.1 : 1 vs2008 5.2 : 1 (up 500%)
    Are we doing better as a store?
    Average price per bottle sold
    2006 - $16.52 vs 2009 - $17.50 (up 6%)
    Inventory Turns
    2006 < 8 p.a. vs 2009 >12 p.a. (16 in 2008)
    Are our results accurate with hindsight? e.g.
    Did our 2009 survey responses on economic impact on buying reflect what actually happened –
  • 14. Reporting
    Customer Survey Report
    Example from 2007 (1st year)
    Spreadsheet for supplier ranking
    Master sales by category/month spreadsheet
    • Printed reports from accounting system
    • 15. Weekly
    • 16. Forecasts of current month’s sales
  • What we don’t do.......but should
    Sales by customer
    No current way to track this – needs new POS
    Be nice to know what wine each customer purchased
    Allows better targeting & promotion
    Average Sale
    Improve assessment of seasonal and event impacts
    Use of regression analysis to better predict sales
    Capture more precisely sales impacts of marketing
  • 17. And the overall results
    Increased wine sales by 60% over baseline 2006
    Improved Customer Service
    Increased Selection
    Marketing (print, email and social media)
    Surveys and attention to business data have helped focus and drive our business Its important and useful