Traders in Shrewsbury are being given the opportunity to benefit from expert advice, through a series of free retail mentoring sessions.
It’s a continuation of the training programme introduced and run by Shrewsbury BID last year - a scheme which has already proved successful, with many town centre businesses having already signed up.
Co-funded by the Invest in Shropshire Economic Recovery Programme, the mentoring is completely free and sessions can be organised either via zoom or in person.
Stephanie Mansell-Jones, business liaison at Shrewsbury BID, commented: “We’re inviting traders to sign up now and tap into the expert advice available to them on retail mentoring. It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the support we are offering as a way of helping businesses develop and grow.
“The mentoring sessions are for independent retailers and designed to make a difference, helping achieve results quickly. They provide the chance to learn more about and understand areas including the direction and goals a business wishes to take and how they can be achieved through training, motivation, advice, success, coaching and support.
“Initial sessions will focus on marketing, visual merchandising, sales and service, shop front and signage, staffing and business strategy. Coaching sessions are followed up with an action plan and summary of findings and a further session will review progress and ensure continued improvements.
“There’s a limited number of mentoring sessions available and will be offered on a first come, first serve basis to BID members initially, then opening up to non-members if any spaces remain”.
Shropshire Council is providing funding for the sessions through the Invest in Shropshire Economic Recovery Grant, and councillors have welcomed the training programme.
Belinda Griffiths from Wyle Blue World, which has taken up the offer of fully funded retail mentoring, added: "We had our first session with Fran and it was excellent. Lots of great ideas that were really useful, with lots of suggestions to work on, and we’re looking forward to the follow up in January!"
The next online event focussing on retail skills will be on January 25 and will look at customer loyalty programmes and how to go about getting more customer referrals.
It'll be hosted by retail consultant Frances Riseley and will cover different types of loyalty programmes, do’s and don’ts on customer loyalty, how and when to use loyalty schemes, refer a friend schemes and will also look at other ways to encourage customer referrals.