by Darci Aselage
Now is the perfect time to reassess the passing year… i.e. what has been successful and what hasn’t. I encourage you to share some of the questions with your team at your next meeting.
Example of things to review:
- Your Team: Staff levels and rosters; attitudes and enthusiasm; incentive scheme results; daily meetings; selling skills and product knowledge … who gets to stay and who doesn’t? Remember the 3 T’s … Terminate, Tolerate or Train
- Your Inventory: Which inventory worked and which didn’t; which categories performed best and why; which categories didn’t work and why not; your strategy for reducing aged inventory; your inventory level and mix; your open-to-buy fund; your re-orders and inventory processing; your vendors … who was reliable and who wasn’t; your average sale; your displays
- Your Customer Culture: Your ‘point of difference’ based on the lifetime value of each customer; your risk-free purchase guarantee, free battery replacement, extended warranties, etc; hours of operation, the experience each and every customer receives when they are in your store
- Your Marketing: What worked and what didn’t; how much did you spend and on what; which medium worked best; how was your catalogue/direct mail distribution; what will you repeat next year and what will you drop, what did your customer respond best to?
- Your Finances: Did you have a sales budget (Sales Plan) each day and how did you perform; how was your cash-flow in January … and how is it now? Do you need a full financial analysis with advice on where to save money and create more cash flow?
- Your Information & Technology (IT): How did your systems cope, what will you add/change next year, how does your staff effectively use technology to create more sales?
- Your Self-Management: Did you keep a daily log book of what worked and what didn’t (you’ll never remember it next December!); did you work smart or hard; did you delegate effectively; were you well-planned and relaxed or did you “wing it” and feel stressed; did you delegate effectively; did you get prepared ahead of time, so you could enjoy all the interactions with clients?
- Your Organization & Management Systems: Were you happy with your Layaway balance coming into December; your repair system; your office systems, etc…?
- Your Retail Strategies & KPI’s: Did you have a specific average sales target and how did you compare; your conversion ratio; the number of sales per customer; how did discounting affect your total sales and profits?
- Your Opposition: What did they do that seemed to work and how can you do it better, when did they advertise … is there a pattern to it …