Edge Retail Academy Blog

Assess your Business for the New Year

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 …

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