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Ask These Four Questions to Start 2017 Off on the Right Foot

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Start 2017 applying these 4 questions across 7 areas of business, and you’ll be toasting success next December.

What business resolutions will you set for 2017? Now is the perfect time to determine how your 2017 financial year will perform. Get the pen and paper out — it’s time to start planning.

The best way to start is by reflecting on last year. What was good and what needs to change? Success consultant Brian Tracy likes to describe the four questions you need to ask:

  1. What do I need to start doing?
  2. What do I need to stop doing?
  3. What do I need to do more of?
  4. What do I need to do less of?

We like to cross-pollinate these questions with the key areas of your business, namely:

  1. Staff
  2. Inventory (product mix, average retail, margin)
  3. Cash flow
  4. Sales
  5. Vendors
  6. Customers
  7. Systems

By applying each of these four questions to each area, you will find yourself preparing a 28-point plan (4 questions x 7 areas), each with several tasks relating to the new year. Let’s work through an example.

Vendors:

  1. Q: What do I need to start doing?
    A: Reordering fast sellers
  2. Q: What do I need to stop doing?
    A: Seeing vendor representatives without an appointment
  3. Q: What do I need to do more of?
    A: Printing out the vendor report before a representative arrives and highlighting the old items we need to discuss
  4. Q: What do I need to do less of?
    A: Purchasing items without using my open-to-buy fund

By working through each of these questions, a detailed plan of the new strategies that need to be put in place emerges for each area of your business. The staff questions might focus around holding regular staff meetings, implementing staff reviews, letting the staff figure out their own roster clashes and printing out their sales reports each week.

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Once you have the actions to be implemented across each area, set up a calendar where the new activity can be recorded and reminders set. For example, staff meeting can be put in daily, reordering fast sellers might be every second day, sending a customer offer out might be monthly, and so on. This will be your prompt to make sure the activity is done. Wherever possible, delegate the implementing to someone else — it will have a greater chance of being done than if you are accountable to yourself.

There is never a better time to take action and implement change in your business. Don’t let the New Year’s resolution be something that ends after only a few days. Change your business and you can change your whole life.


DAVID BROWN is president of the Edge Retail Academy. For information about the Academy’s management mentoring, contact [email protected] or (877) 569-8657.

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 edition of INSTORE. 

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Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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David Brown

Ask These Four Questions to Start 2017 Off on the Right Foot

mm

Published

on

Start 2017 applying these 4 questions across 7 areas of business, and you’ll be toasting success next December.

What business resolutions will you set for 2017? Now is the perfect time to determine how your 2017 financial year will perform. Get the pen and paper out — it’s time to start planning.

The best way to start is by reflecting on last year. What was good and what needs to change? Success consultant Brian Tracy likes to describe the four questions you need to ask:

  1. What do I need to start doing?
  2. What do I need to stop doing?
  3. What do I need to do more of?
  4. What do I need to do less of?

We like to cross-pollinate these questions with the key areas of your business, namely:

  1. Staff
  2. Inventory (product mix, average retail, margin)
  3. Cash flow
  4. Sales
  5. Vendors
  6. Customers
  7. Systems

By applying each of these four questions to each area, you will find yourself preparing a 28-point plan (4 questions x 7 areas), each with several tasks relating to the new year. Let’s work through an example.

Vendors:

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  1. Q: What do I need to start doing?
    A: Reordering fast sellers
  2. Q: What do I need to stop doing?
    A: Seeing vendor representatives without an appointment
  3. Q: What do I need to do more of?
    A: Printing out the vendor report before a representative arrives and highlighting the old items we need to discuss
  4. Q: What do I need to do less of?
    A: Purchasing items without using my open-to-buy fund

By working through each of these questions, a detailed plan of the new strategies that need to be put in place emerges for each area of your business. The staff questions might focus around holding regular staff meetings, implementing staff reviews, letting the staff figure out their own roster clashes and printing out their sales reports each week.

Once you have the actions to be implemented across each area, set up a calendar where the new activity can be recorded and reminders set. For example, staff meeting can be put in daily, reordering fast sellers might be every second day, sending a customer offer out might be monthly, and so on. This will be your prompt to make sure the activity is done. Wherever possible, delegate the implementing to someone else — it will have a greater chance of being done than if you are accountable to yourself.

There is never a better time to take action and implement change in your business. Don’t let the New Year’s resolution be something that ends after only a few days. Change your business and you can change your whole life.


DAVID BROWN is president of the Edge Retail Academy. For information about the Academy’s management mentoring, contact [email protected] or (877) 569-8657.

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 edition of INSTORE. 

Advertisement

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular