PLANNING What’s the best month to change your life, either personally or professionally? It’s August! Unlike the stressful New Year period, by August the kids are back at school, people have returned from vacation and it’s easy to establish a routine that supports your new goals.
INVENTORY Clear the decks. “In August, we have a three-day sale that generates a great deal of dollars and moves old merchandise,” says Ragnar Bertelsen, owner of Ragnar Jewellers in Vancouver, BC. The timing is even better this year given the delayed show season (JCK Vegas starts Aug. 27) and the need to make space for new inventory ahead of the holiday season.
FINANCES Balancing your accounts is much easier when you get all the money that is owed to you. This month, chase down overdue layaway customers, follow up on repairs, ask for deposits for custom jobs, and look to exchange slow-turning product, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy.
MARKETING For mothers packing their loved ones off to elementary school for the first time, host a “Boo-Hoo Breakfast,” where moms can console each other after the angst of seeing their children swallowed up by the giant yellow school bus.
STORE Stores can and do go out of style. While the time might not be right for a major renovation, explore a small refresh by painting an accent wall or creating a case filled with styles and trends popular on Pinterest. Brainstorm with your creative staff to come up with seasonal window displays and update your lighting.
BUYING Final preparations for Vegas. Be sure you’ve left enough slack in your schedule to explore the unexpected and serendipitous.
Aug 29-Sep 4
MARKETING The old free battery coupon works as well as ever. A battery costs 50 cents, and customers can’t believe they’re getting it for nothing. And this is the perfect (slow) time of year for such a promotion.
STRATEGY Serious holiday-season planning starts. Review sales data from the last 18 months to see if you can identify any significant new price points or trends. Start contacting community organizations to get a feel for potential fundraisers. Make sure your mailing list is up to date and begin thinking about designing new holiday cards.