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Strategic Planning Guidance, Steps to Better Clienteling, and More Managers’ To-Do Items for January

Take advantage of this month to set yourself up for a successful year.

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Strategic Planning Guidance, Steps to Better Clienteling, and More Managers’ To-Do Items for January

Jan. 2-8

STRATEGY Bring your staff together for a post-holiday strategy session. Go over what worked, what didn’t, what your competitors did, what 2021 taught you. Then spin the session forward: Where do you want to be by end of 2022? The key is to get specific with your targets: Do you want to expand your bridal clientele? Attract more female self-purchases? Appeal to more millennial shoppers? Once you set such goals, you can determine merchandising and advertising strategy.

CUSTOMER MAINTENANCE Phone, e-mail or send a note to your top 50 or so customers to thank them for their patronage in the last year. Make the comments personal and try to include a gift like a gift card for a free coffee.

MERCHANDISING Take one showcase and stock it with aged inventory marked down by 30 to 50 percent. Pledge to maintain those price cuts for the entire year, but be prepared to shuffle your displays. (At these margins, you’re still making a profit. And it’s still better than sending it back to the manufacturer.)

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Jan. 9-15

STRATEGY Set yourself long-term business goals and then break them down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and even daily action steps. Start planning for at least two big events for the year.

MANAGEMENT Start a list of “bad weather projects” to do when, yes, the weather is bad, like it often is in January. Add to your list through the year, and the slow times won’t also be unproductive times.

STAFF If you’ve had a good year in 2021, think of something you can do to make life more comfortable for staff: Could you redesign the back room? Investigate wider health coverage? Give them a clothing allowance?

Jan. 16-22

PROCEDURES Aim to capture customer information from everyone who does any sort of transaction. You want to get their physical and email addresses, their cellphone number, and permission to text.

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MARKETING Most local media outlets now have reader-generated online calendar listings that allow local groups to plug in information about events. Check the websites of your local newspapers, magazines, and TV and radio stations and bookmark the sites with online calendar forms. The next time you have an event, plug in your details.

FINANCES Get an early start on your taxes. On average, small-business owners spend more than 40 hours — the equivalent of a full workweek — filing their federal taxes every year.

Jan. 23-29

MARKETING What was the last business experiment you ran? Can you do an A/B test … say, BOGO versus 50 percent off? A “Sell it or we scrap it” estate sale? Test and learn!

MARKETING Start asking if new clients were referred. It helps to know how they are finding you.

FINANCES It’s a new year, but the search for cost savings continues. Wharton lecturer and small business expert Robert Chalfin suggests you review your ongoing monthly expenses, especially insurance. “You could have a service contract you don’t need or that can be reduced. You might have insured your computer equipment years ago when a PC cost $4,000,” Chalfin told the Wharton Small Business Resource Center.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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