May 30-June 5
BUYING The countdown begins: 87 days until JCK. It’s been a long two years since that last big show in Vegas. Spend some quality time with your POS system to discover your best and worst sellers of the last 12-15 months. Your top performers should dominate by a margin of as much as 10 to one when it comes to pulling out your checkbook. Start drawing up a list of vendors you would like to see and work out what your open-to-buy will be.
MARKETING Prepare a social media contest to run the next four weeks to celebrate July Fourth. Consultant Megan Crabtree recommends you partner with a supplier who will co-op a piece of jewelry that showcases red, white, and blue colored stones and use this as a giveaway for the contest.
MARKETING Without special occasions or dates to drive traffic, you need to give people an extra reason to come in. Plan a summer event, possibly for the second half of August, by when people are likely to have returned from vacation and are starting to get bored. It’s also a perfect time to get rid of old merchandise ahead of the run-up to the holiday season.
OFFICE WORK The phone slows. It’s time to do some housekeeping. Organize all the paperwork that gets put aside, such as updating the customer data base with new phone numbers and email addresses, calling customers (again) on repairs that haven’t been picked up yet, and so on.
INVENTORY June is the start of summer vacations. Be sure to check with vendors for summer closures so you don’t ship to closed businesses.
MANAGEMENT Cash flow, marketing options, price pressures, staff headaches … the issues facing business owners don’t change much. Why not get some help from the veteran entrepreneurs at SCORE, who volunteer their counseling services through one of the group’s 364 regional offices? Everyone needs a sounding board.
INTERNET Check your website. Are your telephone number, address and hours easy to find?
IN-STORE Set up counter cards throughout the store that list the services you offer.
FINANCIALS The midpoint of the year is almost upon us. Start performing regular (monthly if necessary) financial reviews with your accountant. Ask him to highlight numbers he feels are important, and you can ask about anything you don’t understand.
June 27-July 3
MANAGEMENT Do something to shake up your routine. One option: a different social media platform. If you spend the bulk of your screen time on Facebook, devote yourself to getting more familiar with TikTok, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Post, respond, join a conversation.
INVENTORY It’s time for some analysis. What’s happening with markdowns by department and category? Are they increasing because of inventories backing up or as a result of you being locked into an ever-increasing pattern of promotions? Find the answer and make adjustments.