Your Roadmap for a Prosperous Retail Year

retail businessAt the start of each New Year you will put forth resolutions. While we all start out with the best intentions, a staggering amount of resolutions are forgotten by mid- January. Here are some helpful tips to attain your retail goals in the New Year.

Straight out the gate in the New Year, retailers will be coming off a large spike in income; however, sudden increases in income are generally mismanaged.

If you do not manage your purchasing, staffing, and schedules, all while making enough sales at the correct price, your profits will go out of the window and you will make few inroads to improve your business or stability despite all of your hard work.

While consultants can help you with your purchasing and increasing profits, there are two immediate actions to be taken after a sudden increase in money or income:

a)      Pay off bills, pay your vendors, pay off anyone and everyone you can. You will have increased your purchasing and payroll and much of this will be on a delay. Scrape up all bills due and all expenses and get those paid.

b)      Once this is done, invest back into your company: what facilities are you in need of, what areas of your business need investing in? Evaluate which tools will help you improve your business; technology, training, support, consulting, marketing, new fitting rooms, etc.

Who or what is holding you back? Are there people or things that hold you back? Perhaps an old phone that drops calls, a particularly negative employee, an outdated inventory control system or perhaps an unreliable method of managing your funds or stock. Take action to handle or replace weak or negative resources.

Related: Start 2013 off right with a new Inventory Management System

Invest in training, not only for your staff but for yourself. Work out a way to invest in your knowledge and capabilities, then arrange training for your managers on down. Start at the top of your business structure. Investing in your staff this way will not only help them do a better job but help make them feel respected and important.

Review the existing industry standards and trends, not just in merchandise but in business practices. Where are your competitors, what are they doing and what tools are they using to succeed? Take a look at industry leaders and list out all that you can observe about how they function, their tools, their resources and consider what you can incorporate into your business.

Don’t be afraid to hire a professional. Many facets of your business are industries in themselves; marketing, technology, legal and design, to name a few. Of course this will cost significantly more up front than if you were to do it yourself but more often than not you are not a specialist and can trip on your own feet. If you have an area of particular weakness, bring in an expert.

Related: Be sure your online marketing stays on track with a professional

While taking stock of the past year and looking forward to the next, be sure to set forward exact goals. Instead of saying “make more money”, set a target. Most importantly, work out the steps it will take to pull that off and lay them down in actionable steps.

You can then plot those steps by dates to ensure you are progressing on a schedule to achieve your goals by year end. If you become overwhelmed by a step or are having a hard time overcoming an obstacle, break that step down into smaller steps and keep moving forward towards your goal.

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Bio: One Step Retail Solutions is a consultative retail technology resource for retailers big and small. With multiple point of sale / retail management systems and a helpful approach, One Step Retail Solutions has been helping retailers achieve their goals for over 27 years. For more information or for a free technology consultation click here or call 800-266-1328. Editorial Staff Editorial Staff

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The Editorial Staff writes on topics relevant to small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners. Posts cover best practices, top tips, and studies that deliver insights specific to SMBs.

Our team has backgrounds in journalism, English, philosophy, marketing, entrepreneurship and management, providing us the opportunity to share unique viewpoints on all things affecting small and medium-sized businesses.

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