Monday, June 14, 2010

Saving Pennies can help save the day......

The retail outlook continues to remain challenging as we look toward the balance of 2010. While the economic recovery that started this year hasn't quite materialized the way most pundits expected, that does not mean that it has to be all doom and gloom for your retail business.

By continually assesing your business goals and objectives, and aligning your customer needs as priority one, you can and will survive this economic downturn.

Just as importantly, you must continue to assess your business expenses and look to trim wherever and whenever possible. As we continue with our mid-year business review process, review the following areas to determine if there are any additional savings to be had.

Cost of Goods Sold. Can you negotiate with suppliers for discounts based on year to date purchases or other shipping programs? Do you ask for allowances from vendors for past date cancellation orders, or orders shipped outside of the start/stop order dates?

Marketing. Analyze where your optimal return on investment occurs, proactively seek out deals from channel partners and request support from your product suppliers - they all have a vested interest in your success. Have you shifted your allocation of resources to more cost effective means in 2010? Can you expect to produce the same savings in the second half of the year?

Payroll. Assess training and development requirements and delay/eliminate where possible, increase the utilization of more productive sales staff and contingency plan for deferred bonuses

Technology. Re-assess near term capital expenditures to ensure adequate payback hurdles and make due with current non-sales critical assets

Rent. Assess the real estate market, gather data and speak to your landlord about reductions in rent

Banking and Credit Card Fees. Consider incentives to generate cash sales and negotiate with your banker and credit card processing companies for reductions in all fees

By throughly reviewing the expenses that you do have, and looking at the areas where you can negotiate more effectively with suppliers, I'm confident you can save quite a few more pennies before the end of 2010!

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