For most retailers I have talked to, 2010 ended with a healthy December sales trend that will add some much needed profits to the coffers this year. Signs point to this upward trend continuing into 2011 for retailers across many product categories. We look forward to the positive momentum continuing and for 2011 to be the year where retailers return to strong sales and profits all year long.
But what if the year didn't end with a bang, but instead, finished with a wimper? What are you going to do differently for your business in 2011 that will garner different results all year long? As we end 2010 and head into a new year where you have another 365 days to make all things possible for your retail business, CBCG offers up 5 ways to revitalize your retail business - and yourself in early 2011~
- Make time for a strategy day. Take 1 FULL Day AWAY from your business early in the year to sit down and PLAN the coming year. Take yourself and any staff you think are needed to help you think strategically about your business. No phones, no customers, just the focused effort that your business deserves as you head into a new year. Think about marketing, staffing, sales goals and products you want to add or get rid of this year. Remember the 5 P 's of EVERY successful business: Prior Proper Planning Produces Profits for all!
- Talk to the best. Choose 10 of your best customers and ask them to tell you what your businesses' biggest shortcomings are. These are people that love your business (and probably shop frequently) They are not fleeting and won't stop shopping (even if they think you can do some things better) Most importantly- they will give you honest feedback. Assuming these big spenders are like your typical average customer, asking them for ways to make the business even better will certainly help your business in 2011 - and well beyond!
- Get SOCIAL If you haven't started a social media program for your retail business, 2011 is MOST DEFINITELY the time to start. It's no longer IF you should engage customers with these powerful tools, but HOW OFTEN. If you are already using social media, set goals for your programs. How often will you participate? What types of programs will you run? How will you engage customers regularly with your programs? As with any marketing program, if you are spending time using social media, you need to establish goals and you need to be accountable toward making them!
- Go to school. Take some classes that can help you and your business grow in 2011. Need to know more about marketing and using social media? Attend a trade show seminar or a local business seminar on the topic. Are your lack of computer skills holding your business back? Find sessions that can give you tips and the tools you need to make your business prosper. Don't let your lack of knowledge (or your staff) hold your business back in 2011.
- Take a break. You must find a way to take a short vacation (or long one) early in the year. Time away from your business will help you recharge your batteries and will allow you to see the big picture even better. Extend your trade show trips one day - or take a long weekend somewhere. The additional energy you will have when you return will do great things for your business in 2011!
Do you have other ways you plan on revitalizing your retail business in 2011? Drop us a line and let us know. We'll make sure to share! firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish all of our retail partners the best of luck in 2011! We hope you go out and make it a spectacular year. We'll be here along the way to cheer you on with ideas and solutions to your retail problems.
Lynn Switanowski and the CBCG Team.