Many of us that run shops or stores are facing a quiet period ahead. Whether you run a small ecommerce store, a more prominent online outlet, a tiny local shop, a small chain of stores or a combination of online and brick and mortar, if you run any kind of retail business, you’ve probably been rather busy over the last few months. With or without deals and offers, most shops find that December and the run-up to Christmas is their busiest time of the year. Then, once the holidays are over, this busy period comes to a very abrupt end.
Now that so many stores have sales in the build-up to the big day, the January sales aren’t as popular as they once were. Even those that do well tend to start on Boxing Day and have depleted themselves by the start of the New Year, failing to give our years the kick start that they need.
This can be damaging. But, with the right preparation and planning, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In fact, a quiet start to the year gives you an excellent opportunity to make sure you start your time on the best foot. Here are some of the things that you can do to make the most of any quiet trading period.
Plan Your Marketing for the Year
This is the perfect time to get in touch with marketing consulting services for help planning your year ahead. Take a look at your marketing last year. Take the time to find your target audience and research ways to reach them. Plan your marketing strategies for the year ahead, and start implementing what you can to get the ball rolling.
Assess Your Busy Period
A quiet period more often than not follows a busy one which is ideal really as it gives to time to take an in-depth look at what went well, why you were busy, what you could have done better and how you can improve going forward.
Hold Staff Appraisals
Staff appraisals are time-consuming but essential. Use this time to sit down with each member of your team. Ask what they need from you going forward, make sure they are happy, and their training is up to date, offer feedback and make plans for their development together.
Stock counting is dull but useful. It helps us to save money, to avoid waste and to manage our stock holding. You might not have time to do complete stock takes when you are busy, so do it when you can.
Cleaning is another thing that we don’t always have time for. If you’ve got a cleaner that usually cleans the office and shop floor, focus on smaller details like cleaning out your desk and decluttering your filing systems.
Unfortunately, quiet periods are a part of any business. You can’t always predict them, but nor can you always avoid them. Don’t panic when sales drop. Take the opportunity to prepare for the busy times ahead, doing all of those jobs that you don’t always have time for.
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