It is that time of year once again. It is time to reflect on the year that has just ended. In your recap you are looking for the highlights as well as the lowlights. With this information you can begin to look ahead at the coming year. You can prepare to make next year even better than the year that is just ending. You can set your plans and priorities. In this article I present 8 steps to prepare your dollar store business for the future. Each step helps you provide a better foundation for improved performance. Make business reviews an annual event for your business and watch as the results roll in.
1. Start by collecting data about overall dollar store business performance during the past year. Use all you normal metrics such as store sales, sales transactions, refunds, payroll, etc. Then move on to examine department performance using the metrics you have defined. Don’t forget to also examine sales data by-day of the week and month of the year.
2. The next step is to conduct a thorough business plan review. With all of your business performance data collected, you can examine results against the plan you established. Then appropriately update your entire business plan so it supports your efforts in the coming year.
3. Look for the pieces of your business which have been the biggest success. One of the best ways to maximize business performance is by fully utilizing those areas which are performing well. Make plans to focus even more resources to leverage these into even bigger contributors to profit for your dollar store business in the year ahead.
4. During the past year there have undoubtedly been some great ideas collected for potential new ways to generate sales and profits. Pick the one or two top ideas and test them. If they work, add them to you business plans. If they don’t, go to the next one or two ideas and test them.
5. Get more involved in your community. Join a local business group. Look for other networking opportunities. Becoming actively involved is a great way to get the word out about you and your business. It is also a way for your business to give support to the local community.
6. Locate and leverage the knowledge of experts to help your business continue to grow. As your business grows you will face unexpected challenges. Often the best way to handle these is by turning to a seasoned expert for help. Make sure you locate someone who has hands-on dollar store experience.
7. Find solutions to problems which curtailed your business performance during the past year. Turn your problems such as weak performing departments into sales contributors. Examine why the problem exists, develop potential solutions, test and find the solution which best solves the problem for you.
8. Eliminate non-selling items. It is time to turn those non-selling, dust-collecting products into cash for your dollar store business. Reduce prices and prominently display the non-sellers in your store. Turn them into cash and use that cash to purchase items which do sell.