Mid-to-late January is traditionally a quiet time for retail. The proverbial ‘calm after the storm’ that follows the busy sales and Christmas/New Year holiday period, as most people return to work, school and their everyday lives. While quiet periods can be a little worrying to small business owners, it’s important to acknowledge that there are generally seasonal highs and lows in trade. Why not make use of this quiet time by being productive and planning ahead for a fantastic 2016? Here’s how.
Tackle the jobs you’ve been avoiding
Most of us have a niggling list of to-dos that we know need attention but never seem to get around to. Now is the time to tackle them. Been meaning to clean out the storeroom? Update some details on your website or social media pages? Chase some outstanding invoices? Get to it. You’ll be surprised how good it feels to finally get them done.
Review your outgoings
During quiet periods it pays to see what you can do to reduce your outgoings. Look at your staffing. Do you really need an extra casual on Friday nights? If it’s an option that’s beneficial, cut back your trading hours. Would opening from 11am-5pm on Sunday be more cost efficient than 10am-6pm? Review your suppliers to see if there are more competitive options. Shop around and see if you are getting the best deals on things like phone, internet, gas, electricity, insurance and more.
Make plans for the year ahead. Do anything that will help lighten yours and your team’s workload in the coming months. Get your accounts up to date. Put together your business budgets and forecasts. Get stock levels up on any stock and product you know you’ll need. Book in catch-ups – from performance reviews with staff to meetings with your head office to meetings to coffee meetings with clients.
Make a fresh start of the year with a big clean up. Go beyond the daily routine of vacuuming and tidying and give your workspace a thorough one over. Wash the windows, wipe down walls and skirting boards, steam-clean the carpet, do a big cull and move along any old things that are cluttering the space. Make it a team effort; divide tasks up between staff so no one feels like they are doing all the dirty work alone.
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