Feb 9, 2014

Planning for Business Success: Heeding 2013’s Lessons

Retailers of all sorts spend the month of January evaluating their previous years’ business performance. Christmas sales make such a contribution to a retailer’s year-end bottom line that any serious evaluation must wait until the holiday numbers are in. Some retailers find themselves sitting on a pile of cash in January that they use for getting current on bills, paying down debt and buying new inventory. Others find that their financial “hole” has only gotten bigger, and they frantically search for a way to keep treading water until business turns around. Such is the life of a retailer.

For those just coming off a successful year, the plan for the current year is often “just keep doing what we’re doing.” Makes sense to me. If the economy is stable, your customer base is growing, competitors aren’t eating you alive and cash flow is good, keeping the course is probably a good plan.

But that’s not often the case, is it? After all, this is retail. Whether you sell in a bricks-and-mortar store, online, in a mall, a flea market or show venues, we’ve come to understand that over the course of a year the bottom line is written in red ink more often than it is written in black ink. “Black Friday” is the day our profits go “into the black” (hopefully) and the rest of the year we’re seeing red.  Read More...

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