Spring is in the air. More places are lifting Covid restrictions. Daylight savings time starts this coming Sunday, extending the evening hours.
And, for the first time in years, we can expect to celebrate Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduations, weddings with few restrictions. All promise a renewed air of celebration!
There is widespread anticipation that consumer spending will be very strong. But...spending on what? Before you place all those merchandise orders, consider this.
Without a doubt, these continue to be unprecedented times for managing a retail business. The Disruption with a capital D continues, from the pandemic to supply chain challenges, employee issues, worldwide inflation, interest rate increases, etc. And now, the global economy is in more turmoil due to the Ukraine invasion and the resulting sanctions against Russia.
Lots of challenges for business owners as they wrestle with rising costs, aren't there?
But for independent retailers, there exists one glorious opportunity: price elasticity. Yes, raising prices. A whole new ball game for many independent retailers.
Have you noticed? That persisting Plague of Uncertainty that keeps hanging around?
And amidst all this relentless uncertainty, you still have a business to run, employees to motivate, customers to satisfy, vendors to deal with, creditors to pay, etc, etc.
Here are some ideas on how to approach that.
By now, you have your year-end financials for 2021. Remember, it always comes with a Balance Sheet!
Whether sales are up, down, or sideways, the financial strength – and staying power – of every business is shown on its Balance Sheet. And revealed by its Balance Sheet ratios.
Just one week until Valentine's Day! Are you feeling the love yet?
What better time to send a love note to your customers?
That's right. A Valentine. Just a Valentine. No strings attached! Show your love!
You've gotten through the Holiday season, likely enjoyed some vacation time, and perhaps even have your own financial statements in hand.
For many retailers, 2021 proved to be a very profitable year. Congratulations!
In fact, go here to check out the pre-tax profit trends for the past two years for the median performers in 50+ retail segments. To borrow a phrase, everybody (almost) is above average!
Heads up. You can take a grim situation and turn it into an advantage.
Universally, there is a shortage of "good employees." While many will use that as an excuse, it can be a great opportunity for those who seize it.
That's why we paid particular attention to this commentary by Ty West in The Playbook*.
And therein lies the opportunity.
You've no doubt seen the headlines. "Retail sales slumped in December."
Sounds pretty grim, doesn't it? Did all those foreboding warnings of supply chain issues, inventory shortages, etcetera actually come true?
Still less than $1 a day! 👀