From The Co-Founders


Tips, Tactics & Strategic Insights and Commentary
from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

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"So, how was your first quarter?"

As the second quarter of the year begins, many of us are experiencing what that fellow in the cartoon is feeling. We are not where we expected to be (and maybe not even where we thought we were!) 

Ahh yes, yet another flexibility test. The first quarter of 2022 was full of some major events, nationally and internationally, that disrupted many plans.

As you contemplate where you are now, compared to where you thought you were, and especially, where you intended to be, don't despair! Even more important, just like you do with the GPS system in your car, disregard"returning to the prescribed route."

This is retail, after all. Change is the name of the game!

It's simply time to do what retailers do. It's time to recalibrate, make some adjustments, reset our sights a little bit. Here's how to do it, in three steps, in "retail time."

First, get your bearings on where you are now. For real. Setting aside what you hear on the news, how are your shoppers reacting? 

  • For instance, what real impact are increased grocery and fuel prices having? Anybody really changing their behaviors?
  • What about your prices in your stores? Have you made some adjustments, or expect to make some soon? 
  • Able to get product in your stores? 
  • Able to be fully staffed? 

Next, reconfirm your intended destination. 

  • That is, what are the monetary goals that you set for the year? 
  • Considering what you concluded in step one, are those still doable?
  • Why or why not?

Finally, map out a new route for getting to that destination. 
If you think that sales may come in different than originally expected, now's the time to consider what adjustments may be needed in order to still reach your other goals.

  • Expecting lower sales? Adjustments on the expense side will likely be needed to reach your profit goals. 
  • Pro tip: Keep an eye on cash flow, too. Managing your inventory turns will impact cash flow far more than any reductions to expenses. 
  • Of course, if it looks like sales could be higher than originally thought, savvy inventory management now is even more critical! 

Ahh, the power of perspective! This three step process of recalibration need not be time-consuming. Of course, you may have your own approach to getting back on the right road. Great. Whatever works for you. 

And soon, you will be hearing that soothing GPS voice, reassuring you that"you are on the best route" for your destination.

Safe travels!

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