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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Time for New Answers to Old Questions

See the forest, not just the trees

Now that we've put a wrap on 2021, and before we really dive into 2022, it's time to catch your breath and reflect on where we are after 2021. 

Perhaps like us you believe that fundamental and enduring changes have occurred; no one can operate on "auto-pilot" anymore. All of us have to learn new processes, and form new habits. What's it called? Oh yes; "embracing change." Lots of it. 

That's why it is a very opportune time, particularly for owners, to have a very active Q&A session with themselves. 

It's time to revisit the most basic question facing owners: "WHY are we working so hard for this business to survive?" Or, to put it another way, "What constitutes success?" For the business? And for me, the owner?

Undoubtedly you felt you had answers to those questions when you first started your business. You called them goals. For instance:

  • Some want a way of life; it's what they do; how they're known in their community.
  • Some want to offer something special and different for their market.
  • Some want to support a cause: the environment, natural or sustainable products, local providers, the "triple bottom line," etc.
  • Some want to be the biggest, the fastest growing.
  • Some want to provide jobs for people. 
  • Some want to maintain the business for the next generation.
  • Some want to ready the business to be sold soon.
  • Some want to create personal wealth.
  • Some simply want to be their own boss.
  • Or, none of the above. Your own goals may not be on this list at all. It's very personal. 


But it's now 2022. Fundamental and enduring changes have occurred. What it takes to achieve your notion of "success" for your stores may be very different! 

In fact, this could be a very opportune time to make really big changes, not just minor adjustments! Essentially new ways of pursuing and realizing your basic goals.

  • Offering a new and different work environment or compensation plan for employees?
  • Trying out a new retail concept? 
  • Moving to a new location or new type of location? 
  • Shifting to different suppliers?
  • Closing down the entire operation?
  • Or...?

So, give yourself permission – and have some fun – reflecting on these Big Picture ideas. 

In 2022, what does "success" look like for you? Then, what might have to change at your stores to enable you to reach that success?

Like the pandemic, this kind of opportunity comes around very rarely. Don't miss out!

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