Ah, the new year. A fresh start. A chance to right your wrongs, forget the past and focus on the future.
There’s something great about setting resolutions and creating goals and today’s the day to do it.
In a recent article in USA Today, the writer focused on the HR aspect of the new year, recommending that small business owners sit down with employees and figure out how to get the right people on the bus, then get them into the right seats. It’s a classic tenet of the book Good to Great. But there’s so much more to do in addition to HR.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
If HR was the only thing to worry about with the new year, I’d pack up my practice and become an HR expert. In fact, the new year is the time to rethink, tweak, ditch, resurrect and do anything else to your business to position it for success in the coming year.
One way to rehash the past while setting the stage for the future is to conduct a strategic offsite. It’s a deep dive into your company so you can better understand all facets of the business which will allow you to set goals and action plans for greater success.
An offsite can be separated into two sections. The first is the data dump. It’s doing a bunch of homework prior to the meeting, then all involved will present the findings so the entire team can be on the same page. The data dump includes:
- Business review. Conduct a deep dive into all metrics you have for the business. What were overall sales vs. prior years? What are the trends for average transaction, units per transaction and any other metrics you use? How profitable was the business? What were the areas you were over budget? What milestones were reached?
- Competitive review. Understanding your competition can help you better position your company. What local and national businesses are your competition? Develop a list of the competitors and a list of things you can measure. You can look at length of time in business, size of store, location, key product lines and any other factor that you can uncover.
- SWOT analysis. What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats as a company and you can and should also do it by department too.
- Customer target development. If you don’t know whom your target is or if you don’t have one, then you need to develop this. It will help your merchandising and your marketing decisions if you know the customer you’re trying to attract. If you already know this, then a discussion about who it is today and if that still makes sense in the new year is in order. If nothing else, it helps remind the team who your customer is.
The above is all meant to do one thing – uncover opportunities. You’ll be turning over hundreds of rocks so make sure you look under each one and pull out any useful information as that sets the stage for the second part of an offsite which is the plan development.