Planning for Profitability
Profitable retail businesses don’t just happen. They are planned. But in the dynamic forces of today’s consumer buying habits, flexible planning is the surest way to ensure profitability across every channel of your business. Here’s how to plan your retail chain operations to keep the profitable year-round.
- Take charge of your controls – What good are control measures if you don’t control them? Implement smart control measures that reduce expenses and increase profits, then monitor them in real time and adjust as necessary.
- Customize your data views – Your planning tools should be usable at multiple levels of your operations, but not everyone at each level needs to see the same information. Your regional managers need different sets of data than your operations officers. So use a solution that allows each of your important leaders the ability to customize the data you are tracking and to see the information that is important to their areas of responsibility.
- Lock your constants – You know there are certain values that you need to be locked in for the long-term. Don’t risk changing information that doesn’t need to be changed. Lock in the values that don’t need to be changed.
- Plan for the season – Almost every area of retail has seasonal sales spikes. Plan for your seasons accordingly. If your retail chain does a lot of business at Christmas, you may see different numbers for that time of year than you do for summer. Sellers of baseball equipment will see more sales volume in the spring. Plan for the seasons.
- Use historical data – No amount of analysis is complete without comparing historical data with what is happening in your stores right now.
- Graph your data – Instead of just looking at numbers, create a picture. You’ll make faster decisions and be able to hone in on the details that are important.
Planning can be profitable, but you have to work at it. You need the right planning tools.