By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
With the holiday season in full swing, hopefully we all can find some time to take a small break so we can reflect on what we’ve accomplished this year and start planning for next year.
Okay, I understand that time away from your business can seem like more stress than it’s worth. And I’m not saying get on a plane and take off to Bali, although not a bad idea—I’m talking about a few days away to allow you and your management team to get a little R&R so you can get some important planning work done.
Finding a nice spot doesn’t have to be expensive either, you can rent a local beach house or cabin for 3 to 4 days. Start each morning with a nice breakfast and maybe a walk to clear your head. Plan to spend 4 to 5 hours a day on your agenda. Take a break for lunch and at the end of each day, leave work talk and thinking behind until the next day. This will allow you and your team to again clear your heads and start fresh in the morning.
During your planning time, go over each area of the business to identify what’s working and what things may need to be changed. Target several problem areas and discuss possible solutions. Review the year’s accounting reports and results from all of your store’s sales and promotions. Leave room for a brainstorming session, where everyone can add any new ideas they may have or out of the box promotional ideas.
And yes, you may not get every question or problem solved, but the time away will allow you to come up with a clear plan on how you will tackle the new year. I found from past business retreats that scheduled time away is invaluable to both the company and your sanity.
ARE YOU READY FOR 2015?
By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
First off, Happy Holidays to you all. Next month is the start of many new things to be excited about. A New Year, new sales opportunities and clients, and a new era in trade shows. Most of all Design and Construction Week in Las Vegas. As I was starting this month’s Musings, I received an email form the NKBA presenting ways to make the most out of attending KBIS. In my opinion, the tips they shared is great advice for every show you attend next year. Here is a modified version.
• Make a plan. Whether it’s your first year at the show or you’re into double-digits, goal setting can help you plan your time on and off the trade show floor. Align with your 2015 business objectives to determine which seminars and courses to attend and which booths to visit. It’s impossible to do it all.
• Arrive early. Maximize the trip by building in time for professional development during your time there. Many of the shows are offing excellent courses to help you gain knowledge and grow your business.
• Come ready to network. Networking is a huge part of the experience; prepare to make the most of it. Research businesses in other parts of the country that are complementary to yours, whether it’s a potential partner, vendor or client. The shows are offering many opportunities for this. Take advantage. The research you do upfront will help you make the most of your meetings, accelerate your relationships and make the connections more effective.
I’ve already started planning for Design and Construction Week — have you? If not, you can start by visiting www.designandconstructionweek.com to download full event schedules. This looks to be the largest gathering of our industry in its recorded history. Don’t miss out.