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.