Ah, ‘tis the season of trade shows, long days, hotel food
and spending your hard-won money from 2018 on inventory for 2019. But sometimes
that need to fill the shelves and tables can cloud your judgement … I recall a
client who just assumed that he and his buyers would spend $250K at a few
winter trade shows and then agonized over a $25K parking upgrade for years!
Just sweat the big
Don’t get me wrong, inventory is the ONLY investment that
actually creates cash, everything else from wages to facilities just support
that investment. But the fact is that 70%-80% (hope it’s not that high!) of all
the sales dollars goes out within weeks or months on just two items. Inventory
and labor. So that’s where we start.
Asking the right questions
What didn’t sell last year despite the fact that we all
loved it? Which SKU can we do without? Which category had the worst Gross
Margin? Is that supplier the really on our side? Do we have information on
which to negotiate? Which items took up too much space to justify the margin
dollars? That new product looks great… but what’s the labor cost to set it up? Do
we have the skill set to make money in that category?
For years we have been asking these questions to clients and helping them come up with answers driven by real hard, cold facts and figures, rather than emotions. These facts and figures come from just 5 simple numbers we have tracked for over 12 years and this best-practice is now available to all independent garden retailers through our new “5 Numbers Project”. (Click here to see some sample dashboards).
The numbers to drive
It’s easy-peasy. Simply submit these five numbers each month
online and see the comparisons both in-house with your same stats last year AND
compare trends (totally anonymously) with your peers across the country. No
extra days in the office or hours on your tablet, no expensive accountancy or
extra software, just 5 numbers and you’re done.
Subscriptions for first round of The 5 Numbers Project – to compare with other retailers (anonymously) across the US are available ONLY until Monday January 7 … so it’s time to ACT NOW! For the price of a few racks of perennials or a couple of pallets of fertilizer, we will give you critical profitability and productivity information personalized to YOUR business. “Measuring What Matters” and comparing with others might be your best January investment, but you need to click here to subscribe today!