8 Ideas to Prepare your Business for the New Year

Posted: January 19, 2023
Category: Spotlight on Business

Successful home improvement retailers are forward-thinking and create a game plan for their team to follow. Since the new year is less than a week away, start with the basics. Create a checklist that identifies tasks that need to be accomplished to grow the business, motivate your team, and keep customers shopping at your store.

Develop a Written Plan to Grow the Business
Starting a business requires a vision and commitment to do the work necessary to operate profitably. It’s essential to focus on what you hope to accomplish within a specified time. Create a written plan that details your role and that of the staff.

Everyone should understand the actions or goals needed to move the operation forward and stay competitive. Share a copy of your vision for the company with each employee to check periodically throughout the year.

Update manuals and policies
Are some of the guidelines in your employee handbook obsolete? Since staff use this material as a reference, the guide should be accurate. Perhaps you’ve added new benefits, changed the attendance policy, or allocated more vacation time. Looking at policies and procedures based on occurrences from the prior year is a good idea.

Refresh the Sales Floor
January is typically a slow month for retailers. It’s an ideal time to review inventory and dispose of what’s left after the holidays. You can mark items down for a clearance sale. Don’t hang onto merchandise that slows sales. Replace worn signage and dated displays. It’s also the time to deep clean floors and shelves to remove dirt and dust.

Clean your Office and Files
It feels good to start the year with a clean office. Papers can pile up fast, and it’s easy to lose track of things that should be stored vs. trashed. Remember to use the cloud to store critical documents rather than maintaining files on a computer.

Hold a Brainstorming Session
Rally the team during a party to kick off the New Year. Order lunch and talk about last year’s accomplishments. Ask employees for suggestions on ways to meet the goals of the business. Or how to improve existing processes. Make the celebration festive yet informative to make everyone feel like a valued team member.

Get Someone else’s Opinion
Often we are too close to our business to see it through someone else’s eyes. Invite someone who isn’t an employee to walk with you and evaluate your store. You’re looking for constructive observations that can motivate you to improve. The person should note the things about your store that they like or dislike.

Maintain a Positive Attitude
Constantly complaining about late shipments, employee shortcomings, and the state of the economy can prevent retailers from losing focus on the positive things they’ve accomplished. While many concerns are valid, some are beyond the control of one individual. When the problem pertains to business operations, communicating and seeking solutions that facilitate change is the best option. Remember to lead by example and motivate employees to support your vision for the business.

Take a Break from Stress
High stress is a side effect of owning and operating a business. Yet, it’s essential to give yourself a pass sometimes and take a break. Five minutes of deep breathing exercises or quiet meditation can work wonders when you feel overwhelmed and need a quick refresh.

Home improvement retailers have overcome challenges during the past three years. They are equipped to handle the roadblocks they may encounter in 2023.