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New Year, New Opportunities: A Retail Owner’s Checklist

Three things to consider as you begin a new fiscal year

Retail business owners and managers are familiar with giving annual employee reviews, using them as an opportunity to give feedback about their staffs’ performance.

However, employee performance should not be the only area that retailers assess each year. As we begin a new year, now is a great time to start thinking about how your business’s performance from the past year could change your goals and strategy in 2019.

See: How Do You Rate As A Retailer?

Analyzing your business’s performance and preparing to make changes can be overwhelming. To help navigate this process, we recommend three things tech and appliance dealers should consider when preparing their business’s 2019 strategy and goals:

How has the business environment from 2018 affected your planning for a new year? Last year was one of the most dynamic years yet for our economy. We saw changes in consumer shopping; employee and transportation shortages; and increases in interest rates, taxes and material prices. It is important to consider how this affected the success of your business and where you might need to adjust or reinvest. It is also essential to consider other variables such as manufacturers’ rates, new tax provisions, tariffs, employee compensation increases, credit needs, new industry products, and discontinued products. These are the types of changes that could increase overhead expenses or offer potential savings opportunities, so they should always be on your radar.

Related: ‘Tariffs Are Taxes, Plain And Simple’

What is the stability of your business? Reviewing the stability of your business is one of the most important ways to measure progress made from last year and implement new goals and objectives for this year. A few factors to analyze and review include inventory turnover, expenses to date, vendor/third-party rates, current business liquidity, and payable terms on borrowed credit. As the business owner, ask yourself, “Is the business healthy enough to continue and sustain itself through another year?” Take the time to review how your business progressed throughout 2018, and ask how you can set yourself up for success in 2019.

Related: Poor Retail Execution Can Cost You Plenty

Times of uncertainty create areas of opportunity. Putting a difficult year behind you, this is the perfect time to explore new areas of opportunity that you did not consider previously. Perhaps you can form partnerships with local businesses near you, become more active in the community to build awareness of your business, commit to new sponsorships, or host an event to launch a new product. Look to invest in new opportunities that can raise the business to the next level.

While employee reviews serve as common checkpoints to analyze your business’s progress, it is important to consider these factors regularly to ensure that you are on track to meet your goals and grow your business. By taking an in-depth approach to analyzing your business and developing an understanding of how you can put your business in the best position, you can increase the chances of maintaining a strong position to achieve your goals by the end of 2019.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are general in nature and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or association. Contact your banker, lawyer, accountant or tax adviser with regard to your individual situation. The opinions of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance or any Wells Fargo entity.