No, you haven’t got your jewelry publications mixed up with your favorite car magazine! There are a lot of similarities between your vehicle and your business... both have a responsibility to get you from point A to point B, and both are only effective if you show them proper care and attention.
1. Make sure you’re running on the right fuel. In the same way that your car needs to have the right resources put in if it’s going to perform properly, your business is exactly the same. The wrong inventory is not going to give you the right business. If your target market are engagement couples and your store looks like a grandfather clock factory, you’re probably giving out the wrong message!
2. Get those tires rotated. Not wearing your tires evenly can lead to excessive wear and tear and a greater expense on new ones. The same can be true of your staff. Not that you need to rotate them, but making sure they are enjoying their work and are getting new challenges will ensure that they stay around and keep being productive. Wages are not the number one reason for staff to leave. Often it’s because they feel underappreciated or are lacking a challenge. You don’t want the extra cost of new tires before they are due, and you don’t want the high cost of staff turnover to become an issue either.
3. Change the oil regularly. Are you moving old items on? Or, does your staff find themselves cleaning the same pieces they cleaned last year and the year before? Old dirty inventory items will clog the engine of your business and stop sales from happening. It’s noble to claim that you don’t have a sale or offer discount, but it doesn’t lead to your business being maximized. A regular change is healthy and normal.
4. Recharge the battery. You need fresh energy regularly to jump start your business. The energy to get the engine moving comes from you. Make sure you stay fresh and take the time out for yourself that you need. Working a 7 day week leads to errors and inefficiencies. If your business is that dependent on you, then you don’t have a business... you have a millstone.
5. Use the antifreeze when you need it. In the same way that a motor needs help during the tougher months of the year, so will your business. You will always have quiet periods come along. How you deal with them is the key issue. Have plans in place for when things are quiet. Know what promotions you can rely on to bring people in. Have ways of cutting your overhead you can implement to get you through these quieter periods.
6. Brake gently and accelerate slowly. Don’t get caught making reactive decisions. In the same way that a good driver will see the traffic 3 cars ahead you need to see potential quiet periods before they come. Likewise, when things pick up again be ready to add to your inventory – a sudden acceleration of product can be tough on cash flow.
7. Have your best driver behind the wheel. Your top salespeople will get the maximum performance from the business. Make sure they are in position to deal with the crucial sales. The rest of the team should function like mechanics, getting everything ready to maximize their results.
8. Tighten the nuts and bolts. Prevention is always better than cure. Don’t leave things to get out of hand before you deal with them, particularly issues with staff and basic store maintenance. A little preparation and planning can go a long way.
9. Don’t forget to clean the windows. Getting anywhere on a journey is all about visibility. You need to make sure you can see where you are going. Take the time to step back and look at the bigger picture of where your business journey is headed.