Did you plan for 2011?

Home Blog Did you plan for 2011?

Welcome to the new Floor Covering News blog for 2011! We’re thrilled to offer our readers tips and advice from Robert Waugh of International Flooring Consultants. Check back for his bi-weekly posts and feel free to contact us at FCNews or Bob with any and all questions and comments. Happy reading!

Most flooring specialist retail observers see 2011 as another year of ups and downs due to the slow economic recovery, the lack luster housing market, and in anticipation of weak consumer confidence. Obviously, this depends on several key factors each specialist retailer must evaluate in his own market. These factors include:

  • Anticipated employment and unemployment rate
  • General economic activities in local and national situations
  • Population mobility in your market area
  • Number of direct competitors in your local market
  • Income demographics of residents in the local market area
  • Previous annual sales (2010) and number of customers buying
  • Average price of product sold in 2010 by product category
  • Dollar sales by product category and present program profitability
  • Relationships with key vendors and new prospective suppliers
  • Financial resources of the company to be an aggressive marketer in 2011
  • Strength of the employment team in business operations
  • Store image and reputation within the community

Often it is best to write out a statement for each of these evaluating principles with a realistic assessment of each. At the least a retailer should score 8 points for each question and honestly rate his operation with a number score with 8 being excellent and 1 very weak. In this case, a 96 rating is perfect and a 68 rating is barely passing.

Basic planning is mandatory for a successful 2011. Make sure you’ve considered these facts:

  • A budget for the upcoming year can structure your operational investments properly
  • Monitor sales volume and customer traffic is vital to adjust to market conditions in 2011
  • Understand the dynamics of your local market will make your company a better buyer and seller
  • Be aware of staff performance to set standards will encourage staff to high performance
  • Talk frequently with key vendors to help programs and support potential advertising efforts,especially if they know you are considering some new sources
  • Participate in the local Chamber of Commerce, business trade associations, and community events to help measure potential in the local market
  • Consult media on new creativity for options in advertising and costs
  • Work more closely with your bank and credit sources
  • Closely examine your financial resources. It could allow for needed purchase of software that can help in the management of your business.

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