3 Tricks to Making More Money in 4th Quarter

Retailers want more… more profit, move more product and enjoy more cash. When they get more, their raving fans will have their lives impacted more from the retailer’s carefully edited merchandise and the local economy is stimulated more. Our mission at RETAILMavens is to help retailers get more.

In working with retailers for 13+ years, we know 3 “tricks” to making more money.

  1. Mind trick: Take control of what you can control and ignore what you can’t.

Don’t pay any attention to the news. We won’t blame the weather if we didn’t sell enough sweaters and we won’t blame politics for our sales volume. When you point at something else for your results, 3 fingers point back at you, reminding you of at least 3 things you could have done to get different results. Take back control and take action to create different results.

  1. Move more product and give your raving fans what they want.

You know what others want to buy. You bought that fabulous new jean, bracelet or infinity scarf for your store. Imagine a customer tells you how they love the scarf they bought from you a bit ago, and want one for a friend. You show a big smile and say, “Sure, let’s pick one out.” As you start walking to it, you’re thinking “I so hope I have another one…” Then you see a hole on the shelf… 🙁 NOO…

We hate that! It is hard to stay on top of all the items that move fast. Yet, you are throwing away dollars if you don’t find a way to do so.

This second trick is to create a never out of list (NOO… List). Learn precisely how to do this and how to follow-through with it – it’s effortless!

First, what goes on the list? Start with 20 items that you sold the most units of in the last 12 months. Since we are going into 4th quarter, you will want to compare that list to a list of the items that you sold the most of in last Nov and Dec (it may be different). Choose which ones you want to track. List these on paper and make 11 columns next to them.

In the first box next to each item list how many you sell in one month; presto…you have set your minimum inventory requirement, the title of your first column. Above the next cell write DATE; in the next write INV OH (inventory on hand).

Track what your current inventory level every 2 weeks starting with today.

This takes us to our favorite (effortless!) part. You ARE NOT to count it, as you have too much else to do. Your most reliable person will complete this report each week with the date and quantity. (RETAILMavens Tip – this is the kind of detail that we love to help with. Use neon colored paper and a clipboard to make sure that the list stays top of mind and sight.)

Place reorders for items that your customers have voted that they love the most. Every time a customer makes a purchase they are placing a vote with their dollars. They tell you what they want you to carry. This is a great way of making sure that you are giving them what they want.

Each time we have clients do this they find items that they are out of stock on. They have lost business because of it.

  1. Create focus.

Do a 4Q review of the key items list. Determine 4-6 items that appeal to different categories of your raving fans, at varying price points compared to your average sale.

Go really deep and order 2 times what you would normally sell. Commit.

Take control. Sell them. Merchandise them. Stack them high and wrap some in holiday paper. Put some on a table at the front. At checkout say, “Hey have you seen this…” Your team has memorized the features and benefits of the items because you are all committed to selling all you have.

Finally, often in 4Q consumers get overwhelmed in advertising. We recommend to our private clients that they do a few really simple 1 item focus ads or emails. Only focus on the benefits of these 4Q key items.

Use these three tricks to absolutely get better results by controlling your mind, giving your customers what they want and creating focus. These tricks will give you more sales and more profits.

Cathy Donovan Wagner, the founder of RETAILMavens which is devoted to getting indie retailers more profit and better results for more fun and better sleep. One of the most powerful tools is RETAILMavens Academy, which starts on Monday and is best described by Ellen Watson Lewis’ testimonial:

I am part of Cathy’s Retail Mavens Academy (RMA), an on-line course on how to improve your business. I have found this is the best investment I have ever made for my shop. Cathy’s guidance is clear, specific, and detailed. She has shown me what to do using MY numbers. I finally understand what Open-to-Buy means for ME and how everything flows together. Her approach builds on itself from the very first effort of defining what you want from your business, where you are, and exactly how to get to there from here. She is positive and upbeat and speaks from a position of experience. She knows where each of us is in our business, because she’s been there. Cathy, you’re the best ?

This blog originally appeared on RetailMinded.com, the nation’s only retail lifestyle publication and online community for independent retailers. Learn more about Retail Minded by visiting www.retailminded.com.