Definition of A BREAKTHROUGH: any significant of sudden advance that removes a barrier to progress.
Our stated goal: To help you shift your perspective and raise your level of consciousness so that you actively create the business and life you desire by giving you concrete, actionable activities that will help you remove barriers and advance to the next level of your business development.
A BIG goal? Yes. Achievable? Yes.
To start you must know where you are right now. Your accountant would ask you if you have done a break-even analysis. Unless your goal is to run a nonprofit business, I would say that is ridiculous. You want to know where your Profit Point is. The difference is significant. The difference is YOU.
Your profit point includes your paycheck…and a few other key items like rent, inventory and payroll to mention a few. The significant issue here is to make sure that those other key items are in line with your sales.
Are you making a profit? I have a sheet where you can just plug in a few of your numbers to see how you are doing in relation to your profit point. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you.
Let’s say that you are making a profit – but you want more. How do you get there?
Everything begins with you. It isn’t the economy or your crazy customers. The one thing that you have total control over is your feelings and attitudes about your business – despite the current circumstances. What belief do you have to change to advance in the direction of your desires? What are you afraid of? What is the worst that can happen? Really, is it that bad?
Then get a clear vision of where you want to go in the future. Create a store vision statement as a source of inspiration and a touch point for decisions.
What aspirations does your business have for the world in which it operates and has some influence over? For Debbie and her staff at Fundamentally Toys, it is “A world full of happy, healthy, creative and compassionate children.
What can or does your business do to contribute to fulfilling those aspirations? From that question, they articulated their mission statement which is the PURPOSE of their store. It is “To provide quality, age appropriate playthings to Houston families.”
Now we chart a course that makes that vision and mission a reality. We know where we want to end up so let’s create a roadmap to get us there. The ROADMAP is the steps of the strategy that moves you towards your desired vision.
Your roadmap has four basic segments that must be addressed.
4. Customer Service
Let’s start at the bottom. This week, I’ll address customer service. I will dig into inventory and profitability and marketing next week!
Customer service IS a science. All customers are not the same and can’t be serviced the same way. Debbie had her staff analyze their top 50 customers and they profiled some basic customer groups – Just Looking, Quick Picker, Players, etc. They even named the different types – Chipmunks and Cinderella were two of the monikers. What would you call yours and how would you treat them differently?
Customer service IS NOT selling. It isn’t about jamming merchandise down a customer’s throat just to increase sales revenue. It is about building rapport and trust. It is about asking questions, and more questions and listening and more listening. It is about describing the BENEFITS of an item not just what the item does or is. It is also about standards that are consistent with your vision and mission. Write down those standards so that all can be held accountable to them.