Your Mid-Year Evaluation is Calling
By Ellen Fruchtman, President
Every year you start out with the best intentions. You prepare a budget. You hopefully prepare a strategy. You develop some new ideas and you’ve determined a calendar where those new ideas should go. And then, somewhere along the way, most of those good intentions never come to fruition. July is the perfect time of year to re-evaluate, look at sales numbers and trends, and firm up those decisions that will take you into the second half of the year. The second very important half of the year.
Many things have changed since the beginning of 2023. So maybe, just maybe, changes are truly needed.
Start by taking a deep dive into your numbers and what’s selling (or not selling). Start listening to some of the sales conversations happening in your store. Have sales associates report back what your customers are saying. For example, with the proliferation of lab-grown diamond discussions in the trade, we asked many of our retail owners what they were hearing on the sales floor. Were they hearing more inquiries about lab-grown across the counter? The owner “didn’t think so”. The front-line sales associates, however, had a different tune they were singing. When evaluating transactions and sales figures, another retailer was noticing the number of transactions was consistent, but the average sale was lower for engagement rings, specifically. Prior to getting into Q4, they needed to ask themselves if they had ample inventory in lower price points and if the messaging should change so their target customer knew they carried affordable price points.
Let’s remember, one month does not make a trend. But, if you are taking a hard look at three months, then perhaps it’s time to change direction; or change creative messaging. There can be changes in categories you may not be paying enough attention to. For example, are you seeing more inquiries about custom? Perhaps it’s time to build a second-half strategy building more upon that message.
Here are the steps you should be taking this July:
- Set aside some time to have a mid-year review! 2-3 hours should be sufficient.
- Look at your data. Not only sales numbers but specific categories. Review them with your sales and marketing team.
- Review the current budget and scheduled promotions through the second half of the year. Do they need to change? Or are you on the right track?
- Ask yourself (and your marketing team) if the current plan is synergistic with your current business (and the business climate). Review opportunities or weaknesses.
- If needed, provide ample time to do a re-set and develop some new strategies and creative.
Maybe everything is exactly as it should be, but it’s best to check in and revise your plans if necessary. As we all know, the second half of the year is critical, so devoting a few hours of your time in July couldn’t hurt!
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