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Are You Sticking to Your Retail Resolutions?

Are You Sticking to Your Retail Resolutions?

by Angie Ash, Executive Vice President We’re nearly (gulp) halfway through the calendar year. When you drafted your marketing plan for the year, beyond your spending dollars, you most likely set some goals. How are those going for you? If yours are lackluster, let’s dive into why this may be.
Bad habits vs. new and good habits.
When a new year begins, many people make resolutions and consider it a fresh start. Perhaps you made some for your business as well. The number one resolution posted on Facebook was to lose weight. No big surprise, right? In fact, you may be someone who made that same resolution. The problem with most resolutions is the fact that in order for them to become a happy reality, a new habit must be formed, and research indicates a new habit takes upwards of sixty days to truly stick. Sixty days! That’s a lot of chocolate and wine to walk away from. Just as our bodies and minds need that discipline and commitment to make lasting changes, so does your jewelry business. LOTS of discipline! When you want to lose weight, you have to monitor your diet and consciously eat less while moving more. Similarly, you may be carrying some extra fat in your store: excess inventory, old equipment, an unmotivated sales staff. You need to come up with a plan to be a leaner machine. And, it’s not easy and it will take a lot of hard work and discipline. You’ll need to become a master of when to say no.
Your clunky website.
Outdated in the way a closet may be if it's still filled with clothes from 2003. No wonder it doesn't get a second glance - at least not in a good way. Think about the sites you visit and shop on. Make a wish list of how you want your store’s site to look. Sleek, polished, stylish, functional, and reflective of your brick and mortar experience. Considering the fact that the vast majority of consumers will check you out online and most likely on their phones before entering your physical store, there is no time to waste on this initiative. You may be lucky enough to be forgiven by your existing customers for still rocking your outdated look, but not your prospects. Consider the appointment you'll make with a professional website company as that of a credentialed personal trainer with a great reputation and plenty of references — not a friend, not a relative, not a student. Insist on having it built with an easy-to-use CMS so you can learn and feel confident making the easier updates that don’t entail programming.
Same old, same old.
A gym may still offer Step aerobics, but neon leotards had their day, too. Know what I’m saying? It’s time to move on and up your game. Same for your ads. There will be times when a newspaper ad may still hit the right demo or still be well read, but online ad clicks are measurable, just like that weight you want to lose. Think of your marketing mix as your scale. Keep the things that you know will lead to results and have everything else be something you have to think long and hard about before indulging in. The frequent gym-goer knows the secret to real success is mixing things up a bit in order not to hit the dreaded plateau. So should you.
Too much junk food. Sugar. Fat. Caffeine.
You're going to be tempted by all kinds of fare by those publications, station reps and charities, all wanting to give you a taste of the specials they’re offering. It’s a virtual buffet line that can derail anyone's plan. Keep your goals posted prominently in your office. Question the "nutritional" value of what’s offered and ask yourself what's in it for you. Not everything that tastes good is good for you. I’m looking at you, chocolate cupcake with salted caramel icing! It really is okay to leave it on the plate or just say no. The hardest exercise to do is push yourself away from the table, said one very wise 86-year old I know!
Lack of focus.
You say you want to run a faster mile or was it gaining more flexibility? Or wait, was it muscle tone? You can accomplish all three if you so desire, but you need to put a plan in motion to give each goal the attention it deserves. You can't gain much-desired bridal business if you keep investing all your money in fashion jewelry and newspaper ads. Erratic activity only equals disjointed effects and sometimes even (ouch!) injury.
Unrealistic goals.
Ever read about or hear someone's success story of how they lost all that weight or achieved that marathon PR? And, maybe you thought, ‘I could never do that.’ But you saw the before and after pics, right? They did it because they kept at it, didn't beat themselves up if they gained a pound, celebrated their small victories and most importantly, got back on their horse if they fell off. Start small. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your success. Commit to a weekly (or at least monthly) weigh in to see how you're doing with your goals and use it as motivation to stay on track. Be willing to tweak your diet if necessary. Nothing motivates quite like positive results, so celebrate your successes and keep going. It can still be a great year, with maybe just a bite of that chocolate cupcake, too.
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