It’s hard to think beyond the busy holiday season, but in just a few weeks it will be a be 2016.  If you don’t take a moment now to prepare, January may catch you unaware.

Here are a few tips:

  1. The first two months of the year are show season for many of us. Have you decided what buying trips you’ll be taking? To get the best deal, book your hotel and air travel now.
  2. A physical inventory should be taken once a year, and the beginning of January is a traditional time to schedule it. We like to take this opportunity to clean and refresh our displays, and to find out what we’ll need to order at the trade shows.
  3. Advertising for early January is best planned before the holidays. What will you do to bring shoppers back into the store once the busy season is over?  
  4. If there are bread-and-butter items that you should always have on hand, be sure to reorder before your vendors close for the holidays.
  5. Let your employees know what their schedule will be starting January 1, especially if you have increased staffing or expanded your hours during December.
  6. When will your holiday merchandise be packed away, and what will go on display in its place? January 1 is a bit early for Valentine’s Day, which is a problem unless you’ve got some other new goods to put out.
  7. Have you set up your calendar for 2016 so that you can start to book appointments with reps?
  8. Don’t forget to plan time to evaluate the successes and failures of this year’s holiday season.  Seasonal planning is much easier when you have a written record to go by. Take good notes so that you can do even better next year.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder 

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