Spring is in the air.
And for many, this is the time we set aside to do "spring cleaning." But spring cleaning can also be the time you set aside to review your business plan and see how your business has done in the first quarter of the year. Are you pulling in the sales that you forecasted? Or do you need to rethink and revamp certain aspects of your business to increase sales in one area to take up the slack for another area that's slower than you expected? By keeping track of how your business is doing throughout the year, there shouldn't be any surprises at year's end—you'll be able to modify your business plan to take advantage of current trends, while maintaining your core competencies.
On another note, spring cleaning shouldn't be the only time you spruce up your store. Customers are more likely to walk into a store and stay to shop if it's neat, clean, and organized. If you can see a thick layer of dust (you know who you are!) on the display cases, frames, or shelves—so can your customers. And don't wait until the sun has faded the products on display in your exterior windows to change them, either.
Give passersby a reason to window-shop—seasonal displays, for instance, are easy to do. Think about changing displays monthly, to highlight the holidays and special events that occur, such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduations, July 4th, Flag Day, and the many others that are celebrated throughout the year. Are there local events that you can celebrate through store displays?
Or how about showcasing the work of your best customers through the display prints at the sales counter, frame displays, or kiosk areas? Who wouldn't be excited to see their work on display in your store as a great example for others?
Next month we talk with Bob Hanson, of South Dakota–based Harold's Photo Centers, to learn more about his success with photofinishing, and specialty services such as greetings, photo books, and more. He also incorporates portrait studios into a number of his stores, and we'll see how he leverages the studio's output against photofinishing/gift sales.