7 things you should be doing now to ensure your season is a success

9880-04-01-OEwhoWith nearly 33% of the season now gone it’s a key time to review what’s been happening and making sure you have a plan for the rest of the season. With that in mind, here are 7 things you should be doing now to ensure your season is a success.

1 – Check that your team is focusing on the right things – customer value and service. Lots of retailers focus on promotion and sales but in this part of the season we need to make sure that service and value are the key messages. We need to be making good margins and that will only happen if customers are valuing your advice and appreciating your service. Remember your pricing doesn’t have to be the lowest if you deliver great service and your customers feel like they have got good value. Sit down with the team to make sure everyone is doing what they can to make the customers feel appreciated.

2 – Make sure you are selling at the right prices. With lots of new products available customers are looking to shop. Make sure your making the most margin out of new kit. Too often I see retailers who have their new products already discounted based on rumours or suggestions from customers. Check local prices and make sure you are not giving away your margin.

3 – May and June are usually the biggest months for irons and woods. Customers prefer to get them earlier in the season to make the most of their purchase. Make sure that your members know you are the place to get the right products and advice for their game. A huge percentage of irons and woods are now being sold with custom fit. You must be offering these key services. If your customers don’t know you can do this for them – they might be going elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to charge for this service – lots of people are.  You could even refund the custom fit charge on purchase as an added incentive.

4 – With the good weather, and the fact we are now in the biggest months for play,  you should be seeing lots of customers coming through the door. Its time to make sure you have sales campaigns in place to increase your average basket size. Average on course is about £25. Most retailers could increase their turnover by 10% if they got an extra glove sale in to every 5th basket or added a packet of tees in to every sale. Work out what products you have a surplus of that make good margin,  and then start pushing those products. Getting your team to focus on adding £2.50 in to each basket is a lot easier than asking for them to generate a 10% increase.

The other key thing about these campaigns is timing. You need to start them now.  The next 3 or 4 months are really big so its key that these strategies are in place to grow your shop revenue now – its no good thinking about it in September!

5 – Use multi-buys to increase single unit pricing and offer keen pricing for bigger purchases. Let your customers earn their discounts when they buy more from you.  Approaches such as offering 30% off gloves or Buy 2 get the 2nd at 30% off, are a good starting point, but see what works for you!  If you have some other stuff round the counter that you need to clear – use this kind of campaign to shift it. Accessories seem to be moving a bit slowly so why not take advantage of the traffic to destock and make some good gross margin. Everyone needs a shot counter or a ball picker upper don’t they?

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6 – Check stock on the faster and slow moving items. Some products will be moving well at this time of year. Make sure that you have enough cover by checking the stocking and sales reports.  The flipside may also be true – make sure you are not reordering slower moving goods. Check what items you might have on standing order – if they aren’t selling through – cancel them or change them for something that might turn. Remember you want to be turning your stock on a regular basis. Some items will be move as much as 6 or 10 times a year (custom fit irons and electric trollies).

7 – Review brand performance. You need to see what is moving and what is making you margin. You also need to see what is being slow and needs some pushing . Key thing here is to make sure the team knows what is going on. Communication with the team is so important – even if it is just you and the wife. Everyone needs to be aware if they should be selling some brands in preference to others and which products need moving out of the door. You also need to review where you are with the plan. If you don’t have a plan – shame on you! More on that another day.

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