Most retailers spend every waking moment trying to improve their business and most of their dreams at night are about the same subject. But be careful what you wish for… if it comes too fast. The best possible scenario is for your business to experience slow steady growth that you are prepared for.

But what happens when the floodgates open and business rushes in? You’ll find a shortage of everything. Too little merchandise to satisfy the shoppers, too few employees to deal with the crowds and the mess they make of your store. Hiring new people is not something that can be done properly overnight. Poor help is worse than no help. They tend to do their own “thing” when improperly trained and that is, more than likely, not your “thing”.

There is an immediate need for more merchandise. You can always buy more merchandise, but is it the right merchandise for your customers? Are you buying the right quantities? Are you buying the right categories? In your frenzy, are you overbuying? Probably.

Overbuying means excess invoices and cash flow problems even when customers are buying. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Then come the markdowns and more cash flow problems.

So, what can you do? Put your store on a slow growth plan, an open to buy plan. Since your open to buy plan is built around your anticipated sales (revised monthly) and desired turn rates (the key to making money) your buying will always be on target. Growing your sales is the result of good promotion, good items, good display, good sales personnel and an inviting environment. Growing your profits is the result of buying the right amount of merchandise to support those sales at the turn rates you want to achieve. This combination will lead to great success by growing your sales in a controlled manner and growing your turnover to yield greater contributions to overhead and profits.

Do it right and it’s a win/win. Do it wrong and you’re in trouble. So be careful what you wish for and if you’re going to wish for more business do it with an open to buy plan and your wishes will come true.


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