Reps are your best friends. When they come to your store or when you see them at a trade show they want to talk about your family, your pets, your hobbies and your store. Of course, they also want to talk about their super, spectacular, incredible new line. And how if you don’t buy deep and wide you’re going to miss the boat!
That’s their job! They sell – first themselves, and then their products. Anything less and they won’t be able to afford the new car, big house and lifestyle that you’re paying for. But that’s OK, if you know your limits. Therein lies the problem – knowing your limits.
When you go to a trade show, it’s mind boggling. Sensory overload. More products than you imagined and displayed in ways that make them look even better than they are. Prices to deal with. Sizes to deal with. Shipping dates to deal with. Special terms just for you. It is truly overwhelming.
You need to be prepared. You need to know how much to buy in each merchandise category for delivery in each month for the next 12 months to support your sales and give you the turnover you desire. How can you come up with those figures? The easy way is to “wing it” and just guess. The reps love this approach as they can sell more. But that’s a recipe for disaster (excess invoices, markdowns, and negative cash flow).
An open to buy plan will give you the information you need. When you have an open to buy system in place, you will know how much to buy in each merchandise category for each month 12 months into the future. Your figures will be based on YOUR projected sales and YOUR desired turn rates. Armed with this information you will not overbuy. You will see all the merchandise available and then return to the vendors with the best items to buy the correct amount to meet YOUR buying plan.
It sounds so simple it makes you wonder why so few retailers actually use an open to buy plan. If you’re not using open to buy, there’s no time like the present to institute an open to buy plan that will help you stop guessing.
We like to think that MYOTBPLAN.COM is that plan and the results bear us out. Take a look and call us today with your questions.