September 2019 Newsletter

September 2019 Newsletter

Rediscover Your “Why”

In his inspirational TED talk, Simon Sinek, author and motivational speaker, asks business owners (leaders) to “Start with Why. 

We can all easily answer what we do, or how we do what we do. That is simple to communicate. Think of every elevator pitch you have delivered or heard. It is what I do. I sell clothes. I sell them in a beautiful store with great people.

That is fine, but is that really inspiring? 

We also talk about what makes us unique and different and that, again, gets a bit cloudy. For example, we have the best customer service, we have different products, and we have new goods all the time. Those do not define your core purpose or inspire passion for the “Why” you are in business.

It is not so easy to arrive at the “Why” you are in business. 

My journey to answer that question took some time and introspection. I came to it by realizing what it is that I care most about in my business. I made it personal, and that made it passionate. 

For me, the business has always been about financial security.

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The stress that comes from not being able to pay your bills hinders relationships, diminishes self-esteem, and is an ongoing impediment to your ability to grow as a person, and as a business. So, for me, it has always been very personal and from that I could derive my “Why.”

Our “Why” at Management One™ is to provide financial security for our clients, our affiliates and for the people who work for Management One™. If it is not going to check all those boxes, we don’t do it. It is our “Why” and it is our core passion.

As you approach the final corner of 2019, consider taking the time to explore your “Why.” It will help set your course, not just for the end of the year, but for years to come. And even more importantly, your “Why” will provide the drive that comes from a passion deep within yourself to take your business to the next level.

I will end with this inspiring quote from Simon Sinek:

“What good is it having a belly if there’s no fire in it? Wake up, drink your passion, light a match and get to work.”

 
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Know your “Why” and light that fire!


ONWARDS & UPWARDS

Marc Weiss

CEO and President

Management One™

And Retail ORBIT®


 

August 2019 Newsletter

August 2019 Newsletter

It is Time to Prepare

The last three months have provided ample evidence of slowing retail sales. Our large database of managed inventories and planned revenues spans North American retailers in over 20 verticals. From luxury apparel and jewelry, to footwear, sporting goods and pet stores, their data is updated daily to monitor trends.

Slowing growth manifests itself in pulling back, on both the part of the customer and the retailer. The threat to a retailer is where…and how far? Pull back too hard and you will lose market share. Don’t pull back far enough and you can spend yourself out of business.

Of course, stores can still perform at double digit increases. But, to continue to build market share and take the necessary risks to grow, it requires attention to both old and new fundamentals. The new fundamentals are centered around the frequency of how you use data.

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The time to manage - based on data - has never been more critical.

Here are some important action steps:

  • Preserve cash. If there is a rainy day ahead, those that have it win.

  • Mitigate all unnecessary risk.

  • Do a thorough breakeven looking at all the elements of your current and future costs.

  • Run a cash flow through the end of the year and see what happens with a 10% drop in revenue.

  • Begin discussions with your landlord if you have a rent increase coming.

  • Review compensation of your employees and work toward performance based compensation initiatives.

  • If you do not have a financial budget, build one. If you have a financial budget, make sure it is updated by the fifth day of the month.

  • Look at your sales trends weekly and make adjustments to on order and open to buy.

  • Take advantage of margin opportunities.

  • Play offense where the trends warrant it.

  • Turn dead and underperforming inventory into cash Now!

We have built the tools that allow retailers to respond in any situation.

We are always available to answer your questions and listen to your concerns.

The Management One™ team stands behind you.

Onwards and Upwards!

Marc


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July 2019 Newsletter

July 2019 Newsletter

Kill the Barriers…

…and be open to new ideas.

Look at what innovators do well, that creates changes for them to grow and capture market share. It is far more productive than blaming them for grabbing business.

Online shopping concept.

Trends happen because someone, or some entity, changed something and it became widely accepted. E-commerce retailers, since inception, have had a major obstacle to overcome. That was to create a convenient experience that could equal or surpass that of brick and mortar. Ask five of your customers why they shop on Amazon, or on one of the apparel rental company sites, and you will get great feedback on why they shop online.

The answer is NOT for you to compete online. The challenge - and therefore the opportunity - is for brick and mortar retailers to focus on convenience for their customers by competing and being as innovative as e-commerce retailers.

What e-commerce has done is take down 100% of the barriers that would make shopping with them inconvenient. Convenience also means removing all the risk and fears customers have about shopping with you. And what is interesting is that they have redefined convenience with speed.

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They are solving the challenge of convenience and are innovating regularly to find new ways to raise the bar and break down the barriers.

Barriers include the need to address:

  • Outdated return policies

  • Opening access to you and your people

  • Training all your people on a consistent message so they can say “yes” and not “no”

  • Empowering your people with the authority to solve customer issues and problems on the spot

Breaking down barriers also includes more speed:

  • Speed in getting alterations back to customers

  • Speed in transactions

  • Speed in getting new goods on the floor

  • Speed in relieving your inventory of underperforming stock and replacing it with product that sells

These are just a few examples. There are more…and some require changes in your process and some problem solving.

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At the last MAGIC party for our clients, one of our clients shared a big barrier that they busted:

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They changed their return policy to take anything back, including anything their customers had ever purchased. They turned this into a marketing event that created a tremendous amount of business and good will. And it spiked the upward trajectory of the business, leading to the biggest and one of the most profitable times in their history. And that has continued on with new customers and happier customers and more profitable business.

Just like that client, instead of thinking about what you might lose, recognize what you might gain.

Consider the barriers you may have intentionally, or unintentionally, created.

It is time to banish those barriers and start competing in an arena where you can beat e-commerce.

Don’t let them win at a game that you should own.

Onwards and Upwards!

Marc


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