The day to day creeps up on you. Surrounds you. Occupies your attention and pretty soon there are no hours left in the day. You are staring at the ground right in front of your feet rather than thinking about what you want to do differently next month, next season and next year.
You are running the day shift to save labor… doing the books, payroll, marketing and equipment maintenance when you can find a minute. You are covering for employees that no-show or quit. You are making the dough because otherwise you would be paying someone to do it and it is quiet in the afternoon anyway.
Don’t get me wrong. Labor cost control is important… but often we see posts from operators that do not have the time to get involved in the community, brainstorm new ideas, figure out how to change the marketing plan…
This is not a suggestion that you don’t work all those hours… just to consider whether what you are doing with those hours is the best use of your passion as an owner. What if you paid someone to run one of those day shifts every other week so you come in at 4 instead of 9 or 10 and you used those 6 hours every other week to build your business? How much would that cost you? In my store it would cost me about $200 a month.
I promise you that if I focus on marketing and community relationships for 12 hours per month I will gain a whole lot more than $200! Don’t save pennies and miss dollars!
Join a local service organization (I belong to Rotary). Go out and meet the front desk and manager staff at all your local hotels. Find out who the contacts are at boy scouts, girl scouts, club soccer, little league and get to know them and offer to help with their next event.
Take the time to learn how to do emails, adwords, text programs and direct mail. Dig into your POS and learn which offers really worked, what time of day people really order, what days of the week. (Yes, I know, we think we know these things but my experience has been that when I actually trouble myself to get the data there is generally a surprize or two in there)
Make a comprehensive list of every promotional activity, advertisement, sponsorship etc that you have done in the last two years and figure out what your cost in $$ AND the time spent was… you may be shocked. Then rank order them for cost effectiveness and cut off the bottom 20-30% (by dolars/time) and re-allocate those dollars and hours to either something new or to increasing one of the things that is working better.
Review ALL of your costs. Which ones have you evaluated for savings or for shopping costs in the last year? The last 3 years? I bet most of us have several thousand per year in wasted costs either from not shopping or from just doing what we did last year…
Don’t say you don’t have the time… remember where this post started… 6 hours every other week… 150 hours per year. PAY someone else to do that busy work. It will cost you $2000 and my guess is that the average shop owner that is not doing these things because they don’t have the time will find $3,000 to $5,000 and possibly as much as $10,000 in cost savings and find ways to increase sales overall by 10% by creating relationships and spending marketing dollars better… Time well spent.