• Sara Mays

Planning for 2018

“The top 7 reasons small businesses fail are: Starting a Business for the Wrong Reasons, Insufficient Capital, Location, No Website or Social Media Presence, Poor Management, Overexpansion, Lack of Planning.” Business Know-How; August 2017 - Patricia Schaefer

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Clearly the first three reasons set the foundation of success, but the remaining factors cannot be overlooked. These components require, focus, awareness, and commitment. But it’s always much easier to see what needs to be done when you are not standing in the middle of the sales floor.

The beginning of the calendar year is a great time to assess where we are and where we want to be. Asking ourselves the critical questions can be difficult, but it is necessary to ensure we are on the path to success.

I love walking around my home city of New York and seeing all the thriving small businesses. It truly warms my heart. During a recent walk on the East side, I saw a sign for a retail business that said they were closed, and to visit their West side location.

As I made my way across town, I found myself delighted to be in front of the same business that had been closed on the East side. Unfortunately, my joy became heartbreak when I saw that this location, too, was closed. I checked their website and found that the company had closed all their retail locations, including 3 stores in other cities.

Did this company close for any of the reasons noted above? As we start the New Year, we will focus on the 4 key areas of an existing business: No Website or Social Media Presence, Poor Management, Overexpansion, Lack of Planning. These areas that can cause business failure are completely within the control of the owner. They can and should be evaluated on an on-going basis.

Developing a schedule to review and adjust your plans around these key areas will ensure you are controlling these areas to drive your success.

Website/Social Media

Many small businesses are ignoring these crucial components. Yes, ignoring because if you have not developed a schedule to review, respond, and update then you are ignoring.

Poor Management

This one is especially difficult to recognize especially when the owner is the manager. Data points, like employee turnover, inventory shrink, and declining sales or margins can be indicators that your management needs attention.


Success is in the numbers, and like Dolly Parton’s character, Truvy, in Steel Magnolias, (“I’m a chain!”) a goal of many business owners is to become a chain. That excitement can drive premature expansion. Finding a great location is only one component. All 7 of the factors must be solid before considering expansion.

Lack of Planning

Many business owners write a business plan to start their business, but unfortunately that’s often the last time plans are reviewed. In addition, they don’t consider their values or what values should drive their actions as well as those of their employees. Reviewing and updating plans are necessary to keep us moving towards our goals while living what's important to us.

We love retail because every day is different and exciting, but to be successful, we must ensure we are committed to plans and the systems to support them. Developing systems and processes around these areas will ensure that the plan is executed. This will drive service, sales, and profits.

If you find yourself standing in the middle of your sales floor and are ready to turn your goals into plans, then take action. Find a collaborative consultant. Give The Retail Coach Consultants Group a call to discuss how we can help make your goals more than wishes.

#values #entrepreneur #retail #planning