Last updateTue, 13 Feb 2018 11pm

David Brown

How to create value in your business

There is an old saying in business that you only truly own a business if you can go three months without going to it and it’s thriving just as well when you return as when you left. Although everyone can appreciate the benefits of this, the mechanics of making it happen can prove rather daunting. In fact, many business owners I’ve spoken to over the years scoff when I tell them this needs to be their objective - they’ve spent so long doing things the way they do them they can’t see any other alternative.

Your New Years Revolution

So you’re a little over a month into the New Year and those plans for change in your business have largely been ignored. The start of a fresh year is the perfect time to make major changes in your business and the time to plan and take action is now. If you’ve allowed the first month to drift, then you need to get back on track. There’s something about the New Year that encourages fresh hope and change and you need to take advantage of it. Flush with the cash from a strong December trade (hopefully), you’re in a good position to introduce new things, and with any luck you’ve had the chance for at least a short break.

How to make the most of your December business

So the holiday season is over, the hard work is done and it’s time to take a well earned break - and why not? You deserve it.

January can be the best time to take a break from your business - it is also the time when you can reap the most benefits. It’s a little like farming - you’ve got the hay in the barn, but you need to make sure it gets used wisely or it has a habit of disappearing by itself!

Why follow through is your most important job

There are many reasons why retailers can fall on bad times. These may include absence of customers, shortage of resources or other events over which they have no control.

Regardless, the only thing that you have an abundant supply of is ideas. You can always revamp your business by using new strategies. A good idea has the power to turn around your fortunes. Necessity being the mother of invention, ideas are more important in bleak times than otherwise.

Diamond Drilldown - Are your diamond departments delivering?

With diamond jewelry being one of the few unique product areas that jewelry retail has to itself, it makes good business sense that a reasonable amount of time and attention should be devoted to this. Hence the Diamond Drilldown we will be concentrating on in the lead up to December. If diamonds are not a significant part of your sales then it’s time to ask why.

As a benchmark we recommend the first goal should be to have Diamond Departments Totals of at least 45% of your Total Sales on the KPI (key performance indicator) report. There are already some stores that are achieving better than this, so their target should be 50%. Whatever your current level you always need to be aiming higher.

Will your business be your nest egg?

So, you’re working in your business, with no plans to retire. You might even believe it is too early to plan your retirement.

But hold on - at some point or other you will want to pass the reins to someone else (let’s be realistic, you are not going to last forever). The right time to start planning this is not just before selling.

You must begin the process of handing over the business, or setting up the sale, a few years before you actually do. As far as possible, keep your business in a ready-to sell mode at all times - you never know what circumstances will force you to put your store on the market.