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  • Does Your Store Need An Exercise Plan?

    We all know exercise is good for us. It keeps us fit and gives us energy. If we exercise regularly, we can maintain a healthier weight. We have fewer aches and pains.

    We know the benefits. For many of us, it’s a challenge to fit into our busy lives. We have so many urgent things to do, that it’s hard to fit exercise in. After a while, we start to notice that a short walk leaves us puffing for breath. Or our clothes fit a little snugger than they used to. We realize that our habits have left us out of shape.

    Our stores get out of shape just like our bodies
    When a store first opens, everything is shiny & new.
    Clean windows.
    Fresh paint.
    New fixtures.
    Shining spotlights.

    And then we get busy with running the store
    Each day is so full.
    There’s marketing to do.
    Calls to make.
    Inventory to buy.
    Displays to build.

    Staff to manage.
    And then there’s customers to serve!
    With so much to do, we stop seeing the store as customers do.

    The bright shiny shop starts to lose it’s sparkle
    The floor gets scuff marks.
    Table corners chip.
    Paint gets worn.
    Windows get dirty.

    When you’re in the store everyday, it’s easy to overlook
    those little changes over time.

    What happens when the store starts getting out of shape?

    Customers notice.
    The image of the store starts to slip.
    The shop no longer makes an attractive first impression.
    New shoppers aren’t wowed anymore.
    Existing customers start to drift away.
    But the change is slow.
    And hard to see.

    One day the shop is fresh and new, a couple of years
    later it looks a little worn around the edges.

    What can you do to your store back in shape?

    Or to keep it fit in the first place?

    Just like exercise, it takes regular discipline.
    And a little bit of planning.

    Plan maintenance tasks in your daily activities
    Because maintenance is rarely as urgent as ordering or unpacking merchandise, serving customers or managing employees, it doesn’t get done. Planning a few maintenance tasks every day is a way to make sure it doesn’t get forgotten.

    For example, every morning wipe all the glass in the store, clean dust bunnies out of displays and replace burnt out lightbulbs. In the evenings, sweep or vacuum the floors. Once a week schedule fixtures, furniture and cupboards to be cleaned. And at the end of every month, walk through the store with a checklist and look for fixtures, walls, or flooring that needs to be repaired or repainted. Schedule the repairs to be completed within the next thirty days.

    Scheduling maintenance will keep the sparkle your store
    Maintaining your store sends a message to customers that you value quality, and pay attention to the details. They will appreciate your commitment to creating an inviting atmosphere. They’ll show their appreciation by coming back again. And again.

    If you don’t have a maintenance plan for your store, today is the day to start.
    Just like regular exercise keeps you fit, scheduled maintenance keeps your store in tip top shape.

    The new year is a great time to get your store in top shape. Mark your calendar now to set up a maintenance schedule when your holiday rush as over. You’ll get the new year started off on the right foot.

    Recommended Product: Another great way to start off the new year. Learn more about Why Customers Aren’t Buying (And How To Fix It): The Pinwheel Principle

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    2 Responses to “Does Your Store Need An Exercise Plan?”

    1. Daniel B says:

      Excellent post. I showed this post to some colleagues of mine, I will be checking continuously on this blog and I am impressed! I have been looking for this type of blog for a while now and this type of particular information . I enjoyed reading about they way you get your store back into shape. I think it is important to plan ahead and improve the way the place looks.

      Thanks, and I hope to see some more new stuff from you soon!

    2. Melanie says:

      Thanks, Daniel.

      I'm glad you found what you're looking for. :) Any other topics you're particularly interested in?

      There's always so much to do in retail, so it's hard to stay on top of all the little things. A plan really helps.

      I look forward to seeing you here in the future. It's great to have others' input & ideas.