6 challenging consignment resolutions for 2018

December 22, 2017

It’s time to make some consignment resolutions for next year

A fresh start. A new beginning. A clean slate. We always begin a new year confident we’re going to do better than the last. This year, resolve to make the necessary changes to your business within the first 30 days. No delay. Here are 6 areas you may need to concentrate on.

1.) Building a stronger team

Success for brick and mortar revolves around top notch customer service. You need a team that’s committed to your vision. To build commitment in your employees, show dedication first. Invest in training in 2018. Improve communication. If you have employees who are not team players, it’s time to cut the cord. Read The ultimate guide for hiring the best part-time employees. Reduce employee turnaround and theft by sincerely caring about your team. Read How to nurture your best and most motivated employees. Strengthen them and the rewards will be great.

2.) Improving your inventory

Are you confident you’re offering the type of merchandise your market wants? If not, now’s the time to find out. Your consignment resolutions must include reviewing your top-selling items, top consignors and customers. Update the list of items you will and won’t accept from your consignors. Create a written policy and stick to it. Read How to improve your resale shop’s inventory with 1 word, okay maybe 2. If you’ve accepted merchandise that isn’t selling, mark it down and move it out. Resale as a whole needs to up its game if we are going to compete for retail dollars. Let Goodwill, Savers and the Salvation Army take care of merchandise that is donate-only quality. Consider carefully how you want to be viewed and build your brand through the type of items you sell.

3.) Updating your physical store

Here’s where you need a critical eye. Stand outside and take a serious look at your store. Is your signage clear? Are the windows clean? View the entrance of your store as a first-time shopper would. When you enter, is it cluttered? Does the shopper know immediately where to go? How does your shop smell? We get used to the everyday smells of our homes and businesses, but they may not be appealing to others. Commit to a regular schedule of cycling merchandise through your store with a sales rack placed in the back. Look at your ceiling and your floor. Can you improve the lighting? Even a change in paint color on one wall can make a store feel fresh and new. Read 6 quick and easy changes that will improve store design.

4.) Refining your marketing

This year, create an event calendar. Assign a staff member to be in charge of each major event you will be hosting. Have them prepare their email campaigns and social media strategy in advance. Remember, consistency is key. It’s better to dominate 2 or 3 media outlets than do a little in every one of them. Read Consignment marketing on a tight budget. Consider adding direct mail to your marketing mix. A postcard or 2 with a coupon could be just the incentive someone needs to try your store. Collect as many email addresses as possible and begin segmenting those into smaller groups. The open rate for emails with targeted messages is always much higher. Look for new ways to advertise such as Facebook Live.

5.) Adding technology

This year, add at least one new item that will improve business operations. Whether it’s a new POS system (ahem, such as SimpleConsign), new label or receipt printers, or a time clock system for your employees, upgrade now. How is the efficiency of your cash wrap? What about your intake process? Be willing to shake it up and make the necessary changes.

6.) Taking care of you

Even though this is the last consignment resolution listed, don’t wait to take care of your physical and mental health. Create a calendar. Add time for yourself away from the store. Treat it like it’s an appointment. Working smarter, not harder isn’t just a catch phrase. It means you are recognizing the need to delegate and trust the employees you’ve hired. Set boundaries for yourself. Read How to beat the resale business owner blues.

Happy New Year from Team Traxia!

This post was revised from an original post on December 26, 2014

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.