What you need to have a healthy consignment shop

January 13, 2017

A healthy consignment shop requires some soul searching

As you begin the new year, now is the perfect time to assess the overall health of your business. Where do you begin? How do you measure the health of a company? Like a doctor, your check-up for a healthy consignment shop needs to cover what’s working and what isn’t. Taking a closer look at last year will definitely give you a better view of the road ahead.

The best way to take an overall snapshot of your business success is with a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Don’t be the only one taking it though. You need to know what your key employees think as well. It’s a tremendous way to brainstorm about where you are in business and where you want to be.

The SWOT analysis

This truly is one of the simplest ways to analyze your business as well as your ability to lead your staff. Not only does it look at what you have been doing, but it opens your eyes to opportunities that you may not have thought about before.

Strengths

Start with your current strengths (because you need to look at the positives first, right?). This can include your current practices, the type of inventory you offer, particular employees, etc. What has been successful for you? Do you offer incredible customer service? Is your location and parking convenient? Are you meeting a need in your community that no one else does? List at least 3 – 5 strengths in the “S” box as S1, S2, S3 and so forth.

SWOT analysis

A SWOT Analysis Chart

Weaknesses

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there are things you are not doing well. Be honest with yourself and encourage your employees to be completely honest too. Is your shop less than attractive with merchandise piled around? Lack of organization could be a serious weakness. Do your employees have a bad attitude? Are your hours so limited that you’re making people work hard to get into your business? List at least 3 – 5 weaknesses in the “W” box as W1, W2, W3, etc.

Opportunities

This one may require you to think outside the box. Get it? Outside the box? That little orange box? Okay, never mind. As you look ahead, consider all of the possibilities that are available around you. Is there a better location that just opened up? Can you partner with other consignment shops in your area to create an association or plan a bus tour? Perhaps, you need to create a buy outright or retail plan to add new store merchandise.  This is where you let your imagination run wild. Fashion shows, DIY classes, a community sponsorship, etc. List as many as you can think of in the “O’ square.

Threats

Unfortunately, there are risks that threaten every business. Has a new resale shop moved into your area as direct competition? Are you running out of consignors who have new and interesting merchandise? At the end of the day, do you find sales are not outweighing the cost of overhead? List these in the “T” box as T1, T2, T3, and so on.

Analyzing the information

Once you’ve finished your SWOT Analysis, you’ll want to begin to map out your strategy. This will be where the outer gray blocks come into play. Investopedia suggests, “use it as a guide and not a prescription.” Keep it short and simple and don’t over analyze.

A healthy consignment shop

Your business has internal strengths and weaknesses, but also external opportunities and threats. A healthy consignment shop should be able to match its strengths with a corresponding opportunity. Assess each weakness to see if it poses a threat. Sometimes you’ll find your strengths outweigh the threats that currently exist. It really goes without saying, strengths and opportunities are always helpful and weaknesses and threats are always harmful. However, a healthy consignment shop can use their strengths to turn threats into opportunities.

Are you a healthy consignment shop owner?

It is true that the overall success of a business starts at the top. How healthy is the shop owner or manager? Here’s a great way to find out. Get your copy of Traxia’s Consignment Business Check Up.

Better health begins with less stress. Less stress comes from everything running smoothly and that includes your shop’s POS system. Wanna make life simpler? Choose SimpleConsign web based consignment software. Sign up for your free trial today!

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 Coordinator 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.