December is never the best month for golf shops when it comes to sales statistics, but it does tend to fare better than January, February and November, largely because people will be looking for Christmas presents for their golf-loving family members.
So what can you be doing in your pro shop to make the most of the month, generate more footfall, and get ready for a bumper year ahead?
IT'S FEELING A BIT LIKE..
By now your shop should be well and truly festive: full of tinsel harking back to the 1990's, and a sparkly artificial tree that's seen better days.
A well-decorated shop reminds customers that the pro shop is a destination for gifts, so don't be afraid to go crazy on the lights! Position Christmas gift ideas around the shop with directional posters and labels. And, what's more, offering a free gift wrapping service is an added bonus for those who just don't want to do it themselves.
BE READY FOR 2019
While the shop is relatively quiet, it's also a great time of year to look at areas of the business that you might otherwise be too busy to do.
Make Better Buying Decisions You should only have Autumn Winter stock out in the shop by now and you'll soon be placing orders for next Autumn. Now's the time to carry out some sales analysis of what sold well last Autumn, so you can make some more informed buying decisions for next year's stock.
Have a stock-cleanse. Look at any stock that hasn't sold for a year and put it in a flash sale with a small discount. Alternatively, look at getting rid of older, excess items online.
Get to Grips with a Budget. It's crucial to have a budget for each year, and this month is a great time to do that for 2019. Just getting to grips with simple sales figures will get you thinking. Use XPOS, or your epos system (if you aren't a customer of ours yet), system, to look at sales from 2018, so you can make better buying decisions for the year ahead.
"Offering a free gift wrapping service is an added bonus for those who just don't want to do it themselves."
Look at the winning and losing categories, then break it down by products and suppliers. Keep it simple - look at what you did every month and aim to make 5% more each month than last year.
Don't let Credit Hurt You. We all know that debt has to be dealt with, but the fact that customer credit can really hurt golf retailers is often overlooked. "Unfortunately, it’s too easy to forget about credit and let it build up", says Crossover's Matt Peace, "then, a year or so later, a customer comes into the shop and uses the £300 pounds on his account to buy some new clubs. But you’ve already spent the money on new stock, and now you have to take the hit”.
- Encourage customers to spend the money on their account at point of sale.
- Keep an account for customers’ credit which sits separately to your general business account. That way, it shouldn’t touch your bottom line.
- Put an expiry on accounts. If you decide to start this, it’s an idea to email reminders, and ensure customers know when they open a new account.
- Make sure customers receive regular reminders with their account balance. Use your epos system to do this. They might be shocked when they see the balance!
We're wishing all our customers a fantastic Christmas 2018 and a very prosperous year in 2019. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @crossovertec, Facebook, and LinkedIn.