Author: Cassie Gasaway
Time doesn’t stand still, and neither does the archery industry. Therefore, you and your business must adapt to ensure its future.
That means analyzing your company’s performance annually to set goals, make improvements, and prepare for the future. To start your analysis, evaluate the four crucial categories below.
Effective customer service can make all the difference to a new customer. Photo Credit: ATA
Involve your customers in your review by surveying them to evaluate specific transactions and your shop’s atmosphere. Their satisfaction reliably indicates business performance. If they’re unhappy with your products or service, they’ll go elsewhere. Consider creating a survey using Microsoft Forms. It’s free and easy. Click here to watch a tutorial.
If you don’t want to create a survey, ask customers if they found everything they needed, or how you can improve their shopping experience. Take notes or record their answers with your phone to review later.
Check and respond to all customer reviews – positive and negative – on Yelp, Google and social media. By responding to customers, you show you’re listening, and that you care about their experiences with your service, products and business.
Also, create a sharing culture among your staff by holding short, weekly team meetings. Ask employees to share positive and negative customer interactions, and how they handled the situations. Ask the group to brainstorm ways to improve interactions. Team huddles create a self-evaluating atmosphere that helps staff learn from each other. It also helps ensure staff treat and address customers fairly and equally.
If your business’s customer satisfaction rates are low, consider creating a rewards program to thank customers for buying from you and supporting your business. These programs create loyal customers, attract new customers, increase sales and profits, and build your business’s reputation. Celebrate your customers year-round and on National Customer Appreciation Day, which is April 18. Read ATA’s article “Make April Special for Your Customers” for more ideas. And to help your customer-service team handle angry or unsatisfied customers, read ATA’s article “How to Handle Customer Issues.”
Evaluate your sales and invest in the products you know will perform well in your store. Photo Credit: ATA
Sales and Finances
Evaluate your cash flow. How much money does your business generate, and which products or services contribute most? Study sales reports and financial statements to determine your profits. Understanding how money flows in and out of your business helps you make smart decisions. Sales reports help identify trends and hot products so you know what and how much to buy, and when to stock it. Bills, receipts and financial statements detail your spending patterns, and can pinpoint ways to cut costs and reduce overhead.
To increase your profits, learn how to sell more products. Read ATA’s article “Get More Sales: Master the Art of Selling” for tips and information. Reading your customers’ facial expressions also boosts sales. Click here for more information.
Also work with MyATA service providers for discounts on programs, services and insurance options. These providers are ATA-vetted companies that offer discounts and expert support to ATA members to help grow and support the industry. For example, the Savings4Members group gives ATA members special prices on items like office supplies, wireless services, consumer financing, payroll and human relations, credit-card processing, uniforms and facility services, and waste and recycling services. Further, Handford Financial Strategies offers retirement plans and financial-planning services for business owners and their staff. These discounts can help you start saving today!
Review your marketing strategy. How does your business recruit and retain new customers? And how do you inform customers about sales, products or services? Marketing connects your business and products to consumers, bringing your business plan full-circle. Evaluate your marketing plan, objectives, and strategies to see what’s working. Then, improve underperforming areas or cut them to funnel your marketing money into more productive tactics. If you lack a marketing plan, create one using these six steps.
For help refining your marketing plan, check out the ATA’s four-part marketing series:
If your employees are happy, they will be more productive and interact more effectively with the customers. Photo Credit: ATA
Employee Satisfaction and Productivity
Business owners must hire people who understand and well-represent your business. Lead by example and give your people tools they need to succeed. A Forbes article recommends regular performance reviews to learn how employees view their responsibilities and workload, and if they’re satisfied in their position. Their answers often reveal growth opportunities, and ways to improve your management style or the company’s culture.
Evaluate employees on their contributions, too. Do they make regular sales? Do they recruit new customers? Use statistics, such as their sales numbers or issues they’ve resolved, to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Use training programs to improve retention and customer-service skills. You can also cross-train employees to reduce your risks and losses by creating capable, well-rounded employees who can meet needs as they arise. Also, compensate employees fairly for their efforts and workload.
Companies can evaluate many aspects of their business, including conversion rates, brand relevancy, inventory management, partner relationships, supply-chain efficiencies, and new customer rates. ATA members should also track market conditions and performance to inform their business decisions.
A thorough analysis of your business identifies necessary changes, and helps ensure your business flourishes for years.