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Hi there!

We’re continuing on with our series, “How to make your sales POP this Christmas!” and today we’ll go through part 2 – Planning & Getting Ready.

Last post, we set our record targets, so that you know what you are aiming for this year. And hopefully, it is a target that you think you have to stretch to reach! We want to ‘blow open’ what you think you can achieve in your business and really go for it!

BUT, you will never hit that target if you are not organised and have everything on hand to make it happen.

*THIS IS A LONG POST, BUT I GUARANTEE THAT IT WILL INCREASE YOUR SALES IF YOU FOLLOW THESE STEPS!*

So, let’s get organised and ready and go!

Step 1: Take a big overview look at how you will reach that target.

  • Is it going to be one massive day or over the week?
  • Logistically, if it’s one day, then that day needs to run like a well oiled machine.
  • If it’s over a number of days, that will take more planning to make sure that EACH day is ready to get the BEST results for that day, giving you the chance to make your total.

Step 2: We need to hit on each part of what it takes to make the day happen.

Production: Whatever franchise you are in, you need to have product to sell.

Stock/ingredients: Work backwards.

  • How much stock or ingredients do you need in store to be able to hit your target?
  • What are your delivery days?
  • Are they going to be affected by the holidays, so your normal delivery schedule will be different?
  • Does that mean that you need to do a big order at the start to make sure you are covered?
  • What time does the order come?
  • Is that in a peak production time?
  • Will you need extra help to put away that big order, so that your team is not taken away from actually producing?
  • Do you need extra room to put all the extra stock?
  • What about contingencies/buffers/extras?
  • What happens if some stock gets ruined for some reason (like someone accidentally burning something in our bakery).
  • Does that loss of stock make you short, therefore effecting your ability to hit your target?
  • Especially on stock that you will use after the holidays that doesn’t have an expiry, order more, just to be sure.(Like flour for us).
  • Do you need extra equipment to handle the increased quantity? (Like extra tins, trays and wires for us.)
  • Where are you going to display, store and handle all the production that you are making?

A million questions I know, but they are CRITICAL to think through, as a bottleneck in one area, will slow everything down and make you lose momentum and sales. Have a chat with your staff about this and get their ideas and input on how to handle the increased volume smoothly.

Your people: Get your team organised

Staff: Again, work backwards.

  • In Cobs, we had a target of $100 per person per hour in sales in our bakery.
  • Meaning, each scheduled person should be making $100 per hour in sales, so if it’s a $300 hour from 10-11am, then we needed 3 people scheduled.
  • If you are looking for $600 per hour, you need to increase your staff to handle the volume.
  • Nothing annoys customers more than having to wait forever for service.
  • They are busy, with a million things to do at this time of year and if you make it hard to buy from you, then they will leave or just get something small and quick, meaning you lose sales.
  • The other key thing to think about this time is how are you going to manage the replenishment of your stock.
  • When customers buy, they leave a hole in your stock level. To hit high sales, you need to continually be replacing this stock for your next customers.
  • No one wants to buy the ‘dregs.’ They want a wide range of fresh stock to choose from.
  • How are you going to keep refreshing your stock?

We had a ‘runner’ in our bakery on these days. A sales person we actually dressed like a baker, whose sole job that day was to continually talk to the bakers about what was coming out, and how long until it did, so they knew how long they had to keep moving things around to make room. They didn’t serve customers even though they were out the front; they just merchandised the whole time and communicated with the production team about stock levels. This left the sales team free to focus on the customers and sell, with full stock levels to work from. This is a KEY step and you really need to think about how this concept will work in your franchise.

Schedule: One of the best ways to get buy in from your team is to consider that this is a busy time for them too and they need to plan all that they have going on.

  • Be respectful of their lives and schedule for the Christmas early and RELEASE it early.
  • They will be grateful that you are conscious of their lives outside your franchise.
  • This also gives you plenty of time to make changes, which always happens when people’s commitments outside work increase, like they do at Christmas.
  • With so many Christmas parties, family get togethers, kids school commitments, Christmas shopping to be done, if a nailed down work schedule is done ahead of time, they can then plan their free time.

Back up ‘stuff’: This is things like coin and small notes on hand.

  • Go to the bank and get a stock pile, so that you don’t have to go to the bank during the day.
  • Remember people are hitting the ATM’s and only getting $50s and $20s, so you need to be ready.

Packaging; what are you putting your stock in?

  • Do you have a large amount of packaging, so that you don’t run out?
  • What days does this get delivered?
  • Do you need to stockpile some and where are you going to store it?

Staff amenities: You know the saying, “An army travels on it’s stomach”.

  • On a day/s like this, your team will work on it’s energy levels.
  • Do you have coffee and water available for them?
  • Is there time where you can do a ‘Starbucks run’?
  • Do you have snacks on hand? I know of one franchisee who has a container of Rolos in the freezer and anytime a staff member needs a ‘pick me up’, they go to the freezer, get a handful and continue on.
  • It’s the little things, but they make a difference to the way your day operates and your team performs.

Step 3: Personal planning for you

These are going to be ‘full on’ days for you and you want to be present, so that you can adjust to any changes that are needed throughout the day. That means, do you have everything tied down on the home front on this day/s?

  • Is your Christmas shopping done?
  • Do you have easy meals ready for when you get home late, so that you don’t have to order takeout?
  • Is there groceries in the house for the rest of the family and do you have coffee? (Sooo important, lol!)
  • Do you have childcare organised for those days and can they stay late in case you get caught in your business?
  • Do you have uniforms ready for those days or do you need to do laundry to get you through?
  • Are there any days that you can’t be there because you have commitments (like a kids Christmas pageant at school) and if so, have you organised someone to run the day for you in the store? (This allows you to be ‘mentally present’ at this event, instead of worrying what is going on at your franchise.)
  • Do you have gas in the car, so that you don’t have to race in on your way to work, making you late?

It’s always the small things that trip you up, so anything that you can do beforehand will make the day smooth.

And that is what we are aiming for here; READY, PREPARED WITH CONTINGENCIES, LOW STRESS, SMOOTH AND RECORD SALES!!

Tune in for part 3 on where we put all this in place and have an awesome day that hits those record targets!

Til then, hugs! You got this!

Ted xx