Do you have an October 1st List? If you’re a holiday-driven retailer, you should.
What is an October 1st List?
An October 1st List is all the things you need to remember to do for the busy fourth quarter. It is a growing list, one you add to each fourth quarter when something comes up that you forgot to do.
An October 1st List includes things you need to buy like:
- Place orders for all those 4th Quarter Only items
- Double check all post-dated shipping orders you placed at a show this summer to make sure it is what you really need
- Identify and re-order the Must-Haves, the Hot Sellers, and the giveaways you’ll need for your events
- Stock up on extra bags, giftwrap, tissue, bows, tape, etc.
- Order extra blank name tags for seasonal help
- Salt for the parking lot and sidewalks
An October 1st List includes things you need to schedule like:
- Carpet cleaning
- Holiday Window decorator
- Snow plowing for parking lot/Taking the snow blower in for preseason tuneup
- Special Guests for events and trainings
- Radio deejays for events
- Charity events
- Time for interviewing, doing background checks, hiring, and training seasonal staff
An October 1st List includes reminders like:
- Remind the staff to get flu shots
- Remind the staff to order new shirts for the season
- Remember to buy more coffee for the break room
- Remind staff to create new lists of suggested products
An October 1st List includes things you need to update like:
- Refresh all printed signs in the store
- Update hours on Website, Google, and Facebook
- Re-evaluate Team Member Handbook before seasonal help starts
- Replace welcome mats by front door
- Remove summer flowers in pot by front door and replace with fall decorations
An October 1st List is that final reminder to make sure all your i’s and t’s have been dotted and crossed.
There is nothing more frustrating than getting into the busy season and finding out there is something you forgot to do.
So today, October 1st, start writing down all those reminders of things you’ve forgotten in the past. Start writing down all those items on the never-ending to-do list that are strictly fourth-quarter oriented. And keep the list handy to write down things you forgot as the season progresses. Next year, the list should be pretty solid.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” -Seneca
The fourth quarter starts today. May it be a lucky one for you!
PS I got this idea from a friend who had an October 1st List for himself with things like wash the windows, prep the garden for winter, take the snow blower in for preseason service, etc. He said every year around Thanksgiving, just as his life was getting hectic, there would be something he forgot to do, so he started making a list. As a small business owner, you wear so many hats that lists like this are essential.