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A Holiday Season Checklist For Shop Owners

Staying ahead of competitors means having the right goals in place — here are time-tested action items to keep you focused

The top shop owners know one way of staying ahead of their competitors is by having the right goals in place, properly planning for the months and years ahead, and having a list of action items that will lead to their success.

As we are coming into the holiday season, and while many shop owners will be frantically trying to guess as to what the COVID and the economy are going to bring next, the industry leaders realize there are a number of fundamentals they can’t overlook.

Bob Cooper, Elite

Here’s a “checklist” of time-tested action items that will help you remain laser-focused. I would strongly encourage you to print a copy, and then check off each of the items once completed.

Start with the End in Mind. Set dates and times in your calendar to work on finalizing your long-term goals, your 2022 goals (along with the relative budgets), and your 2021 year-end goals.

Schedule your End-of-Year Team Meeting. During this meeting you’ll need to review 2021 and thank your team for all that they have done for you and your shop, and you’ll need to review your long-term goals, your 2022 goals and the goals you’ll have in place for the first quarter of 2022.

Put the Proper Rewards in Place. Consider any incentives you are able to put in place to better ensure you reach your year-end 2021 goals. These can be rewards for your entire team as well as individual performance goals for each employee. Remember, the behavior we get is the behavior
we reward.

Meet With Your Accountant. The top shop owners know that there are many decisions that need to be made before the end of the year that can have an incredible impact on their profits. This is one of the best ways of minimizing your tax liability and maximizing your profits at the same time. Accordingly, you need to meet with your account as soon as possible.

Finalize your Days and Hours of Operation for the Holiday Season. Once concluded, you need to ensure you have the dates and times post online, that your phone system carries the appropriate messages, and that you have emergency service plans in place for your customers that may need help during the holidays.

Finalize Your Holiday Gift Plans. Conclude as to any gifts you will be providing to your employees and specific customers. In doing so, don’t forget those delivery drivers as well. A little appreciation shown to the drivers will better ensure the service you receive during and after the holiday season is second to none.

Prepare to Recognize the Unsung Heroes. The holiday season provides you with a wonderful opportunity to show your appreciation to the first responders in your community, as well as your community hospitals. You may want to consider providing gift baskets, as well as placing display ads in local publications that express your appreciation for all that they do.

• Prepare to Visit Your Local Humane Societies & Animal Rescue Centers. Smiles will be everywhere if you make the holiday season a little brighter for our four-legged friends, and you will not be forgotten. Although financial contributions will always be well received, over the years I have found the best way of ensuring the animal have a nice holiday is by providing each of them with lasting treats, squeaky toys, etc.

Prepare for Holiday Charity Drives. There are countless organizations you can support during the holiday season, including organizations that help the homeless, those that provide toys to needy children, the elderly, and organizations such as those that are working toward cures for diseases.

Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite, a team of industry leading shop owners that helps other fellow shop owners take their businesses to new levels of success, reach their goals, and establish a work/life balance that leads to a higher quality of life. The company offers service advisor training, peer groups, and coaching and consulting services. You can learn more about Elite by visiting, or calling 800-204-3548.

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