What? Christmas? Yup, it’s not that far away, and if you haven’t looked at the calendar it falls on Thursday this year. So what? Well, if you’re a shop owner you will probably give little thought about the Friday after Christmas until sometime late in December when an employee asks, “Hey boss, are we open or closed on the Friday after Christmas?” At that point it will be too late to make a good decision. If you decide not to close you will most likely aggravate some, if not most, of your employees (who will forever label you as “Scrooge”). Your customers will not have had enough warning and many will expect you to be closed. Your vendors will not know what your needs will be for that day and your entire staff will be irritable that day.
On the other hand, if you decide to close you will be faced with another quandary. Do you pay or not pay your staff for the time off? Some employees would like the day off either way. However, some may be on a tighter budget and closing without pay could present a hardship. These are the employees who will tell you to stay open.
Some of you will be open no matter what, and I respect that. However, if you are on the fence, I have a suggestion that actually takes the decision and stress out of your hands, and all it takes is a little effort on your part now. A simple calculation to determine an average day’s sales will give you a number that represents the sales loss if you choose to close. Agree? Then what you can do is take that number and add it to your sales goals for the months of September, October and November (so if an average day’s sales is $6,000, you would add $2,000 to the September sales goal, $2,000 to the October sales goal and $2,000 to the November sales goal). If you hit those sales goals, and have essentially covered the cost of closing, on December 1st you can announce to your staff and your customers that you will be closed on December 26th. If the sales goals are not met, then the shop will be open on the 26th.
The other holidays do not have the same seasonal effect. No one really minds coming in on Thursday when the 4th of July is on Wednesday. Of course, New Year’s day will be on Thursday also, so should you close on that Friday????? Hmmm.
This article was contributed by Jim Piraino, a past superstar shop owner who now helps other shop owners 1-on-1 through the Elite Coaching Program.