You won’t be perfect. You’ll over-order a wine you’re sure will sell fast and watch it gather dust. You’ll have a slower month than you expect. But you can find a silver lining in clouds like these, and minimize their damage. [level-members]
The secret is to think long term. And that requires basing your long-term decision making on data, not your gut. Or worse, just doing what you’ve always done!
Take the time to understand how slow your slow months usually are so you can gauge whether January 2016 is bad even by slow-month standards, or actually pretty good. (Every month can’t be December …)
You should also know what constitutes a good month. December will always feel great, but if it’s only great compared to January, that might call for a different plan going forward than if it’s truly a typical or strong-for-December month.
You might also track what sells well in slow months. Can you devise a marketing plan to sell more of it? It’s always easier to sell what people are buying.
And track what sells, how quickly and whether you need to discount it to get it to move. You can’t always predict how the public will react, but you can spot trends and know not to buy so much Zin in the heat of summer even though you know it’s a great grilling wine. You can try to educate your customers, but if they don’t agree, you’re sitting on inventory until the weather turns and their tastes change to include those Zins.