Step 9 of #RetailChampion 10-Steps to Retail Success: Planning and Controlling

This blog introduces the nineth step, of the “10-steps to retail success“, Planning and Controlling. 10-steps to retail success is a process / methodology I’ve developed for my 1-2-1 mentoring clients. Over the past weeks / months I’ve been introducing each step with a little more detail, and this is the penultimate one… You’ll have to wait for the New Year for the last 🙂

Why Planning and Controlling?

This is all about staying informed, having your finger on the pulse and being armed with all the information you need to make effective and confidence decisions in your business.

Planning depends on access to key information; so there is a dependency on the IT (systems to capture data, reporting tools to provide information) being in place. IT is tackled in step 10, as IT is one of the back office functions.

What do you need to consider when it comes to planning and controlling?

There is a long list of things you need to include in your planning and controlling – as outlined below. When I work with my clients I’ve developed templates for all of these areas, which they have access to through You can of course develop your own.

  • Business Plan / Income and expenditure plan
  • Cash Flow Plan
  • Range Plan
  • WSSI (weekly sales, stock and intake plan)
  • Promotional calendar and marketing plan
  • Supplier delivery schedule
  • Store opening checklist …. etc!

How to use your plans once you’ve created them

Creating plans is only of any value if you then actually use them! You need to monitor actual business performance compared to plan. If you do you will create an “early warning system” for your business. You will notice if performance begins to deviate from plan and the roll-forward nature of the plan will enable you to identify if that is likely to be a problem, and, when.

Using this you can take action to address potential problems before things spiral out of control. Remember, if your cash flow shows you that you’ll not be able to make the next quarter rent payment in full, but could pay 50% this month, 50% next, the landlord is going to be much more accommodating if you can warn them about the issue up-front and propose that you’ll offer split payment then if you simply fail to pay on the due date!

Introducing Step 10 of the 10-steps to retail success – Back Office (HR, Legal, Finance and IT)

In the next blog about the 10 steps to retail success (which will be after Christmas and in the New Year now) I’ll be introducing step 10, Back Office. If you can’t wait then don’t forget that I’m also offering the “Be a retail champion by next year” programme, which includes 52 FREE weekly retail tips by email.

To sign up for that visit

About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
This entry was posted in 10 steps to retail success, planning and controlling, Retail Strategy, robust repeatable processes, saleable business, scalable and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Step 9 of #RetailChampion 10-Steps to Retail Success: Planning and Controlling

  1. Pingback: Introducing the #RetailChampion 10-steps to retail success… | Clare Rayner: The Retail Champion

  2. Pingback: Is there hope for the small independent retailer? #indieretail | Independent Retail

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