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Who’s Tried a Morning Huddle?

Football players aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a pregame huddle to strategize and motivate. Many managers also call a morning huddle to get the day off to a good start. It’s a quick stand-up meeting—never lasting more than 10 or 15 minutes and ending 5 minutes before your store opens. The goal: to focus the whole team on what’s important that day—and get them excited to do well. (Does your store have a morning huddle? What works for you? E-mail us at It helps to devise a checklist of regular topics you cover. Some ideas:

Review the previous day: What went well; what didn’t? Are there any follow-ups to be done with customers or vendors? Any technical glitches to troubleshoot? Who will do what?

Share a few important metrics (customer visits, sales, etc.) and any goals for the day or week. Motivate the team to top that productivity.

Go over the schedule for the day, including pointe shoe fitting appointments, off-site studio visits or phone calls to return.

Establish that day’s particular priorities for any downtime, when no customers are waiting to be served. What special tasks should staff jump on—remerchandising a display, sorting out a backroom corner, posting on Instagram, cleaning, ordering new shopping bags?

Always end on a positive note. Celebrate specific successes and show confidence that there’ll be even more today.

Year-end Tax Tips

There’s a lot of tax-reform talk these days, and proposals are on the table. But final tax changes are still a ways off: Legislation must be drafted, passed by the House and the Senate and signed by the President. Despite the uncertainty, storeowners can still take actions before year-end to optimize their tax picture for 2017 and 2018. Turn to page 16 for expert advice from Barbara Weltman, author of the annual J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes.

Don’t Miss—the best policies when it comes to returns (and how to keep them to a minimum), tutus and ballet slippers your customers will love, and what pre-professionals wish stores would stock to give their dress-code looks a little personal pizzazz.


Photo by Nathan Sayers


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