Leading by Example is a Core Principle

Leading by example is a core principle for many, but not for all!

Here’s a really old story about a Retail General Manager who liked to follow hot stories of the day…and spent a lot of time watching TV.

So, what does that have to do with leading by example?

Well, it just so happens that the General Manager we’re talking about was in charge of a chain of electronics stores.

In every store he visited across the country, he found a wall of TV’s on during open hours.

If you remember the O.J. Simpson trial, you will recall that there was non-stop coverage and it went on for the better part of a year.

For those of you who don’t remember, he was on trial for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

It was the trial of the century and everyone was talking about it.

Millions were watching it play out on TV.
One of those people was the GM in this story. In every store he visited, he spent most of his time watching the coverage on TV.

Apparently, the stories that went around from store to store were hysterical. Needless to say, respect for this GM plummeted and it was difficult to take him seriously.

The Regional and National Managers he traveled with were aghast!

Imagine being the leader of several hundred employees and spending that much time watching TV while you are supposed to be working for the company…while you are supposed to be managing and developing people and motivating sales teams!

Of course, his subordinates still treated him properly and did their jobs but there is no possible way that an example like this wouldn’t have a negative impact somewhere along the line.

It’s one of those things, those intangibles that are difficult to spot and quantify, but you just know it’s not good for business.

He became a legend in the company…for all the wrong reasons.

So, if you’re ever tempted to relax or be a little too casual or comfortable while in stores…remember the O.J. Simpson trial and think better of it.

People need good examples to follow.

What Do You Think About Minimum Wage Increases?

We’re inviting you to tell us what you think about the proposed increases to minimum wage.

Please comment. Thanks.

The Manager is Drunk and the Store is Flooded!

Retail Managers have heard a lot of crazy things…

• 90% of my staff just walked out!
• Employees are stealing!
• My Assistant Manager left the country!
• A customer locked himself in the washroom!

None of the above events are unheard of. None of them are out of the realm of possibility, right?

In fact, most of them have probably happened and some poor, unsuspecting Manager has been on the receiving end of the frantic call and said

“You can’t be serious.”

But, of course, the Store Manager was serious and someone had to cope with the fallout, clean up…whatever. Yikes!!

The Multi-Unit Manager’s job is not without it’s challenges. Some of them manageable or even preventable…and some of them aren’t.

Managing remotely is one of the biggest challenges facing us because our stores are spread out and we cannot always get to them as often as we would like.

There are Multi-Unit Managers who are promoted from Store Management and there are others who come into the job some other way.

Which is best? Well, that depends on many things.

Today, let’s look at the person who was promoted after managing a store.

Chances are pretty good that the person was a really, really good Store Manager. Most companies are not in the habit of promoting people who don’t do a good job.

We promote our fabulous Store Manager…the one who always (or at least the majority of the time) does the numbers…makes the targets…has great KPI’s, can always be counted on for well thought out opinions about policies and procedures, etc.

His store always looks fantastic – the staff are well put together, professional top performers and so on and so on.

It needs to be understood that the fabulous Store Manager we’re talking about did not achieve any of the above by working 35 or even 40 hour weeks.

He just didn’t.

If you’re in retail, and we assume you are, you’re probably smiling right now because you know very well he didn’t.

Retail stores are busy places and, of course, that’s what we want.

Busy places that are open to the public for the majority of every day, have a lot of things going on…lots happening all the time.

Between selling, servicing customers, getting merchandise onto the floor, cleaning, receiving, reporting, recruiting, hiring and training and tons of other things, there’s not a lot of time to relax, reflect and correct.

There’s not a lot of time for the Manager to simply manage…to delegate and coach and follow up. There’s no time to sort through the inbox…no office door to close and ‘get some work done’.

The ‘work’ is in the store and on the floor. That’s where it happens.

Of course, the Manager is required to do some delegating and coaching because that’s just part of the job.

But the job is much too big for that to be enough.

Unless the Store Manager has the luxury of extra personnel due to, perhaps, flagship status, insanely high volume or something like that, then he is working more like 50+ hours per week.

That’s not even counting the really busy weeks in peak season or the times when new merchandise or seasonal layouts happen, etc.

The point of all of this is to make one thing perfectly clear. That is, a fabulous Store Manager does not necessarily make a fabulous Multi-Unit Manager. Of course, he might…it’s just not something we should take for granted.

In fact, that Manager may not even make a good Multi-Unit Manager.
And, here’s why…

He is not there. He’s missing because he has other places to be.

He’s managing remotely.

There is a world of difference between

1) managing a store team that is working alongside of you for 50+ hours a week, getting everything done under your watchful eye


2) managing a group of store teams scattered around geographically

Multi-Unit Managers are just one of the groups who would benefit from attending a retail management workshop.

The Sweaty Server

Clearly, the company in this story did NOT make High-Yield Schedules.

The operation seemed OK, generally speaking…but why was this poor guy soaked with sweat?

Most of our stories are about regular retailers. But, every so often, we hear a story about a spa or salon, a restaurant or some other type of service outlet that we think is worth passing along.

The point to the story, below, is that scheduling is an integral part of running any operation that is serving the public in some way.

In fact, the schedule is the backbone of the business and there is only one person who should be in control of it and held accountable for it. That person is the Manager.

Here’s the story:

When the couple arrived at a local restaurant to have a late lunch before a movie, they were greeted politely and seated quickly.

Unfortunately, that is where the efficiency ended.

The server showed up quite a few minutes later and here is how the couple described him:
A pleasant young guy with messy hair and a totally sweat soaked brown shirt.

Ok, so this sweaty server asked if they wanted drinks and they did…so off he went to get them.

About 15 minutes later – no exaggeration – he came back with the drinks and took their food order.

Another 10 minutes passed, and the appetizer showed up. Another 10 and the meal showed up.

The couple had a lot of time to look around; to observe what was going on.

Clearly, there weren’t enough servers. Perhaps they were also short on bartenders, cooks and bussers.

The ‘why’ doesn’t really matter, does it?

The place was reasonably busy – not crazy busy – and if they had optimum staffing, they could have taken time to upsell and add on to increase the average check for the day.

As it was, in the rather large section they were seated in, this poor sweaty server guy was running around trying to look after everyone and although he did as well as could be expected, it was very obvious that he was working at a frenzied clip that couldn’t be maintained for long.

To his credit, he didn’t whine and complain or huff and puff… he just took care of business like the solid, committed server he was. The establishment was lucky to have him.

Unfortunately, there’s only so much one guy can do. When one person is doing the job of several, some things are going to fall through the cracks.

The schedule was either badly produced in the first place or management failed to revisit it appropriately.

Maybe both.

Whatever the reason, the coverage was no good and if the coverage is no good…no one wins.

When you think about all that has to be considered when making schedules, such as Budgeted Sales, Allowable Hours, Allowable Wage $ and Wage Cost %, and Last Year’s Actual Sales and Actual Hours Used, Wage $ Used and Actual Wage Cost % along with Full Time, Part Time and Full Time Equivalents, Events – both public and company sponsored, Open Hours, Online Shopping Changes TY from LY, Average % of Business per Day, Associate Stats like Sales Per Hour and Conversion Rate, Heavy Task Days and the not insignificant factor which is Staff Availability, scheduling is no easy task.

Nothing is ever as easy as it sounds, right?

Producing, Costing and Supervising High-Yield Schedules Takes Know How and We Have It!

Scheduling fewer people and using fewer hours is not the way to more success in your business.

There are times when it may seem like a good idea to skimp here and there…save a little without really harming customer service levels…

Don’t be tempted! It’s a trick! A High-Yield Schedule gets you more to work with, not less!

Mickey Mouse Store Visits

You know what that means.

Mickey Mouse store visits are not serious, don’t advance the business, don’t develop managers, etc. Except for (possibly) a momentary, tiny motivational bump, Mickey Mouse store visits are useless.

Why, then, are there so many people visiting stores, restaurants and service outlets with no plan…with no process? It is a critical business function and must be taken seriously.

With all due respect to Mickey and his friends, he is a cartoon character…a fantasy. He is all about fun and games and making kids laugh and he does a great job of that.

Mickey Mouse is not real.

We’re not suggesting that visiting management personnel aren’t serious, or that they are living in a fantasy world. Only that without a predetermined plan and focus that is properly executed at store level, things will go off track quickly. It’s human nature – people get distracted by the ‘thing’ or supposed ‘crisis’ of the moment.

The truth is…

Although rarely referred to as such, the Mickey Mouse store visit is much more common than anyone would like to admit.

What makes that so is lack of process.

Anyone who visits retail outlets…or has experience in that area, will know that visits often just ‘go with the flow’. Completely. And they know how easily it happens; not something that’s planned.

But ‘going with the flow’ makes it next to impossible to ensure that issues are addressed, people are developed and targets are achieved.

Even the most competent RM or DM should be able to rely on some type of road map when it comes to staying on top of the incredible amount of detail involved in the operation of a well run and profitable store.

We can certainly agree that some store visits need to be purely about motivation and ‘going with the flow’ just to get the feel of what’s going on…to get to know how the staff are doing…to lift people up. That is one of the jobs of a RM or DM.

Even still, though, certain things must be planned for and accomplished. Certain parts of the visit can be free flowing – but not all.

Managing by the ‘seat of the pants’ is never desirable.

Topics, details, specifics, time allotments and action plans may vary depending on the particular type of visit but…

The MAX ROI Store Visit process should be followed for every… single… visit.

We have limited spots still available.

Sign up today!

‘MAX ROI STORE VISITS’ (Total: 6 HOURS – Two 3-hour sessions)

(You get the presentation sent to your email whether you attend or not.)

Conducting Informal and Formal Store Visits that Produce Winning Results Takes Know How!

With the benefit of this online workshop, your approach to this critical business function will change for the better.

When you engage in this process properly, the difference is like going from night to day…from rags to riches…from losses to profits!!

In this online workshop, we present a focused approach to the MAX ROI Store Visit process that is productive and rewarding for everyone.

When there is a relentless focus on sales and profitability, customer service, people development, succession planning, vendor reviews, aged inventory, sign packages, product and presentation, safety and loss prevention, and so many other things…important things… then everyone feels a sense of accomplishment and they’re ready to confidently and happily move forward with action plan items.

Important note: If you sign up you get the presentation sent to your email whether you attend or not.)

Chances are you’re not experiencing losses but if you’re not following this method for Store Visits, then you are not profiting as much as you could be.

This is no joke…no gimmick.

MAX ROI Store Visits are the only way to go. The method is easy to replicate, store after store…time after time.

A full day’s work can produce results far and beyond the day!!

Remember, The Store Visit is a critical business function and should be regarded as such.

Properly executed store visits following this method are going to give you positive results. They are going to advance the business.

That’s worth some extra time and effort, isn’t it?

Join us for the online workshop ‘MAX ROI Store Visits’
and take a new look at how store visits can provide a 25% higher ROI every time.

Renew the focus on the importance of this critical business function:

The Store Visit


MAX ROI STORE VISITS will be the only kind you’ll ever have when you start using this
Technique, Method, Approach, Process, Mode, Plan of Action

Whatever you want to call it…it works.

Once you start doing this, you’ll never get mediocre results again.

Drive Productivity to new heights in your retail organization. Join us for this special presentation…

Remember…You get the presentation sent to your email whether you attend or not.

This affordable, time and travel saving 6 hour program (3 hours on Tuesday and 3 hours on Thursday) is jam-packed with everything needed to get the MAX ROI on every store visit and ensure that all store visits produce a positive result …because time is money!

Every single store visit should be expected to yield quantifiable results; to move the business forward to some degree, otherwise, it is strictly a social visit.

In this workshop, we demonstrate how properly executed Store Visits will produce positive and quantifiable results every time.


Click here for Details and/or to Register for the Online Workshop $295 ›

(You get the presentation sent to your email whether you attend or not.)


Biggest DM Challenge

The Biggest Challenge in Multi-Unit Management?

Doing it all without being present!
Doing it all remotely.
That is the biggest challenge…hands down!

Don’t be the Last Person to Find out the Single, Most Critical
Thing a Smart and Successful Multi-Unit Manager Needs to Do
To Get Outstanding Results…and What the Business Owner
or CEO Needs to do to Help.

The job of a Multi-Unit Manager is a tough one…no argument here.

They have to make the numbers happen and their stores must comply with all of the requirements set out by the organization.

Sales, merchandising, customer service, maintenance, scheduling, special event management… and so much more…are all their responsibility!

Actually, all of that might be easy if they were in the store with the Store Managers and the Associates every day.

But, of course, they’re not.

That’s the mighty challenge!

Managing remotely requires them to be even better than they were when they were top performing Store or Business Unit Managers.

Managing from afar is very different.

Phone calls and videos are great but no matter how much time a Multi-Unit Manager spends on the sales floor in each of their stores, it’s still not the same as one manager being in one store for 40 – 60 hours a week; pouring all of their effort and energy into the success of one business unit.

Not even close.

In fact, managing remotely is considered by many to be the single, biggest hurdle for any newly promoted Multi-Unit Manager to overcome.

Ignore this fact and you’re asking for trouble. Why?

Because, even though they’re not there (because it’s impossible to be everywhere), they are still accountable and you can’t let them off the hook. Not being there is no excuse for anything and no self-respecting Multi-Unit Manager will try to use absence as an excuse for lack of performance.

Well…maybe once.

Needless to say, it would not and should not go over well!

Usually, the District Manager is accountable for the district. The Regional Manager is accountable for the region. And on and on..that’s how it works.

The individuals holding these important, highly influential Multi-Unit Management positions must get the ‘numbers’…they must achieve targets and operate the stores effectively overall.

That’s it! End of story!

Because the in-person workshop was so highly rated, we decided to offer it online, for only a third of the price and zero travel expenses.

And, because this online workshop is done over 4 sessions, it won’t lead to scheduling issues.

Even if there is a conflict, we send the presentation and recording to your email so you don’t miss out.

Here’s what participants had to say:

“Illuminating, challenging and entertaining.”
~Amanda R., Retail Business Owner

“Very good information, gave many tools to be a very successful DM.”
~Leland W., District Manager

“It was informative on key pieces of the DM role.”
~Alissa B., Corporate Trainer

“Great! Felt, after an hour on the first day, that it was well worth my time away from the store.”
~Kim H., Sr. Store Manager

“I think this class has made me a better DM. I can put a lot of the systems I saw into play in my stores.”
~Calvin D., District Manager

“I think this workshop was perfect for our company. The way we are growing, I truly felt that we needed to structure the DM position. This workshop has given us the tools to do so.”
~Nick G. District Manager

“I enjoyed/learned from your experiences and it is important to learn from workshops like yours because we do not have the time to learn all these things on our own. Stand on the shoulders of giants!”
~Bill G. District Manager

“I think this workshop provides tremendous insights from the DM position to Home Office and into Stores. I appreciated the wide range of topics covered. I feel more empowered to take decisive action with my team.”
~Kerry T. District Manager

This affordable, time and travel saving 8-hour online workshop
(2 hours on four different days in October) is jam-packed with what you need to be your best at MAX Multi-Unit Management.

What you’ll like about this online workshop:

• Your Comfort
• Privacy of Your Home or Office
• Affordability
• Time Saving
• Travel Expense Saving
• Participate as Much or as Little as you Like
• Engaging Presentation
• Open Forum to Discuss with Other Participants and the Instructor
• Actionable Take Awayshttps://sowl.co/bTNHl
• Detailed Multi-Unit Case Study
• Action Strategies Guide & Workbook
• Maximum Performance Goal Planner

(Important note: All of the above sent to your email whether you attend or not.)

Space will be limited during this live and interactive online workshop so everyone who wants to speak up can do so.


MAX Multi-Unit Management
Online Workshop

Total: 8 HOURS

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

4 Online Sessions
Each Session runs from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST.

Important Note: You get the presentation sent to your email whether you attend or not.

Click here to register for the MAX Multi-Unit Management Online Workshop – $495 per person.


Remember…You get the presentation sent to your email whether you attend or not.

Ideal for:
• District and Regional Managers
• General Managers
• Store Managers Ready for Promotion
• High Volume Flagship Managers
• All Retail Managers

We want to attend..what do I do now? Click here.
Send an email to Johill@dmsretail.com if you have questions.

Firefighter Visits

Firefighter Store Visits.

You know…the visits where the Regional, District or Area Manager spends more time on the phone with others than they spend with the Store Manager and sales team of the store they’re in.

Firefighter Store Visits are NOT Productive Visits!
(Click here and learn how to avoid Firefighter Store Visits!)

Most career retail people have witnessed the ‘Crazed District Manager’ in action; always moving fast, talking to two and, sometimes, three people at a time and not making a lot of headway.

They’re always in a sweat and their briefcase is seriously overloaded…files and papers poking out all over the place.

Their hair is flying, they’re always checking their watch…and they almost trip over small children while rushing through the mall.

To the casual observer, this appears to be one very busy and productive individual. Well, maybe not so much but we’ll leave that for another day.

In any case, this is not the picture of the District, Regional or Area Manager who gets caught up in Firefighter Store Visits.

The ones we’re talking about are not moving too fast and they’re not crazed or confused. They’re pretty normal people, actually.

They don’t start out with the intention of ignoring the store they’re in, but somehow it always happens. And it frustrates them just as much as it frustrates the Store Manager.

But, there are problems everywhere, every day, every hour – urgent issues and problems and crises – that need the immediate attention of the District Manager…right?

The answer is:
No…not everywhere, not every day, not every hour.

to sign up for MAX ROI Store Visits
Online Workshop

September 17th and September 19th

Chances are really good that, barring some special event or major upheaval in the company, there aren’t all that many things happening that require the urgent and undivided attention of the RM or DM every hour of every day…everywhere.

Some, of course, but not that many.

There are situations that could be described as emergencies but many more that could be described as imagined emergencies and, worse, simply distractions.

The distinction depends on a few things.

One of those things is the management style of the District or Regional Manager and the expectations that have been set.

Some of those trying to get their attention could probably handle whatever it is on their own provided the RM or DM has given them the know-how and the authority to do so.

At DMSRetail, we’re strong advocates of true empowerment…which should not be confused with the old “empowerment for all” claim.

You might remember a time, just a few years ago, when every employee had to feel empowered. Courses were taught and every employee was strongly encouraged to be empowered.

If your employees weren’t empowered…well…you were just not running your company properly.

The only problem was that it was fake…disingenuous…artificial if you get my drift!

Every time a so-called empowered employee made a mistake, the wrath of some manager came down on them and taught them – very clearly – that they were not truly empowered.

Anyway, the point is that the position of Store Manager is an important one. It is a position that requires a truly empowered employee to make decisions, fix things that go wrong, drive the business with everything he’s got and, generally, look to their superior for support, some guidance, some professional development and a little help in removing obstacles to success.

Truly empowered employees do not call the boss every five minutes because there is no need to do so. When this employee calls, it’s understood that there’s a good reason for it.


Total: 6 HOURS

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019
3 Hour Session: 1 – 4 p.m. Eastern

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019
3 Hour Session: 1 – 4 p.m. Eastern
(You get the presentation sent to your email whether
you attend or not.)

Conducting Informal and Formal Store Visits that Produce Winning Results Takes Know How!

If a Store Manager is new, they may need more guidance. Then again, they might be able to get that guidance from colleagues or, perhaps, a book. You never know.

Their immediate superior should not necessarily be the very first person to contact whenever something comes up. If they have taught their subordinates to contact them for every little thing, then they are always going to conduct Firefighter Store Visits.

RMs and DMs have to ensure all of their Store Managers understand what a crisis is so they can identify one when it occurs… and act accordingly.

Regional, District and Area Managers and anyone else who is responsible for managing a group of outlets must be disciplined and avoid distractions.

Firefighter Store Visits can be a thing of the past when you follow the MAX ROI Store Visit process.

Although the topics, details, specifics, time allotments and action plans will vary depending on what you need to accomplish…

The MAX ROI Store Visit process should be followed for  every… single… visit.

Sign up today!


Total: 6 HOURS

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019
3 Hour Session: 1 – 4 p.m. Eastern

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019
3 Hour Session: 1 – 4 p.m. Eastern

(You get the presentation sent to your email whether
you attend or not.)

Conducting Informal and Formal Store Visits that Produce Winning Results Takes Know How!


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