Find out how this retail business owner took his floundering stores from scary, under performing money pits to glorious cash cows and moved into the Number 1 position in their category for Biggest Sales Increase overall and for Average Sale Per Customer, in 93% of their locations, in just one year.
When I first heard his story, I must say I was awe struck, amazed and, yes, maybe just a little skeptical.
This was pretty serious stuff.
To get to how this all happened, let’s draw back the weighted velvet curtain and try to understand what was going down in this guy’s stores when he first realized he was losing the battle…losing his clarity of thinking, his previously unshakeable motivation, tons of customers and, most definitely, his money.
I mean, at the rate he was going, he’d be labouring in his stores for most of his waking hours for the rest of his natural born days just to end up living on average income.
And that would have been the best case scenario.
Fair enough if that’s what he wanted… but he didn’t. Far from it!
He started his chain of stores so he could make more than an average living and, once they were turning a profit, he thought he might even have extra money, and time, to enjoy some luxuries with his family and friends and, maybe, put a nest egg away for a rainy day.
He thought he might like a little of the prestige that naturally comes with being the owner of a fine, reputable and successful chain of retail stores.
Oh, and he absolutely lusted after a summer house on a nearby lake – he spoke about it passionately every chance he got.
That was reason enough to want to get a tidy profit out of his business.
And, the sooner, the better.
Although his partner didn’t know a thing about it, he had already had blueprints drawn up.
He had a realtor keeping an eye out for just the right property.
He had even spoken with landscapers and interior designers.
This summer house – on beachfront property – was going to be a thing of beauty.
It was going to be his reward and a gift to his family for all of the hours that he’d worked; missing special occasions, etc.
He just knew that this was going to be the crowning glory … his reason for his life’s work.
He imagined the family gatherings; the long, warm weekends of fun in the sun.
He even amused himself by dreaming up names for the boat!
He could picture every tree and flowering shrub that they would painstakingly plant and nurture…and every ripple on the water.
He could sniff the aroma of the steaming coffee and freshly baked pastries sitting on the oak table that graced the porch with the beautiful lacy gingerbread woodwork at every corner.
He could hear the waves crashing against the shore when a storm blew in.
Ah, yes! He knew what he wanted.
For him, all of this sounded not only fabulous, but reasonable as well.
Power to the entrepreneur!
After all, when you are the business owner and your money is on the line, you should reap the rewards…you are the one jumping from the fat in the frying pan into the fire and back again!!
You are the one who is taking all the risks and enduring the hardships.
So, don’t ever lower your expectations just because your stores are not performing the way you imagined they would.
No way. You go for it with gusto, Retail King!
You make those cash registers and POS machines sing …
If it’s not happening for you yet, the only questions you should be asking are…
What do I need to do?
How do I do it?
OK, let’s roll it back to where this guy’s success story really got started.The very moment, in fact.
It was a moment when he was dog tired, with aching feet and a list of ‘to do’s’ that he hadn’t even started yet.
He had just put his hat on his head…the hat that he used to cover the crazed Einstein-like hair style that he was sporting simply because he couldn’t find time to visit his barber.
In other words, he was going home for the night, thoroughly exhausted….again.
A staff member all but accosted him at the door as he was leaving and started blabbering on about something or other.
Our guy was trying hard to understand.
He had to actually try to understand because it was so trivial, so unimportant, that instead of really listening he noticeably tilted his head to one side and tried to figure out why this staff member was moving his lips and making noise over something so ridiculous.
He recalled, later, that he had truly been in a trance-like state; unable to comprehend what was going on for at least a few seconds.
He wondered, out loud, what would happen if this person just shut his mouth and took care of whatever it was he was yapping about.
This really was unlike our guy and the employee thought something terrible was about to happen – that the owner was going to faint or have a fit or something along those lines.
Our retail business owner finally spoke again.
He said that he suddenly felt like he had all the monkeys on his shoulders.
What? Monkeys? What the heck………..?
Not surprisingly, those nearby thought perhaps he’d finally lost his mind. But, they kept quiet.
You’ve probably heard the expressions about putting the monkey on someone else’ shoulder.
It happens all the time…people easily unload their issues onto someone else – someone who is willing – and until that someone says stop, they just keep taking on more and more.
Our guy realized that some of the monkeys represented staff members and some represented issues.
Some were heavier than others but there they all were…happily sitting atop his shoulders, weighing him down.
His staff, of course being free of any weight of any monkeys (problems or issues) whatsoever, just went about their business accomplishing very little or nothing at all.
“How on earth did I let this happen? How did I get here?” he exclaimed.
And the answer slammed him over the head and almost knocked him over.
He felt like he’d been whacked with a blunt instrument.
There’s a game called Whack – a – Mole…and, in this case, it’s Whack – an – Owner.
Anyway, at that precise moment, he got it… that he had unwittingly invited every problem, every issue, however important or insignificant, to be his and his alone.
He realized he was completely and totally responsible for their lack of sales and profits.
He did it by accident but he had done it all on his own accord; by his own free will.
He was a great guy and knew a lot about retail and about business in general.
He, seemingly, expected nothing of anyone.
And, they all lived up to his expectations!
That was a terrifyingly accurate admission and moment of truth and reflection.
The brutal acknowledgement and the stunning clarity of that moment steered him onto a new path where even fear of the unknown couldn’t stop him from altering the course of his life for the better.
By the way, our guy is not unusual.
This same problem is plaguing lots of business owners out there today.
No performance expectations – no prosperity.
Or, perhaps, it would be more accurate to say no accountability – no prosperity.
It seems so much easier to handle things yourself than to delegate, train, set performance expectations, hold people accountable, manage performance, etc.
But, in fact, it is the worst possible course of action an entrepreneur can take.
It’s the worst possible remedy for any malady of the entrepreneur.
The saying “Git ‘er done.” doesn’t mean you should get it all done by yourself.
Certainly, not if you don’t have to.
How long can that go on?
At what point is it no longer feasible?
The small to medium retail business cannot get bigger and better with only one person thinking and problem solving – even a very important, very smart and very dedicated person – while everyone else just wanders around doing tasks and other little jobs but never contributing in a major way.
You can’t smash targets to smithereens when you don’t really expect to, or plan to.
And, you can’t smoke the numbers when you haven’t even set them and haven’t developed a compensation plan to reward that accomplishment.
You can’t pull, drag and stretch the very best out of all of your people when you have your little head – albeit a very important head – buried in some inconsequential task or the other.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Anyway, back to our guy’s story.
Here’s what happened next.
He first carved out some time to figure out what his new understanding meant in terms of his business, his people, etc.
You remember the monkeys, right? Well, clearly, they had to go and he made short work of that!
He realized that things would have to change – and change big time – for him to get where he wanted to be.
However, because he was not a stupid man he realized, very quickly that he was going to need some help.
So he set out to find some help.
He sought wisdom.
He talked to a lot of people, read books, solicited advice from other business owners.
He spent time reading and re-reading his most valuable and important resources.
He listened to DVD’s on Sales and Performance Management, Hiring and Training, Leadership, Time Management and Communication, and myriad other subjects that were to prove instrumental in his business, and life, turn around.
In the final analysis, as the result of his studies, he determined there was one thing he could hang his hat on – individual performance.
The performance of his staff members would be the key to the success of his business and it was really the only thing that mattered.
You may wonder what actions he actually took with regard to his store staff…
Well, he explained everything to his teams.
He communicated well and often and kept them in the loop as much as he possibly could.
He set targets for each individual in his stores.
They were tough targets – not out of reach, of course because we already told you he was not a stupid man – but tough enough to make people strive for the glory of achievement, the thunder of applause and the halo of recognition.
He followed resource materials that had been written by successful retailers with much experience.
He had sought wisdom and he was not disappointed.
Most of his people accepted the targets readily because, at the same time, a new compensation plan was unveiled.
It was a compensation plan designed to work hand in hand with the new targets.
Of course, some staff members liked the old way of just doing tasks and not actively selling to anyone and, eventually, they had to move on and find new employment more suited to them.
Bye-bye…we really liked you but seeing as you are L-A-Z-Y and have to leave, we hope you don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out!
But the majority of his associates – particularly the go-getters and the ones who saw that the rewards were not only fair but really rather good – stayed and prospered.
This was now a place for winners, for performers.
They liked that.
There is a saying that goes ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’ (author unknown).
And it points out the relationship between employer and employee.
If I, as the employee, am given great rewards for my performance then my performance, the fruits of which accrue to my employer as well, should also be great.
This is only fair.
Our guy had to continue to learn and grow to fully understand how this new way of doing things was going to work out.
He had to make sure he was hiring performance oriented people who had customer service top of mind also.
He had to train them, manage them, communicate with them and just generally be good at driving the business, setting the direction and helping everyone by removing obstacles.
He needed enthusiastic, engaged employees with the business top of mind at all times.
He became an extraordinary leader who developed people to become even better than he was (yes, that is a great thing to do and you should do it too) and his business yielded enough profit for him to realize his dreams.
Now he has considerably more time to spend with his family and friends.
In fact, on most holidays you’ll find him quietly celebrating his good fortune looking out over the picturesque lake that his summer house is situated on.
Every time I think of his success story, I feel uplifted and grateful that I know him and was able to have a part in it.
Really, this guy was on the verge of disaster, though he didn’t know how close he was.
His stores were going to close and he was going to get some ridiculously low number of pennies on the dollar for his inventory, his fixtures, and any other assets.
His real estate was going to go on the block and be sold for a song. All of his staff would be unemployed. Things would go from bad to worse.
It didn’t seem fair because he was a really good guy who meant well and worked his fingers to the bone.
But, he didn’t know how to manage the business he was in. He didn’t know what he didn’t know.
Oh sure, he knew real estate and he could ferret out decent locations and establish nice looking stores.
He was a skilled buyer, knowing what merchandise to pick out when he was on his unavoidably expensive buying trips.
He had the gift of the gab and knew, very well, how to talk to the investors to get his next store, and his next and so on.
But, eventually, the wheels were going to fall off because the stores were not performing.
They just weren’t.
And by that, of course, we mean that the people working in the stores were not performing.
You do not, and cannot, continue on in a retail business if the stores are not performing.
It is only a matter of time until the wolf is howling at the door.
This is true of any business.
And so, you must agree, that it was extremely fortunate for him that he was stopped by that one bumbling staff member that day who started saying “blah, blah, blah” because that’s what finally woke him up; made him face his situation and forced him to make changes.
And, as they say, the rest is history.
Do you know anyone who is in the same predicament?
There are quite a few of them, actually.
Just meander through any shopping mall or centre will show you who is winning and who isn’t.
Now, what if I told you that our guys end result – the extra revenue and profits, leading to the great lifestyle, the summer house, and extra time, etc.- wasn’t all that difficult to achieve?
Or, that we basically bottled the formula and are making it available to other retail business owners.
That was just a figure of speech. It‘s not really in a bottle…it comes in the form of Success Guides, Tools and DVD’s.
Every bit of the Retail Business Academy is highly relevant to everything a retailer does every day. It’s full of books, tools and DVD’s…and tons more stuff (detailed below) that you’ll pour over every day.
Among the materials packed in this prodigious resource you’ll find some serious retail operations management advice and instruction; the kind of stuff he was very much in need of.
He was like a sponge and he absorbed it all.
He got all the Retail Math, Metrics and Key Performance Indicator knowledge he was ever going to need. You too, unless you’re planning on a career in high finance.
You’ll get a simple…and I do mean simple…Retail Employee Evaluation System.
Maybe we should have put it in a black and yellow cover and called it retail employee evaluation system for Dummies…but we didn’t.
We just called it ‘I Succeed’.
It’s quick and easy to use and the reason for that is…duh! because people need quick and easy evaluations …. often. Save the big long, drawn out piece of work for the end of the year and the Human Resources people.
There’s a Store Manager’s Organizer/Planner to keep retail managers organized in a way that no other organizer can because it’s made for a retailer.
The first clue is that appointment slots don’t end at 5:00 p.m.!
And, you can print as many copies as you need for your Store Managers…every year.
There’s some strong advice and warnings related to interviewing, hiring and training.
Our guy learned all about canned questions.
Some people are veteran interviewees and they can skillfully answer any canned question because they have heard them so many times before and they know which answers work.
Of course, there are never any guarantees when hiring.
We have all been surprised from time to time but there certainly are ways to get just a little more information that will help you understand the person who will be in your stores working with your customers.
Long story short…avoid canned questions.
The resource material that our guy used laid out the real questions – the questions that will force the candidate to reach down and come up with a genuine answer that is unique to him or her…not just what they think you want to hear.
For your listening pleasure, there’s a Collection of DVDs with hard hitting information on just about every retail subject you can think of.
They come in digital format, too.
In the Retailer’s Guide to Emotional Hot Buttons, there’s some mighty interesting information about pushing emotional hot buttons to sell more merchandise.
Now, that’s a good read!
And there’s a book about characteristics and ‘ways’ or ‘secrets’ of a highly successful retail manager called 22 Ways of Highly Successful Retail Managers.
This one’s worth its weight in gold and our guy studied it until he pretty much had it memorized.
The Retail Business Academy is meant for every retail business owner and retail manager.
In fact, this story had a happily-ever-after ending because the wisdom our guy sought came from the Retail Business Academy.
What you need to do to avoid the situation our guy found himself in early on, and to make sure you prosper the way our guy did later on, is get yourself a Platinum Membership in the Retail Business Academy.
It is priced at a mere fraction of the value you will get out of it.
Make your own happy ending.
“It is during the bad times that the skilled manager lays firm foundations for future growth.”
~Konosuke Matsushita, Founder, Panasonic
More DMSRetail Resources for your training library…
Management Success Books
• Retail Math Made Simple
• 22 Ways of Highly Successful Retail Managers
• Managing for Higher Retail Success
• Customer Service Fundamentals
• Retailers Guide to Emotional Hot Buttons
• Winning at Store Management
Management Success Tools
• ‘I Succeed’
• Retail Employee Evaluation System
• Store Manager’s Planner/Organizer
Self Study Courses
Retail Math Resources
The Ultimate Retail Success Collection is a huge compilation of all of our Success Guides, Tools, DVD’s, Self Study Programs, Bonuses and more. Check it out here.
Give the gift of knowledge this holiday season with the Retail Business Academy!
Right now, buy 1 membership and we’ll give you 5 more free!
Before you say that’s too good to be true…please let me explain.
DMSRetail has been helping retailers for 25 years. We love what we do.
We know that, for every roadblock to success, there is a way around it. We have the knowledge and insight to help you navigate around any and all roadblocks and we are making a very special offer to our subscribers and customers…right now, in time to get the new year off to a fine start.
Sign up and you get instant access to the Retail Business Academy.
We’ll contact you to find out who you want to give the gift of knowledge, education, professional development and self care to.
Then, we’ll send you 5 more Membership Passwords.
Or, if you want us to send your gift to them, we’ll ask you for their contact information. Your choice.
Read on for all the great details about this membership and why no retail organisation should try to get by without it.
Experience and Resources
We have the resources. Lots of them…available in every format for your convenience.
Below, we spell out the products, services, systems and advice you get access to for just $97/month. (Right now, buy one, get five free…)
Succeeding in retail will always be hard work, it’s retail after all.
But, your chances of positive outcomes increase by a huge percentage if you’re taking advantage of our experience and resources.
You can get every store contributing with a nice bottom line. Our brand of information and training is what you need to get the best return on every investment you make in people and in stores.
Getting ready is a big part of the battle. The Retail Business Academy will prepare you for your next steps.
Ease of Access
You have access 24/7…at your leisure. And, of course, you can cancel your membership in the Retail Business Academy at any time.
For those of you who want to share information and offer the very best chance of growth and development to your people, get them their own membership in the Retail Business Academy.
Invest in their future to give them the skills to invest in yours. Right now, with our buy one membership, get five free, it’s easy and painless to upgrade the skills and capabilities of your entire workforce.
Let’s get started. You need everything you’re going to see from here on down.
Here’s the long list of everything you will be able to access with your trial of the Platinum Private Membership in the Retail Business Academy.
First, let us tell you that absolutely everything that DMSRetail offers for sale, is included in the Retail Business Academy.
Plus, there are many more products included that are not available for sale anywhere.
And, we’re growing it every day making your Platinum Private Membership more and more valuable.
We’re working day and night to get new stuff uploaded for you.
You’re going to have access to a wealth of different things, such as…
• Success Guides
• Study Courses
• Performance Solutions
• World Retail News
• PowerPoint Presentations
• Pearls of Wisdom
• Motivational Quotes
• and other seriously good stuff
You’ll access all of these things on the membership site, through our Success Guides and Tools, such as:
• Retail Math – Made Simple, 4th Edition
• Winning at Store Management
• Managing for Higher Retail Success
• 22 Ways of Highly Successful Retail Managers
• Customer Service Fundamentals
• Retailer’s Guide to Emotional Hot Buttons
• ‘I Succeed’ Retail Employee Evaluation System
• The DMSRetailer – Store Manager’s Organizer/Planner
And, our Self Development Programs:
• Retail Selling Skills & Customer Experience Fundamentals
• Retail Cashier Performance
• Store Management for Maximum Success
• Retail District Management
• Retail Operations Management
• Retail Category Management
• The Starter Bundle
• The Super Retail Success Bundle
• The Retail Success Accelerator – Store Performance Solution
• The Ultimate Retail Success Collection
A multitude of Reports and Forms:
• ‘Daily News’ Guide for the Cash Desk
• Interview Questions
• Hiring Tip Sheet
• Balanced Score Cards
• Weekly Employee Check Up
• Monthly Employee Evaluation
• Quarterly Employee Evaluation
• Annual Employee Evaluation
• Store Manager Job Description
• Assistant Manager Job Description
• Mystery Shopping Report
• Backroom Communication Board
• Store Manager’s Keys to Success
• District Manager’s Framework for Success
• And many more being added daily
Sales & Marketing Tips:
• Selling Steps
• 75 Open Ended Questions
• Social Media Instructions for Retailers – Facebook, Google+, Linked In and more
Compensation Plans – DMSRetail Proprietary Pay for Performance Plans
• Pay for Performance – General
• Non – Monetary Reward Systems
• 11 Leadership Principles
• Integrity in Management
• Managing Up, Down and Sideways
• District Manager’s Creed
• Essential Reading for Retailers
• Success Stories
• Motivational Quotes
• The Summer House
It’s Just Common Sense, Really
• Success Tips & Strategies
• The Store Management Process
• Get 25% More out of Store Visits
• Open To Buy
• Retail Math Made Simple
• Category Management
• Managing by Numbers
• Add-On Selling
• Legacy Strategy
• 33% Increase Formula
• 7 Top Tips to Maximize Your Retail Profits
And, the most recent addition to the Retail Business Academy…
Retailer’s Guide to Online Marketing eBook & Video Course, which is your guide to harnessing the power of social media to build your brand, drive traffic, and generate sales.
This online training session, alone, is $147.
Category Management is $147 and Retail Math Made Simple webinar is also $147.
Why pay individually when membership in the Retail Business Academy is so convenient and so economical?
DMSRetail holds Webinars on a regular basis and we post them to
Retail Business Academy. With your Platinum Private Membership:
• No need to sign up every time we offer a webinar
• No separate payment required
• No time zone complications
• No scheduling conflicts
• No inconvenience
• Home or office – your choice
You simply sign in to your membership account at the Retail Business Academy and watch/listen to the webinar at absolutely no additional cost. It’s included with your membership.
Back to the stuff you get…
‘How- to’ for People Development:
• Sample Coaching Conversations
• Disciplinary Actions
• Supporting & Challenging Your Performers
• Career Path Development
• Ideal Candidate Profile Development
• Performance Management
**Discounts on Workshop Attendance – Here are the workshops currently being offered:
• The Retail Operations Management Workshop
• Retail Category Management Workshop
• Retail District Management Workshop
• Retail Math Workshop
• Pharmacy Retail Operations Management Workshop – Specialty
• Store Management for Maximum Success Workshop
• Retail Design & Visual Merchandising Workshop
• Retail Marketing & Brand Management Workshop
• Retail Cashier Performance Workshop
• Telecom Retail Operations Management Workshop – Specialty
• Retail Brand Management
• How to Implement Winning Compensation Plans
• Retail Standards, Compliance and Execution Seminar and Case Study
**Planned access to Consultants and Instructors at DMSRetail via email
**Scheduled telephone conversations with DMSRetail Consultants and Instructors
All of this is being brought to you by DMSRetail – a retail management consulting and training company that has been in business since 1991; on the web since 2003.
So, check out this link to the Retail Business Academy.
You won’t regret having your own Platinum Private Membership at this great price and the 5 gifts of knowledge for you to give are a bonus.
It’s the best $97/month investment you’ll ever make. If you’re in retail, or if you are a supplier to retail, you really need this.
You can click >>> save 57% by signing up for the Platinum Annual Membership.
You, and 5 others, can easily have the full resources and experience of DMSRetail behind you!
All the Success!
Right now, buy 1 membership (monthly or annual) and we’ll give you 5 more free.
For monthly membership, click here.
Save 57% with an annual membership, click here.
It’s simple to give the gift of knowledge this year…to 5 lucky people of your choosing.
Just sign up and get instant access to the Retail Business Academy. We’ll send you an email to find out who you want to receive your gift memberships.
This deal makes this huge online resource even more valuable to your company.
You can check out the Retail Business Academy here.