Posts Tagged 'retail management'



Time to Lift the Spirits of Your Store Staff

This time of year is many different things to many different people. Your ability to understand what this time of year means to your people in the field, and your ability to tune in and give them what they need, is critical to the success of your operation during this holiday season.

Retail people know that this season is huge for them. There is a better than average chance of them meeting and/or exceeding their sales budgets. To many, that means a better than average chance of earning commissions or bonuses. They know that they will see increased customer traffic. They probably have lots of inventory – great new novelty items in addition to increased quantities of other merchandise. They understand that this is an immense opportunity to contribute to the annual sales results for their store and their company. And they are looking forward to all of this.

Here are some of the things that they are not looking forward to:

  • Staff shortages due to insufficient hiring and illness, real or fabricated
  • Stock rooms bulging at the seams; aisles that cannot be used
  • Employee lunchrooms, and possibly even washrooms, taken over by excess inventory, bags and other supplies
  • Cranky shoppers
  • Extended hours of operation
  • Missing their family functions because they have to work
  • Emergency markdowns on top of emergency markdowns
  • Excessive Head Office requirements for reporting and visual presentation changes
  • Short breaks and long line-ups at the food court
  • Aching bones and muscles…particularly in their feet
  • Overwhelming fatigue day after day
  • The Boxing Day (Week) set-up that has to be finished on Christmas Eve
  • The H.O. visits that always finish with what has to be done/changed/improved instead of a pat on the back and a show of appreciation
  • Constant schedule changes because someone at H.O. (most probably someone who has not worked in that store) decided that they are under scheduled here and over scheduled there
  • Parking so far away from the mall entrance that they wish there was a bus available because their feet are sore

The list could go on and on, but you get the picture. If you have ever worked in a store during this time of year you may have some understanding of what the field staff are going through. If you haven’’t, …maybe it’s time you did just to gain the very valuable experience.

Disasters and Happy Endings in Retail: Two Stories

Throughout history, there have been many, many examples of people who have succeeded in a given field, or discipline, through the application of common sense, hard work, firm principles and, above all, great leadership skills.

In retail, this combination is rarely found. That’s not to say that there aren’t many exceptional people in retail – only that the particular combination mentioned isn’t seen very often. Great leaders apply the above, and much more. To lead a retail company, region, district or store is no small task. Many would argue that, because specialized degrees or formal education is not necessarily required, or indeed, even sought out when recruiting someone to run a store, district or retail organization, that anybody can do the job. I once met a person, who was searching for employment, who said  “Job hunting is so difficult. I can’t even get a job as a Store Manager, even with my qualifications.”

The individual who spoke those words had a college education, but had never held a leadership position in any job and had absolutely no retail experience whatsoever. That person, and many others, don’t think leadership skills play an important part in managing in a retail environment. They think pretty much anyone at all can successfully manage a store. I apologize if that comment offends, but, really, if you ask people that’s pretty much what you’re going to hear.

We, at DMSRetail, disagree whole heartedly, of course, and here’s why…

The retail business is all about people; people dealing with people. Though the hardships are many – long hours standing and walking around, schedules conflicting with family members’ schedules, sometimes getting too few hours to earn a decent living, or too many hours, often no benefits etc. – retail employees must soldier on. Or they leave.

The retail story is actually very big and quite complicated. While the process of selling products to customers is simple, the back story is fraught with problems that need to be solved. How a particular retailer solves those problems, day in and day out, will determine the level of success achieved.

To achieve at the highest levels, great leadership is required.

Let’s look at where it starts; let’s just take a single store owned by a single person. The person secures a location, finds a supplier for a product or many different products, gets the inside of the store all decked out with the latest and greatest fixtures and POS equipment, has a logo designed and gets a great sign outside, and the various other things that need to be done to get a store open for business.

On opening day, s/he is worn out but excited because the dream has come true – they took an idea and saw it all the way through to fruition. Often, the store owner works in the store and welcomes the customers; and does everything else too. In a short time, though, the owner realizes s/he can’t possibly handle everything, and can’t work 75+ hours a week. So, they start hiring. They hire one, or more, people to work in their store. And that is where their problems often begin.

Without really knowing how to recruit, hire and train, the store owner finds that the new hires really aren’t doing things the way they would do it themselves. The new store owner expects, and naively assumes, that the new hires will have the same common sense, direction and level of concern that they, themselves, have. Not so. And how could they? They weren’t part of the dream and they didn’t travel the long road of seeing it materialize. And they didn’t invest all of their money and time and effort into the creation of the dream. They have simply applied for, and landed, a retail job – probably at minimum wage.

Now, if we take this small scale example and blow it up to look at a retail chain, of course everything gets blown up. More stores, no passionate owners in the stores, lots more money invested, more policies and procedures to follow, perhaps an established reputation to protect,  and the list goes on.

So, although we can expect that more people know what has to be done, we also have much less control. We are managing remotely which is not easy. We simply cannot rely on every person in the organization to always do the right thing. That is, unless we have great leaders who have instilled a performance culture in the organization.

Of course, that’s no small task. A performance culture is painstakingly difficult to build, it must be nurtured, requiring constant attention to detail and it’s very easily destroyed.

Here’s a couple of stories about two different retailers whose experiences can teach us all…

The year was 1997 and this retailer had a chain of 50 stores. While sales had been fairly consistent for many years, things were going downhill. There was no particular culture and the brand wasn’t particularly strong. The company was faltering and bankruptcy was unsettlingly close on the horizon.

When the first store had been opened the owner had a success on his hands. Everything was right. Great product, great looking store and a great manager.  Building on that success a second store was opened, and then a third and so on. All the while, the owner was oblivious to what was actually going on in the stores. Sales didn’t suffer immediately, of course. Often that is the case.

If only we could point to a single decision; one particular thing that was done wrong to cause the downturn. But that rarely happens. Usually, it is difficult to connect those dots and, therefore, difficult to take corrective action. Sometimes one bad decision leads to another and another. By the time the downfall happens, no one has any idea whatsoever as to what really happened. The ‘root cause’ may never be identified.

Anyway, this particular owner had a lot at stake. His family had been supported by the small chain of stores for a few years and bankruptcy would take a heavy toll and destroy their lifestyle and any hope of a bright future. So, before it was too late, he set about figuring out what went wrong so he could a) stop it; and b) start moving in the right direction.

To find out what was wrong and how to correct and go forward, he had to do a lot of travelling, talking, listening and soul searching. This man had great leadership skills in him…but hadn’t, as yet, put them to work. Busy running around attending to details all these years, he forgot that people need great leaders.

*****
“A herd of sheep led by a lion will beat a herd of lions led by a sheep.”
Author Unknown
*****  

He attended many executive leadership training retreats, read every management book he could get his hands on, spoke to every single associate and manager in each and every one of his 50 stores. He asked quality questions and took note of every answer.

Before long, he had the company back from the edge of the cliff, and extinction. With a crystal clear view of what had gone wrong and what needed to be done to go forward successfully, he set sail on implementing his plan: to build and maintain a performance culture. This, and this alone, was the only clear path to success.

Not so fast, though. And not at all simple.  As mentioned above, building and maintaining a performance culture is not something that is easy to do or to maintain. Perhaps that is why so many companies – not just retail organizations – don’t do it.

So here’s what took place:

  • He communicated all of his findings, and lessons learned, to his existing executive team, and to every level of management, and to all associates at store level – even  part timers working a few hours a week.
  • He introduced new ways of doing  things and new ways of ‘being’ – basically, he introduced new standards of behavior and new standards of performance in every area.
  • Accountability for performance became the new, and very important, operational guidepost.
  • He discussed every single detail of the new way of doing things with everyone in the organization.
  • He communicated his vision over and over again.
  • With the help of his team members – and that meant everyone in the organization – he developed the vision/mission/purpose statements and code of conduct for the company.
  • He was relentless in following up to ensure that every level of the organization was on board and following the new way.

And he spent a lot of time and energy on all of the above. In fact, he lived it. The company went on to new heights; it became very successful.

Some may ask “Does an owner or CEO really have the time to do all of that, and should they do it?” Many, in fact, will dismiss this as a waste of the owner or CEO’s time.

So, how would you answer the question?

If you answered yes, then you have the right mindset and can very likely do it and, if you do, you will undoubtedly reap rewards.

If you answered no, then you don’t stand much of a chance of getting a performance culture working in your organization. It simply can’t be done half- heartedly. To try, without putting everything you have into it, is a waste of time and will probably create more confusion than anything else.

The correct answer is yes, definitely take the time and make it happen. Here are just a few of the benefits of doing so:

1)      Your executive team will have a renewed sense of direction and a thorough appreciation for the workings in every department in the organization

2)      Your head office support people will be on a mission to help your stores be as successful as they can possibly be

3)      Your store managers and staff will feel pride of ownership. Yes, even without profit sharing or anything similar, they will work as if they owned the company

4)      Because of the first three benefits, your customers will feel the positive vibe. They’ll know they are special and they will reward you with loyalty. They’ll keep coming back, they’ll refer you to their friends and family and they will become ambassadors of your company

5)      Everyone involved with your business, including your suppliers, will want to do their very best for your company

6)      Everyone wins

There is plenty of compelling evidence of success when a retail organization operates within a performance culture. In fact, anyone reading this can likely think of at least two or three retail operations that they are loyal to.  And, given enough thought, you’ll probably come up with the reasons why you’re loyal and you’ll likely see a lot of similarities to the company mentioned above.

You know, we talk about the funnel effect often in our workshops. There’s a good reason for that. Every single word spoken by your store managers, district and region managers and your executive team members will have an impact on someone, somewhere in the organization and/or the customers. Every decision, good or bad, will affect the results you get. Every policy, procedure or new rule, well thought out or not, will affect the results you get.  

That’s the whole idea of the funnel effect – everything that goes in, whether good or bad, positive or negative, right or wrong, impulsive or well thought out will, undoubtedly, affect the results you get.

At The Retail Operations Management Workshop we show you and/or your teams how to manage so that only the right stuff gets into your funnel.

Join us for The Retail Operations Management Workshop in San Diego, California on September 19-20-21, 2012, and get started on creating your performance culture.

Learn how to get consistently great results and how to take your retail business to the next level.

Attend this workshop and get started on your very own amazing retail success story.

For further information, go to: http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationsmanagement.htm

Or send an email to training@dmsretail.com 

In addition to The Retail Operations Management Workshop, we are offering four more of our popular workshops in San Diego, CA. Here’s the complete line up. Choose the ones that are right for the people in your organization.

Store Management for Maximum Success – September 17, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationstraining.htm

Retail Math, Metrics and KPI’s – September 18, 2012
http://www.dmsretail.com/retailmathworkshop.htm

The Retail Operations Management Workshop – September 19-20-21, 2012
http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationsmanagement.htm

Retail Brand & Category Management – September 24-25-26, 2012
http://www.dmsretail.com/brandcatman.htm

District Management – September 27-28, 2012
http://www.dmsretail.com/districtworkshop.htm
Not so long ago, a survey (Bain & Co.) of several CEO’s concluded that 80% of them believed that their company delivered excellent customer service. When customers were asked to rate the level of service delivered in those same companies, only 8% gave them high marks. Hmmm. Something’s obviously not right.

But we are encouraged by the results of the survey.

Every CEO and every Retail Manager, at every level should be delighted with the results of this survey. It clearly points out that we may be out of touch. It shows us what’s wrong. When a CEO is out of touch with what is going on in his organization, isn’t it wonderful that s/he finds out about it?

It’s nothing less than a gift.  

S/he may have been so consumed with other areas of the company, that s/he didn’t even realize what was going wrong at the customer level where it counts the most.

Whenever we can clearly identify a weak point in our organization – like the example above where the weak point is service delivery – we get an opportunity to work on specifics that will correct the situation. We can deploy resources with full confidence that what we are doing – what we are spending money and energy on – are, in fact, things that matter; things that will truly make a difference.

Without that knowledge, we can go on for long periods working on the wrong things which get us nowhere.

There is another company I want to tell you about to illustrate what happens when CEO’s and Executive Teams either don’t get the feedback they need, or don’t properly heed the warnings of feedback from customers and store personnel.

The company was doing very well. They had about 1,000 stores in North America. They did an amazing job serving a niche that was barely, and badly, served by other retailers, and they’d been doing so for many years. They basically had that market wrapped up.

One day, a new President was given a mandate for change:  start enticing a new customer. She took the mandate, from the Board of Directors, very seriously but did not do her homework before starting out on, what turned out to be, the worst possible way to handle the change.

Armed with all of the resources and approval she needed, she began making huge investments in renovating stores and filling them with fixtures and merchandise that would, supposedly, attract the ‘new’ customer. Overnight, the chain changed its focus.

All of the signage and marketing campaigns were focused on a new customer.

Many of you are already seeing what’s coming, aren’t you? Yes, it was a colossal failure. 

Suddenly, they found themselves competing for the business of an already over served market. Far from the niche that they had so comfortably and effortlessly served for so many years, this new customer had dozens of choices and the company found it very difficult to keep up. All the while their store personnel and their customers were wondering what on earth was going on. Everyone was screaming ‘stop this nonsense’.

Loyal customers were alienated completely. They lost faith and stopped shopping at the stores. Many long term management and staff left the company as it had clearly gone off the rails. The big question, in everyone’s mind was “What are you doing, and why?” It just did not make sense from any perspective.

The chain experienced a very significant loss in business; so significant that, if things had stayed on course, it would have put them out of business altogether, within a few months. So what happened? 

The President was removed and the company, reeling from the disaster that had been created, changed direction. They still wanted to entice a new customer but, this time, they would do it very, very slowly and carefully. This time they would actually do some work to find out how to entice a new customer while maintaining their loyal customer base.

But, unfortunately, they had suffered losses to the point where over 90% of their stores were eventually closed. The company still exists today, but only as a small chain. It’s been bought and sold a few times to different investors. It continues to struggle along.

The moral of the story: Particularly if you are in a leadership role, never assume you know everything. Be smart. Listen to people and learn.  

At The Retail Operations Management Workshop we show you and/or your teams how to manage so that this kind of thing can’t happen.

By consistently applying the right principles, you’ll learn to manage any kind of change very effectively.

Join us for The Retail Operations Management Workshop in San Diego, California on September 19-20-21, 2012, and get started on creating your performance culture; a culture which will naturally prevent you from making big mistakes.

As we mentioned earlier, we can show you how to get consistently great results and how to take your retail business to the next level.

For further information, go to: http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationsmanagement.htm

Or send an email to training@dmsretail.com

We look forward to helping you create your very own amazing success story.

Here are the links we mentioned above. In addition to The Retail Operations Management Workshop, we are offering four more of our popular workshops in San Diego, CA. Here’s the complete line up. Choose the ones that are right for the people in your organization.

Store Management for Maximum Success – September 17, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationstraining.htm 

Retail Math, Metrics and KPI’s – September 18, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/retailmathworkshop.htm 

The Retail Operations Management Workshop – September 19-20-21, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/retailoperationsmanagement.htm 

Retail Brand & Category Management – September 24-25-26, 2012 http://www.dmsretail.com/brandcatman.htm 

District Management – September 27-28, 2012  http://www.dmsretail.com/districtworkshop.htm 

For Program Outlines including topics covered, faculty, who should attend and fees, send an email to: training@dmsretail.com

We look forward to hearing from you, and to meeting you in San Diego.

All the Success!

DMSRetail

PS: Class size is strictly limited to 25 for quality purposes. Register now to avoid disappointment.

Pay More, Expect More, Get More

It’s time for more retailers to test the ‘pay more expect more, get more’ theory.

It seems that retailers have always argued against higher wages, benefits and full-time positions citing exorbitant wage costs as the reason.

While it is true that the expense, in dollars would increase it certainly does not follow that the actual wage percent would increase. And it is the percentage that is key.

Isn’t it true that people who value their position, their customers and their company can have a tremendous positive impact on the top line? And, conversely, isn’t it true that people who are unhappy, have no job satisfaction and a poor quality of life could have a very negative impact on the top line?

This is not an elaborate, complicated concept. Pay more – expect more – get more.

As we move further into the world of Internet retailing, or e-tailing, it will be absolutely critical that the stores still around to do business face to face with consumers will need to provide a much better shopping experience than what is common today. The unfortunate part is that retailers are probably already looking at this scenario and envisioning how they can keep their customers coming in but they are not considering the ‘people’ part of their operation. They are thinking about new and exciting selling space, great new products and creative marketing schemes. Customers do not feel abused by selling space, products and marketing campaigns. They feel abused by people.

Back to the Internet. When you think about it, who wouldn’t want the unparalleled convenience of shopping from the comfort of their home 24/7? Who wouldn’t want to have the massive selection from around the world? Who would mind using their credit card on the Internet once security systems eliminate fraud to a point where it is no longer a major issue? And who, in their right mind, wouldn’t choose to avoid the hassle and frustration of dealing with unfriendly and often uninformed retail store employees? (To those readers who are, in fact, good retail store associates – no offense intended and… thanks!)

So, why would people go out to shop?

Some might still do it for the entertainment value. And some might still want to shop in the traditional way because they don’t like change. But even for those the experience will have to be a lot more exciting and inviting than it is today or they, too, will convert.

The only surefire way to make, and keep, a business truly customer focused is through competition. Up until now most retailers have not reacted appropriately to poor service levels in their stores because most of their competitors provide the same, or worse, service than they do. They may not be aware of their losses but, most assuredly, those stores with nasty, miserable, moody or just generally indifferent employees are losing. How long can it go on?

Smart retailers will understand that paying more, which means a reasonable hourly wage or salary, full time status and benefits or even part time status that provides benefits of some description will help to attract and retain people whom they can expect more from because they are providing them with a decent living and allowing them to enjoy a decent quality of life. In short, the retailer is providing some job satisfaction. Employers will get more from these employees simply because the employees are receiving something in return. The retailer can expect these employees to help them grow and maintain a viable company.

Getting back to wage costs…all other things being equal, if you attract and hire the right people and provide them with some of the basics that they need to enjoy a decent quality of life, sales will go up. Wage cost problem solved.

Pay more – expect more – get more.

More articles like this can be found on the Retail Management Site.

Retail Operations Management YourTime Home Study Course

We have released the Retail Operations Management YourTime Home Study Course. This is the next best thing to being in person at the Retail Operations Management Workshop. See the details here: http://www.dmsretail.com/RetailOperationsCourse.htm

Store Management Process – Have You Seen It Yet?

The Store Management Process is published on our website if you ‘d like to review it.

You’ll see the 7 separate processes that make up the Store Management Process, along with the required actions and skills for each.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can find it here: http://www.dmsretail.com/storemanagementprocess.htm

You’ll probably find our blueprint interesting and you may very well have something to add. We hope you’ll share your comments because, as a DMSRetail subscriber, your input is very valuable to us. You may be able to help refine the Store Management Process further, for the benefit of other retailers.

All the Success!

Josephine Hill
DMSRetail Inc.

PS: The Store Management Process is also i ncluded as a bonus on DVD, with the Retail District Management YourTime Study Course where it is fully explained by a DMSRetail Consultant. You can find that here: http://www.dmsretail.com/retaildmstudycourse.htm

PPS: Check us out on Facebook and if you like us…please ‘Like’ us. Thanks! http://www.facebook.com/dmsretail

Holiday Tips #1

Regardless of the economic outlook, you can rest assured that many people will be in your stores this holiday season. They may be working with a tighter budget, or they may not. They may be more discerning, or they may not. Whatever happens you still need to be prepared. There are things you need to do to have your store, your staff, your management team and your merchandise ready.

Here are some Holiday Season Tips – the first of our Holiday Season Tips Series, to help you make sure you’re doing everything you can to make the most of the holiday traffic that comes into your store:

Study History – Get out last year’s sales records, promotional calendar and staff schedules. Study them to see if there is anything you might do differently this year. If you were the Manager last year, try to remember the things that really caused things to breakdown. Learn from those things and safeguard against those same things happening again this year. Hint: If you do not already do this, make a point of noting all of the things that work really well and the things that don’t so you you’ll have the benefit of that information next holiday season.

Schedules – The Backbone of your Store -Make schedules for the 11 weeks (w/e November 13, 2010 to w/e January 22, 2011). Based on your sales targets, you need to figure out what kind of floor coverage you will need for each of the 11 weeks. These can be mock schedules but they should fairly represent what your actual schedule should look like. It is during the making of these mock schedules that you will come up with your plan for the holiday season with regard to floor coverage, stock replenishment, shipping/receiving, cashiers, greeters, fitting room coverage, recovery of the store throughout the day and at night, etc. You’ll get a very good idea of how many temporary employees you should hire. Hint: Once you know how many temporary employees you will need, hire 4 more.

The reason you will want to schedule well into January 2011 is because of the trend toward the purchase of gift cards. After the main holiday event, many customers will come into your store to spend their gift card. You need to be as ready for them as you were for the pre-holiday gift buyers. So, whatever you do, don’t become complacent in January.

Employee Illness – Try to recall from last year: Did a lot of employees call in sick? Were there certain days where you were left without proper coverage? How did that affect your business? Were the temporary employees trained well enough to really add value to your business? What can you do to avoid the pitfalls of last year? Hints: 1) hire more temporary workers and train them better 2)make sure your regular staff are considered when making the schedule – the needs of the business comes first, of course, but your regular employees will have some particular dates that they really need to have off for family gatherings and holiday preparation 3) send sick workers home so as not to spread illness to customers and other staff members 4) make sure you are not working certain employees so hard that they become exhausted or disillusioned.

Staff Meetings – Don’t forget to schedule time for management team meetings and staff meetings. Some of the meetings will be short touch base meetings and others may be educational. Still others should be for fun and celebration. Remember, everyone is stressed during the holidays and anything you can do to make your employees’ lives a little better during this busy time will probably pay dividends. Hint: Appoint someone to organize a pot luck luncheon for some of your busiest days. This accomplishes two things. 1) it promotes a sense of camaraderie among regular and temporary employees and 2) it saves them from having to fight the line ups at the food courts; giving them more time off of their feet.

Maintenance – Always important but now is the time to make certain that all of your light fixtures are working; your exit signs are lit, your fire extinguishers have been checked, your flooring and carpets have no turned up edges that can trip people, your POS and printers are working properly, your doors or door grills are in good repair, ceiling ducts are clean and dust free, fitting rooms are clean and welcoming, shelves are firmly in place to avoid accidents, no chipped glass anywhere, no rough edges on sign holders, the back room is well organized, the plumbing (if any) and any illuminated store signage is working properly. You won’t want to be spending valuable on floor and customer time taking care of pesky maintenance issues that could be taken care of in advance. Emergencies aside, your concentration needs to be elsewhere so…get it done now.

Watch for the Holiday Season Tips #2, coming soon.

All the Success!

DMSRetail Team

www.dmsretail.com  

PS. To make the most out of the upcoming holiday season, utilize the tips, techniques and tools that are in DMSRetail’s Super Retail Success Bundle – go here: http://www.dmsretail.com/superbundle.htm

The Retail Management Workshop-London dates have changed

Because of air space closings, we had to change the dates of the London Retail Management Workshop.

New dates are: May 25-26-27, 2010 same location: Sheraton Park Tower.

22 Ways of Highly Successful Retail Managers

We wrote about the amazing success of a highly skilled retail manager early in 2008. Based on reader comments there were quite a few retail managers who were inspired by the story. And there were one or two who just didn’t believe it and they told us so in pretty harsh language. That’s unfortunate because the story is 100% true. It’s a story about a man who enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks of a prominent retail company under some pretty tough circumstances. (You can read the story here: http://www.dmsretail.com/$7to100K.htm)

Anyway, that story in addition to other success stories we know started us thinking about just what it was that made some retail managers wildly successful while others kind of languished in the retail industry; never really making anything extraordinary happen and never moving up to where they were proud of their retail management position; those who are unable to put their stamp, or mark, on their work and, perhaps most importantly, never really reach their earning potential.

And that’s where the idea for 22 Ways of Highly Successful Retail Managers came from. So it began…the research had to be done; the long, arduous task of drilling down through all of the details to uncover the ways of the highly successful, highly skilled retail manager. There were hours and hours of conversations about what worked and what didn’t; about trial and error; about the role that personality traits played in the success of these individuals; about the road blocks and challenges encountered along the way. We examined education, background, and ambition to mention just a few things.

Well, we finally got through it all and the results were enlightening. We found that there were many, many habits – or ways – these successful, highly skilled retail managers had in common. And the ways were so evident across the board that we just knew other retail managers would want to know what they were and how they, too, could cultivate these ways to become highly skilled and, thus, enjoy similar success.

A new Success Guide was born out of this study – 22 Ways of Highly Successful Retail Managers – and it’s amazing. Any retail manager who wants to excel in the retail industry and become a ‘go to’ person, due to his/her success, needs to read it.

Every so often a book comes along that really resonates with you; a book that you read with such intense interest that you don’t want to put it down. These books add value to your life because you actually take away something that can help you; something you suddenly realize that you have been waiting for, even though you didn’t necessarily know that you were waiting for it. But what a difference it makes. All at once you see through what’s been bothering you – even if it was just a little nagging doubt or thought about what you’re doing in your career. Well, 22 Ways of Highly Successful Retail Managers is that book.

It’s the book that you will carry around with you for easy reference. It’s the one that will be ‘dog eared’ due to constant use; the one that you will tell others about. You’ll take excerpts out of the book and post them on your bulletin board, or maybe even your bathroom mirror, to help you remember a particular piece that really hits home with you.

This is the book that you will use when you have moved from being not only a highly skilled and successful retail manager yourself but to a mentor of someone else who wants to become as good as you are.

Table of Contents:

A Highly Successful Retail Manager:

Way 1. Believes and practices exemplary Customer Service.

Way 2. Interviews with a purpose, hires for the cause and trains with a passion.

Way 3. Leads by example and presents as an admirable Role Model.

Way 4. Motivates and Coaches all day, every day.

Way 5. Manages his time, plans ahead and gears for success.

Way 6. Communicates well and often.

Way 7. Holds values like Honesty and Integrity as sacred; is above reproach.

Way 8. Is accessible, follows up and follows through with consistency.

Way 9. Manages performance when and where it happens.

Way 10. Mentors and develops people to promote from within.

Way 11. Manages with a praise and reward philosophy.

Way 12. Knows his customers and their needs.

Way 13. Manages Up, Sees the Bigger Picture, Has Influence.

Way 14. Shows Operational excellence.

Way 15. Always promotes growth and is forward thinking.

Way 16. Networks in and out of the workplace.

Way 17. Possesses an unparalleled energy, ambition and enthusiasm for his work.

Way 18. Develops a Flair for Visual Merchandising.

Way 19. Has a game plan for productive store visits.

Way 20. Works hard and gets results.

Way 21. Strives for Quality and Quantity.

Way 22. Excels in all areas of retail, takes action and is not afraid to get his hands dirty.

http://www.dmsretail.com/22ways.htm

DMSRetail Open House – Dubai, today

DMSRetail is holding an Open House for prominent Dubai Retailers today at the Sheraton Dubai Creek, 5PM. No doubt, conversation is going to include DMSretail’s 4 point formula to strengthen any retail operation during good and bad times. If you can make it we’ll see you there.

The Retail Training Equation

Economic times are cyclical. At present, the cycle is in a down phase and needs to recover as quickly as possible. During such times, it is people who will make the difference in your business. It is most often the people who have been trained appropriately that rise to meet and overcome these challenges. Industry specific training not only enables businesses to achieve fiscal prosperity; training of this nature will enable a person to think. Thinking critically and strategically and being adaptable to various business situations is where successes will be found in times such as these.

When a company employs staff members to interact with and sell to customers, would it not behoove that company to acquire, support and train those staff to be the very best in the industry? One of the most charismatic and captivating senior consultants with DMSRetail has always followed this philosophy when hiring, training and developing sales staff: hire the best, train them to be better, pay them more, expect more and get more. This works, regardless of the particular industry, geographic location or market sector.

Thinking about the importance of training and education in any industry, consider the following equation. If one were to apply a proportional weight to each component, what would your organization allocate to “Top-to-Bottom Training”?

Vision + Determination/Motivation to Succeed + Top-to-Bottom Training = Successful/Profitable Company

Of course, this is a dramatically simplified equation, which does not assume many of the intricate business challenges that are ever present, but it does capture the essence of achievement. Broken down slightly further and simplified to another level, the equation might be read as:

The Goal + Drive to Achieve that Goal + Capable Personnel to Implement the Action Plan = $$$$$

Remove any one element of the equation and the entire formula becomes void. How can a capable team of individuals with vast amounts of motivation achieve anything if they have no idea what it is they are to achieve (The Goal)? Similarly, what use is a spectacular goal and plan, if there is a deficit of trained, capable personnel to make it happen?

The truth about training is simple: trained personnel are absolutely critical to the survival and longevity of any retail operation.

Investing in training for the people that ‘make it happen’, so to speak, is absolutely invaluable. The “Vision” can be conjured by the executives. The “Determination/Motivation” can be aroused and fuelled by company leaders as well. The “Capable Personnel” need to be trained by experts with a passion for retail and a wealth of relevant experience.

One of the greatest success coaches of all time, Anthony Robbins, coined the acronym CANI; Consistent and Never-ending Improvement. This should apply to every area of your retail operation. The executives need to find ways to develop further their capacity for strategic, long term thinking to assure the continued growth and prosperity of the corporation. Mid-level management should consistently be pushing beyond their comfort zones with regard to customer service and sales tactics, motivational capabilities, operating efficiencies, etc…. The full and part time store personnel; these employees need to direct massive amounts of energy to improving their capabilities as the company’s front line players. Nothing will happen until something gets sold, and the in-store personnel are the people who sell; teach them well. Every way that improvement can be found and ratified, should be capitalized upon.

Take a minute to reflect on your own business practices, those of your company and those of your competition. Make a mental list of all the training practices that are present in your store, in your organization and in your competitors’ organizations. What does that list look like? Do you feel confident that you are doing everything within your power to separate you and your colleagues from the competition? How can improvements be made? What sort of activities and information might help? Who might be able to illuminate the resources necessary for this re-configuring of our company’s training initiatives?

DMSRetail specializes in researching the most detailed, leading edge market information available and maintaining consistency within their training seminars. These training sessions, as well as their library of training tools, have enabled countless companies throughout the world to achieve great success within their own unique markets. The DMSRetail Brand Consultants will customize any one of their training seminar series’ to suit the needs of your company and ensure that the competition is left questioning; “why have sales increased for them, and not for us?”

The retail training equation is only one aspect of the business which we all have invested ourselves in, but it is certainly an important aspect. Without proper training and effective tools to apply the new knowledge, you are no further ahead. Seek to improve, achieve improvement and success is certain to follow.

You can reach Erik Miethner at emiethner@dmsretail.com


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