Posts Tagged 'Retail Success'

A Success Story

Want to 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 top position in their category for Biggest Sales Increase overall and for Average Sale Per Customer, in 93% of their locations, in just one year?

And, even more importantly, want to know what else he did to finally start bringing a whole lot more money to the bank every day?

Have we got a story for you…

When I first heard his story, I was wondering what kind of guy this was…then I felt bad for him…then I was happy for him.

What a ride!

Turns out he was amazing, after all.

This was pretty serious stuff. 

To get to how this all happened, let’s draw back the 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 laboring 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 wife 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 thought about the boat that would occupy the boathouse…the one that they would all go for relaxing tours in.

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 …

C-A C-H-I-N-G! C-A C-H-I-N-G! C-A C-H-I-N-G!

Heck, yes!

If it’s not happening for you yet, the questions you should be asking are…

What do I need to do?

and

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. (cont’d below)
Mark the calendar & Save!

Tuesday, June13 –Retail Category Management

Wednesday, June 14- Retail Math 

Thursday, June 15 – Online Marketing for Retailers

Friday, June 16 – 33% Increase Formula

Reminder – Get your Webinar Pass for upcoming webinars. Four Webinar Pass is the best value. Buy it here.

OK, back to the story…

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.

Hands were flying and papers were being thrust toward our guy, although not in a disrespectful way.

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 a lot of 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 to take them – and until that someone says stop, they just keep taking on more and more.

Some monkeys 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.

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.

Not funny, right?

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.

But…

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 applies to 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 center will show you who is winning and who isn’t. Or, in some cases…who is hiding their imminent demise really well.

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 DVD’s 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.

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.

Join the Retail Business Academy today.

“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

Management Success Tools

Self Study Courses

Workshops

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.​​​​​​​

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.

Sign up and you get instant access to the Retail Business Academy for 7 days for just $1.

It’s commonly referred to as a ‘no-brainer’!

Read on for all the great details about this membership and why no retail organization 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 $1 for a 7 day trial.

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.

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
  • Tools
  • Study Courses
  • Performance Solutions
  • Information
  • Tips
  • Advice
  • World Retail News
  • Gems
  • How-To’s
  • DVD’s
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Pearls of Wisdom
  • Forms
  • Checklists
  • Videos
  • Consultants
  • Instructors
  • 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

Our Packages:

  • 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

Guidance to Inspire:

  • 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

Webinars:

  • 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
  • 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​​​​​​​

Join Now.

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 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 
  • 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

So, check out this link to the Retail Business Academy.

If you’re in retail, or if you supply retail

you really need this.

Want to skip the trial?

Get the very best value with these links…

For monthly membership, click here.

Save 57% with an annual membership, click here.

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DMSRetail Press Release – Singapore

DMSRetail brings 4 Top Performing Retail Management Workshops to Singapore – For the First Time! October , 2016 – Sheraton Towers, Singapore

Toronto, ON September 22, 2016 — DMSRetail, a leading Consulting, Training and Services company for progressive retailers, brings leading edge retail management techniques to Singapore for the First time.

Senior Consultant and EVP for DMSRetail, Matt Parmaks says “Over the past two or three years we have seen huge growth in our business coming from the South East Asian Market.

We decided it is the right time to offer our premium Retail Management training programs over there where people could attend without incurring the huge cost of travel that is usually associated with getting the benefits of leading edge retail management training.

From sophisticated retail business success methodologies and analytics to good, old fashioned customer experience strategies as well as performance management techniques that are so crucial for these tough times, DMSRetail brings it all together in a fast paced workshops designed for retail managers and retail business owners alike.

Another Senior Consultant with DMSRetail, John Callaghan says “Doing well in a retail business is not as straight forward as it used to be.

There are so many fascinating ideas and new techniques that retail managers and business owners need to be aware of in order to really excel in retail these days and we want to share all of this with our fast growing customer base in South East Asia.”

With the overall economical conditions the way they are, South Eastern Retailers are buying in to the fact that they must do more about investing in their knowledge, leading edge techniques and their people.

DMSRetail is seeing a sharp increase in interest in their retail management training programs. Details of the programs can be found at

RETAIL SALES/OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP (October 17-18-19, 2016): http://www.dmsretail.com/retailtraining.htm

RETAIL BRAND & CATEGORY MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP (October 24-25-26, 2016): http://www.dmsretail.com/brandcatman.htm

RETAIL DESIGN & VISUAL MERCHANDISING WORKSHOP: (October 20-21, 2016): http://www.dmsretail.com/retaildesignworkshop.htm

RETAIL STANDARDS, COMPLIANCE & EXECUTION SEMINAR (October 27-28, 2016): http://www.dmsretail.com/retailstandards.htm

Don’t Miss These Game Changing Workshops!

To Your Success!

DMSRetail

www.dmsretail.com

Store Performance Solution

With all the buzz around omni channel retailing, social marketing and new technologies that are either evolving or being implemented, one success factor remains the same and it always will.

That is the human factor that makes the essence of successful retailing.

Retail Success Accelerator addresses the performance of the store staff at associate, supervisor and the store manager levels.

Be assured that without fully competent, fully engaged staff, any other effort to increase customer satisfaction and ultimately increase profits, will be wasted or at best will not deliver its full potential. 

#1 Problem for Retailers is non-performing stores. In a lot of cases, stores do not perform even at their half potential.

This product solves the issue.., Your High Performance Delivered.

Retail Success Accelerator is a Store Performance Solution and you can put it to good use to ensure you get the maximum performance from your store staff.

More information is at its dedicated website: Retail Success Accelerator

Practical Solutions to Everyday Retail Management Challenges

In a nutshell, that’s what DMSRetail does. We provide practical solutions to your everyday retail management challenges.

Our Consultants, who have developed all of DMSRetail’s practical solutions, have all been in your shoes and we’ve figured it all out, many times, with great success.

Let us do the same for you.

Retail does not have to be difficult. Of course, it has it’s unique challenges. No one can claim it is simple but, certainly, the challenges are not insurmountable. In fact, it can be as easy as a walk in the park once the proper principles and systems are in place.

If your sales are down from last year…and way off target, and you need to figure out how to move them in the right direction, we tell you what steps you can take; we actually show you how to do it. We also advise you against taking steps that will lead to a downward spiral which many retailers are in the process of right now.

Maybe you realize that you don’t have the people in place who are able to drive your business to the heights you’re looking for. Well, we show you how to correct that situation. Or, perhaps you don’t even know that some of your people are causing your troubles…we’ll help you figure that out, too. We have a DMSRetail solution for you.

If your compensation plan isn’t working, we’ll tell you what kind of compensation plan you should have in place for maximum employee engagement and customer satisfaction. We’ll amaze you by running the numbers right in front of your eyes and you’ll have an aha! moment, for sure.

If your operation needs a complete overhaul and you have no idea where to start…we can do it for you. All you need to do is send us an email to get started…lift those burdens off your shoulders and look to us to help you solve your challenges.

There is no magic pill; no ‘one-size solution’ fits all; no quick and easy fix. What DMSRetail has for you is a wealth of experience spread throughout all of it’s Success Guides, Tools, DVD’s, Bundles, Study Courses, Ultimate Retail Success Program, Workshops and Consulting Engagements.

Get started with DMSRetail products and services and see what we’ve done to solve your most pressing issues. You really don’t have to reinvent to wheel.

Learn from experts and make it happen.

For starters, if any of your people – at any level – don’t understand the reason for Key Performance Indicators, or how the calculations are done and what action can be taken based on the results, then you need to get everyone a copy of Retail Math Made Simple, 3rd Edition. It’s only $14.95 and if you buy one for all of your staff, we”ll offer you a volume discount.

Your people must have this information or they can’t do the job properly. Without it, you’re just hoping for the best. And we all know that hope is not a strategy. This is a DMSRetail solution for you. Don’t wait another minute. Grab it.

Maybe your District Managers aren’t doing a great job as a leader; maybe they’re not getting consistently great results. The District Management YourTime Study Course needs to get into the hands of every single one of your District Managers, regardless of their tenure or ability. They will learn some new and different ways to build a cohesive team of Store Managers who execute properly and on time; a team of Store Managers who will do their very best for your company. The course is $247 for the digital version and, as I said, we offer volume discounts. This is a DMSRetail solution for you. Get this resource into their hands and watch things get better.

Why do some stores and some districts do so much better than others? After taking market conditions and location into account…the only answer is the people running them. You may want a +20% increase and your asking a -20% District Manager to give it to you.

What’s the sense in that?

First you have to elevate your -20% District Managers. If you don’t, don’t ever expect to get your +20%…it’s not going to happen unless you provide them with help. Not handholding or spoonfeeding. You don’t have time for that, nor should you. Try the DMSRetail solution.

If you want to guard yourself against disasters on your sales floor – meaning customer/associate interactions that go bad – then give your associates the Retail Selling Skills and Customer Service Fundamentals YourTime Study Course. Get one digital copy (at just $97) for each associate – and we’ll send it straight to their inbox.

You will only benefit, and you will never lose control because this course is designed to teach fundamentals and, during every step of the way, we instruct the associate to bring questions to their Manager to find out how they would like certain situations handled. We make them understand that their Manager will give them final answers but that the course is providing the groundwork so your Store Managers don’t have to go back to retail 101.

If you find that your challenges reach farther and wider than just specific issues, then you will want to get the Ultimate Retail Success Program. Naturally, it’s more expensive because of its rich and varied content, spread throughout a huge package  and because of the additional support we give you when you are an Ultimate Retail Success Program purchaser.  The ROI on this package is immediate.  This is a DMSRetail solution for you.Take advantage of the consulting call with one of our retail experts when you purchase this Program

We recommend purchasing an Ultimate Retail Success Program for each of your Field Management people, just to ensure they have the resources at their fingertips whenever they need it and, also, to ensure strategic alignment within the organization. Again, send an email to inquire about volume discounts.

So, you can see that we have practical solutions for your everyday retail management challenges and, also, we have practical solutions for your ‘not so common’ problems or challenges.

We want to help you as we’ve been helping retailers since 1991. We’d like you to feel that you can count on us to be your ‘go to’ retail management resource. But we know you have to have faith in us in order to do that.

We invite you to check out the many, many testimonials all over our website for social proof that we are what we claim to be. We welcome your comments and questions at anytime. We love to receive feedback from our subscribers, customers and Facebook friends.

All the Success!

DMSRetail Team

PS: Place your order for a DMSRetail practical solution to your everyday retail management challenges. And help will be on the way…today!!

PPS: For a list of all of our practical solutions, here is our Catalog for your review.

Join our Facebook community and if you like us, please ‘Like’ us. Thanks!

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.

Basics of Retail Success

All of us are looking for success in our retail businesses. Apart from and beyond everything else, sustainable success requires consistency. What do we mean by that?
We mean being consistently great in all aspects of our retail business.

Short term successes are possible due to some lucky combination of factors. But, we can not rely on lucky combinations. They are too far in between.

What we need to do is to set the foundations of our business right so that we can repeat our successes consistently.

This also has a profound impact on customer satisfaction. Your customers expect a certain level of performance from you on the basis of perception you created. By being consistent at your skill set and service levels, you at minimum, satisfy the expectations. And if you put a degree of constant improvement process in place, you created a winning combination for your retail operation.

At minimum, some of the areas you must deliver on a consistent basis:

1. Sales Skills (Trained staff on professional retail sales skills)

2. Good to Great Products and/or Services

3. Quick response to all sorts of customer issues (Rapid response procedures in place)

4. Clean, tidy and efficient store environment (Great visual merchandising and maintenance)

5. Streamlined and customer friendly checkout process.

Pretty basic right? Yet, just wander around the mall and see for yourself how many retailers are failing in consistent delivery of the basics.

Companies who understood this simple philosophy went on to create retail empires…

Anyhow, once you graduate from the basics and ready to consistently deliver on a more sophisticated and profitable level, you may need some solid resources… there is always Super Retail Success Bundle to give you all the hints, techniques, advice and the methods. There is also a powerful self study program on DVD for boosting your sales and customer service or satisfaction results called Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service YourTime Study Course

Retail Managers who took advantage of these resources scored very high on results in terms of sales, profitability and customer satisfaction.

You can order them risk free to see what they can do for you and your staff.

All the Success!
DMSRetail
http://www.dmsretail.com

PS. Super Retail Success Bundle and Retail Selling Skills YourTime Study Course are must have resources for every retail manager or owner who are focused on improving their retail operations’ effectiveness. Get your copies of each resource today:
http://www.dmsretail.com/superbundle.htm

http://www.dmsretail.com/retailsellingandserviceskillshs.htm


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