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3 Do’s and Don’ts For Empowering Your Employees

Do's and Don'ts RetailHow you treat your employees can have a huge impact on your company. A quick search of YouTube reveals videos of employees doing disgusting things to food and throwing iPads.

Attitudes and behaviors are largely determined by how employees feel about the person they work for, and the employee training they’ve received from the company. If you treat employees like they’re disposable, they’re likely to return the favor.

If you invest the time and effort to treat them like valued employees, then they’ll feel empowered to invest the time and effort to build a career with your business. Continue reading 3 Do’s and Don’ts For Empowering Your Employees »

Retail Management Are You Thinking Like A Customer Or Merchant?

retail sales tipsWhenever I look at a business that is not making money I find it usually is from owners or managers thinking like a customer or employee rather than a merchant.

It starts with not pricing correctly.  ”Oh, I wouldn’t pay that much for this item.”  Knowing how much something costs somehow devalues its worth in their eyes. Since most owners or managers have never taken a course on pricing or examined their financials, they may mark it up less than keystone.  (One guy at a recent speech sheepishly admitted he purchased an item at $10 and priced it at $15.)  But merch should be marked up keystone (that’s double) + a few bucks so the business is profitable.

That’s what merchants do.

You may not be able to do it on every item but you have to consciously choose items you must be priced-competitively on and others you can make up lost margins. Otherwise you probably are dumping money into the business rather than taking it out.

This fuzzy thinking continues with employee flexibility.  Instead of a set schedule a manager can knock out in an hour or so, the manger lets employees give them their availability week by week and then try to plug that into a schedule.  This results in hours and hours of wasted time with store coverage compromised.

Merchants come up with a set schedule based on demand, then fill it based on ability to sell the merch.  That allows the managers much more time to train, monitor and sell on the floor.  That tight ship also helps them let go of bad new hires quicker. Continue reading Retail Management Are You Thinking Like A Customer Or Merchant? »

Cash Flow Tips For Retailers In February

Feb cash flow tipsLooking for how to save money and improve cash flow in your retail store? It is important to follow some very specific cash flow properties during February in order to ensure your year continues on the right foot.

Hopefully, you took my end of year cash flow tips to heart. As the year unfolds, it is essential to adapt to the different events that will impact your business’ cash flow.

As the month of February roles in, you’ll want to slightly alter what you did in January to not only better serve your customers, but your own financial needs.

No one wants to see their hard-earned profits sitting on the sales floor.


The big event in February obviously is Valentine’s Day.  Though not as large or popular as Christmas or Halloween, speciality items associated with Valentines day are a method for improving the cash flow into your retail business. Continue reading Cash Flow Tips For Retailers In February »

Dress Code For Retail Employees – Still Appropriate?

dress code

If a guy walked into your shop and saw you dressed in white makeup, wild red hair, clown shoes, a red nose, baggy colorful pants, a bunch of balloons and a painted on smile, he’d probably quickly decide this guy is a clown.

That’s because customers judge you within nanoseconds of spotting you.  Your good looks, your warm personality and your product knowledge will have to wait until after they have decided whether to trust you.

And that comes based on the way you dress – whether you are behind the counter, working with a customer or just returning from a break.

When we meet a stranger, we all play a sorting game. What is perfectly acceptable in an average department store is a step below a Nordstrom.  Dress codes were created because some employees don’t notice any difference.

And that’s a problem… Continue reading Dress Code For Retail Employees – Still Appropriate? »

Mystery Shops: Retailers – Now Is The Time

mystery shop

Have you heard of the runaway success of the burger franchise Five Guys?

What’s one of the big reasons Five Guys is wildly successful? They send mystery shoppers out twice a week to all locations. The brothers who run the operation also constantly visit the restaurants.

Five Guys knows you need to inspect what you expect.

High standards each and every day ensure the right employees do the right things.

Training new retail employees to 100% and then making them work for managers who don’t run the shifts up to high standards is spinning your company’s wheels and lowering the brand perception in customers’ eyes. Continue reading Mystery Shops: Retailers – Now Is The Time »