5 Time Management Tips For Retailers

By Bob Phibbs

time management tips for retailTime management isn't for accountants - it's for everyone.

Many times managers and independent retail owners are pulled and pushed in dozens of ways because of the nature of the business.

As a result managers and owners can become overwhelmed by multiple demands resulting in not moving the business forward.

You can either be passive and carry all these demands on your back, or you can become proactive and the master of your day.

One you're stressed out, the other you're sane.

It starts with what you focus on as you come to work...

As we come into the holidays, if you come into the store and all you can say is how overworked you are and that there's no time, well, guess what?

Your holidays will be harried and you'll have no time. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But when you start each day being in control with a positive attitude and saying to yourself that you know what's most important to accomplish today, you'll find the day pass quickly and with less drama. That happens when you use these tips for time management.

5 Time Management Tips

Dump it: Begin every week or ideally, every day, by listing every professional and personal task you need to finish in that time frame. I call this a brain dump - you don't want all those tasks running around in your head that you need to accomplish. Lose 10 pounds = not on the list. Send back returns today = yes. Then prioritize the items on your list to focus your week starting with most important. If you don't get them all done, at least you got the most important.

Work it. The only reason you'll be in business tomorrow is if you sell your merch today! So in addition to the brain dump, set a daily sales goal each day. Then give everyone you're working with their own sales goal. Unless you tell them what you expect them to sell, there will be no focus on their part to moving your merch.

Train it. Aren't you tired of the same: "Where does this go?" "How much is this?" "How do I ring this up?" If you hear the same questions over and over guess what? You probably haven't trained your employees. Make sure training is on your weekly list with specific items or procedures until you get your full staff up to speed.

Plan it. Email, Facebook updates - all of it can be a time suck away from selling your wares. Schedule a certain time each day to check on and respond- then stick to it. If you want to check social media sooner - do it on a break.

Review it. Be sure you make time to praise your staff, because people who feel valued will be more likely to take on more responsibility, accept new training and ease the manager's burden. Even if they're on commission, your employees still need to hear you say, "You did a great job, and I appreciate your hard work."

See also, How To Get Your Employees To Do What You Want

In Sum

Seizing control of your time requires changing you attitude about who is in control - you or "outsiders." that can be uncomfortable.

But if you can practice these five time management tips religiously for a couple weeks, you'll find that you won't be putting out fires every day but can get up in the blimp and look at the whole operation - and guide it profitability with less stress.

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