The start of a New Year is a good time to assess where you’ve been and where you want to go. Otherwise, it can be just the same problems on a different day.
Most of us are good at seeing what we didn’t accomplish. Many throw up their hands and say, “Good riddance.” But could you take stock of what went right instead?
To do better in your business, you must take responsibility for driving your store, not sit in the passenger seat watching it all go past.
You can’t just hope a perfectly trained employee who can work any hours and weekends while being passionate about helping customers, thirsty for knowledge, and willing to work for peanuts will walk through the door. That is not going to happen.
You have to make them.
You’ll have to create retail crews who can interact with a wary public, gain their trust, and be great employees. It is the time of being more human at an increasingly inhuman time.
There is no magic to this. It’s called being brilliant on the basics.
Are you still in chaos mode? You know, you don’t have time blah, blah, blah, you’re just so busy blah, blah, blah, you can’t find good help blah, blah, blah?
All those are excuses to stay stuck.
Only you can stop it.
Setting a new direction for 2024…
Take responsibility for your actions. Change your “I’m so busy” excuse into “I haven’t made time for that.” Change your “I don’t have time for that” into “I haven’t chosen to make time for that.”
It is a subtle difference, but it is one that, when you practice it, always reminds you that this is a choice you are making or not making.
Otherwise, you’re lost in the chaos. And chaos mode doesn’t scale.
Take, for example, the person who says they can’t hire someone to do their bookkeeping.
How much would that cost you? Let’s say it is $30 an hour. You’ve just told me that your family, sanity, and role as a business leader are not worth $30 for each of those hours.
To change your mindset, start with the perspective, “Could I hire someone else to do this to spend more time with my family?”
How much is your family worth, or how much is time doing what you want to do worth?”
You have to use your choice muscle.
Every retailer I’ve talked to this year wants to grow. But like all of us, considering doing the work creates fear and procrastination.
Don’t confuse procrastination with laziness. It’s not that you don’t want to work. It’s just that you don’t want to encounter those feelings of self-doubt, confusion, or frustration as you try new things. You might fail, and that possibility feels worse than looking forward to success.
Here’s the thing…
The brain only learns by trial and error. You’re supposed to meet road bumps and have to figure things out.
The work you’re avoiding isn’t because it is something you hate but really just something you fear. And the work that needs to be done is often what’s in your best interest.
Instead of looking for someone to pull you out of the river, you need to get upstream and find out why you’re falling in to begin with.
There are two kinds of stores, two kinds of managers, and two kinds of retail companies: the ones that will make it and those that will not. It’s really the difference between people who take responsibility for their actions and how that plays out in their business and those who shirk that responsibility and blame others.
But no one else is responsible for you having a clean store.
An engaging shopping experience.
Or enough help.
Amazon and the rest are not going away; the only certainty is it is up to you.
A lot of retailers had great holidays. Don’t pat yourself on the back for too long if you did because the holiday demands are now over.
What should you be looking at right now in terms of retail management? What strategies will keep you growing and learning?
Ultimately, we can only focus on the future, not the past.
One thing I’ve used for starting each day is a daily meditation. I particularly like Deepak Chopra’s Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life. You can find it here.
Be open to new things.
And with a smile on your face and a positive direction in your heart, be willing to set a new direction for 2024.
We are pleased to mention that the author Bob Phibbs aka the Retail Doctor (who has contributed to BRA with outstanding articles like this one and so many others that we have reposted over the past few years) has also contributed to BRA monetarily. We value his relevant retail insight and encourage you to learn more about his offerings by clicking on the following link to his website: www.retaildoc.com
– Doug Works, Executive Director BRA
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