Tackle Daily Operations First
The first thing you might not think to tackle in troubleshooting your business is operations – but it should be.
So, review your store’s daily operations, tools and practices. Take a good look at all work areas – front and back. Make sure no one has the ability to use any of the following excuses for not meeting their sales goals!
The list below may appear to be minor nuisances, but combined, they can build to a daily inhibitor of streamlined performance.
Top 10 excuses your staff may use for poor performance – and how to fix them:
- I can never find [folders, bags, pens, tools, etc] when I need them!
Have you delegated specific staff for ordering and restocking supplies regularly?
- I didn’t know the schedule was changed!
Are schedules posted in advance and maintained? Are schedule changes made only through you or your manager with all parties involved signing off?
- I didn’t know there was a new policy!
Are notices prominently and regularly posted? Expired information removed or filed to reduce clutter?
- No one listens to my ideas to improve!
Is there a means for staff to provide regular input, i.e., suggestion box, post meeting discussions, and review documentation?
- I don’t have any place to make calls!
Is there a designated working space for staff members to contact customers and keep their own files?
- I could have made that sale if I knew we had it in stock!
Is stock organized, accessible and rotated? Is new merchandise featured at meetings?
- I never get my customers’ messages!
Is there a central system, message board, pad, or other method in place for all staff to easily access their messages?
- But I told everyone (about ___) in case I was off when my customer came in!
See Item #7 – Decide on a means of communication for when staff has an off day to be habitually used by all: central notebook, bulletin/dry erase board, desktop calendar / notes, whatever works!
- No one told me they were out of stock! or When did we get that in?
See Item #8
- I couldn’t get back from lunch in time because the food court was jammed, traffic was bad, etc…!
Do you provide an eating space, small refrigerator and microwave for your staff? Many times staff would be happy to bring lunch, but are forced to leave and fight with the lunch crowds. Well worth the small investment to avoid these situations. You might also consider scheduling lunch times before and after traditional lunch times to avoid the main lunch crush and provide better service for those lunchtime customers.
Stop fueling the blame game and make these changes now.
It is very easy for staff to blame poor performance on a lack of tools and means to perform. If you are operating an efficient and well functioning business, your staff (and you) won’t have those excuses to fall back on when you ask them to justify less than acceptable sales results.
Note: Why do I blog about both Marketing and On-the-floor issues? Because you can spend all you want on marketing to get new traffic in the door, but what happens when they walk through your doors is the key to the best ROI on marketing.
- 3 Reasons Your Customers May Be Defecting to Online Shopping (bizcommunicator.wordpress.com)
- Kindness to staff begets kindness to customers? – Tom Peters (bizcommunicator.wordpress.com)
- #1 rule for retail success (bizcommunicator.wordpress.com)