Who Else Wants to Crush it This Year?
Well, You Too Can Maximize Revenues & Profits to Make Big Money from Your Stores Just by Throwing Those Proverbial Monkeys Back to Where they Rightfully Belong.
Oh ya, it’s all about the Monkeys! Find out why, and what to do about it.
Find out how this retail business owner who had almost given up and soon would have had to sell his chain for pennies on the dollar just to get out from under the weight…to escape the mental torture of watching sales go down, down, down, ended up capturing the Number 1 position in their category for Biggest Sales Increase overall and for Average Sale Per Customer, specifically, in just one year.
When I first heard his story, I must say I was amazed and, yes, maybe just a tad skeptical. It was jaw dropping stuff….pretty serious stuff. It sounded like he did a lot of things right…a lot… with only a few hiccups along the way.
Well, no one is perfect.
To get to how this all happened, let’s peak behind the magic curtain, like the one hiding the Great Oz, 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 and, most definitely, his money, money, money!
Maybe money can’t buy happiness …but you can’t run a business without it!
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 small 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 little 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, successful chain of retail stores.
Oh, and he absolutely had to have a summer house on a nearby lake – he spoke about it passionately every chance he got. He was obsessed. 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.
More than anything, when he considered his current situation, it was the idea of giving up his summer house dreams that irked him the most.
Sleepless nights…oh, yes indeed.
It was going to be his reward and, at the same time, 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.
It was going to be the most special place ever.
He could picture every tree and flowering shrub, every ripple on the water.
He could sniff the aroma of the coffee sitting steaming on the oak table that graced the beautiful porch…the porch with lacy gingerbread adorning every corner. His wife loved gingerbread woodwork.
He could hear the waves crashing against the shore when a storm blew in.
In his mind’s eye, there were yachts lazily criss-crossing the lake…their owners waving hello and often stopping in for tea.
He could almost hear his future grandkids frolicking at the waters edge; teens water skiing and having the time of their lives.
At night, the family would get together around a roaring campfire and toast marshmallows, sing songs and talk about their day.
He loved the smell of the campfire.
What a wonderful family picture our guy painted. Ah, yes! He knew what he wanted.
And all of this sounds 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!! Meaning, you are 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! Make those registers sing …
C-A C-H-I-N-G! C-A C-H-I-N-G! C-A C-H-I-N-G!…Heck, ya!
If it’s not happening for you yet, the only questions you should be asking are…
What do I need to do?
How do I do it?
OK, let’s roll it back to where this guy’s story really got started. The very moment, in fact.
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 and he was putting his hat on his head which he used to cover the crazed hair style that he was sporting because he couldn’t take time to visit his barber – in other words he was going home for the night, thoroughly exhausted.
A staff member all but accosted him at the door as he was leaving and started blubbering 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.
Well, something was about to happen but it wasn’t terrible…it was wonderful, glorious and long overdue.
Our retail business owner finally spoke again and said that he now understood that old expression about having all the Monkeys on his shoulders.
What? Monkeys? (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 and until that someone says stop, they just keep taking on more and more.
Our guy realized that some of the Monkeys represented staff members and some represented issues. Some 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?” he exclaimed.
And the answer slammed him over the head and almost knocked him over. He felt like he’d been whacked with a blunt instrument.
At that very moment, he realized that he had 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. And, he had done it all on his own accord; of his own free will.
He, seemingly, expected nothing of anyone.
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.
In case you’re wondering, we’re going to get back to the disposition of his ‘Monkeys’ , or issues, in just a few minutes.
By the way, our guy is not unusual. This same problem plagues many, many 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.
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 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 got excited and accepted the targets with relish 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. The smart ones understood this meant huge opportunity for them.
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 their character.
(Bye-bye…so sad to see you go. We kind of liked you but seeing as you are L-A-Z-Y and have to leave, please 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 points out 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 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 we were able to share 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 could ferret out decent locations and establish nice looking stores. He knew 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.
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, have 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 a little meander through any shopping mall or centre will show you who is winning and who isn’t.
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 for a very reasonable sum.
That was just a figure of speech. It‘s not really in a bottle…it comes in the form of Study Courses, Workbooks, PowerPoint Presentations, Relevant Articles, Success Guides, Tools, DVD’s and access to Retail Experts.
It’s called Platinum Private Membership in the Retail Business Academy.
Everything we have produced is available to members. Our guy poured himself into it and pulled out tons of information to put his business on track.
Among the materials packed in this prodigious and ever changing 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. That goes for you too, unless you’re planning on a career in high finance.
With Platinum Private Membership in the Retail Business Academy 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 download and print as many copies as you need for your Store Managers…every year.
There’s some strong advice, warnings and instruction related to interviewing, hiring and training. Our guy learned all about canned questions.
A lot of 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.
One of the things he came to understand is that he really needed to take time with candidates to find out what made them tick. After all, he knew that if and when they ever got on his sales floor they would be in direct contact with his customer.
He had learned enough, by then, that he was not willing to take chances on how that would go.
He was already sharper, wiser, faster, you name it. He was winning!!
But, 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.
And if you do find yourself with a bad hire (it happens to the best of us) fix it fast. Don’t keep the bad apple around to ruin the barrel.
The Retail Business Academy has a wealth of information on DVD. We cover a lot of different retail subjects.
One of the pdf’s is the Retailer’s Guide to Emotional Hot Buttons and there’s some mighty interesting information in there about pushing emotional hot buttons to sell more merchandise.
Now, that is 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 memorized it.
It turned him into an extraordinary leader.
Every retail business owner and retail manager should be a Platinum Private Member of the Retail Business Academy.
In fact, this story had a happily-ever-after ending because the wisdom our guy sought came from the resource called the 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 membership today.
Read about it, take a gander at the testimonials and then become a Platinum Private Member for a mere fraction of the value you will get out of it.
Make your own happy ending.
Then, send us your success story; send a picture of your summer house or ski chalet or a shot from a fabulous trip that you finally had the time to take or that $150,000 car that you didn’t need but you bought just because.
Let us know about your new pursuits; those things that you’ll have more time for after you’ve developed your organization to the point where you can retire comfortably, or at least stop working so many hours every week.
All the Success!
PS: Opportunity knocks. Take advantage of it here.