All businesses are unique but the principles behind success are universal. THOMAS YOUNG explains the nature of these principles, and how you can best implement them.
Running a successful retail business may appear complex to an outsider looking in. However, once the basics are in place, the key to success is common sense.
It’s a simple and easy-to-understand process that involves relating with people. Yet still, so many organisations don’t employ this pivotal practice.
Instead, many businesses function well below their potential due to the fear and anxiety of leaders, managers, and employees at all levels.
Errors, emotions, and ego so often block the fundamental laws of business success from being implemented.
Leadership and rewards
Success begins with the lead taken by the head of the business.
The leader of the business sets the tone for the culture and focus. The approach taken by the leader flows throughout all levels below, and this is particularly true for small retailers such as jewellers.
Leaders, usually the storeowner, must have a clear mission. They must effectively communicate this mission, along with their values and goals.
Any business can reach high levels of performance if the staff accepts the mission statement and work toward making it a reality. Every individual associated with the business, including customers, must understand why the business exists.
Successful retailers build relationships with staff, customers, and other stakeholders through the values of trust, integrity, and honesty.
On average, people tend to be good at sensing when they’re being misled or deceived. Customers and staff have a low tolerance for dishonesty and environments that lack trust.
Businesses that can build trust will have the best employees and the most loyal customers.
From there, customers who repeatedly purchase their products or services will naturally promote the business to others.
These organisations then attract and hire highly motivated staff who feel valued because trust is present in the workplace.
Organisational compensation, motivational programs and rewards systems should always be clear and in tune with the mission, values, and goals of any business.
When a business prospers, the staff should benefit. Staff incentives and rewards should be evaluated from the perspective of the employee, not the business or owner.
The key is to see motivation from the mind of the employee, not the business.
Understanding customer needs
Studies have shown that members of staff want to feel valued by their employers above other factors. It’s natural to want to feel important and to be sure that the business values their contribution.
Business leaders must find ways to communicate how they value staff.
Staff make decisions based on their emotions and thoughts, which are not always rational or logical, and sometimes abstract and unpredictable.
Money paid to staff does not express value in the long term. Employees want respect, recognition for their work and to feel valued.
Furthermore, a business is nothing without its customers and yet, so many businesses make decisions based on the perception of the trade as seen by the managers, and not the customers.
All decisions need to be evaluated based on the impact to the customer.
The question all leaders must routinely ask themselves is, “How will this decision impact our current and potential customers?”
Storeowners and managers should get into the minds of their customers and make decisions based on what is valued by the people who pay their salaries — the customer.
Success between sales
Every member of staff has a role to play when it comes to marketing. After all, they’re the face of the business.
Customers have many choices to make and make no mistake, they will not hesitate to switch to your competitor if the price or environment is right.
Retailers must communicate effectively with all customers, informing them of the value they offer through marketing and sales efforts.
It’s all too common for businesses to focus entirely on making the sale or generating revenue. Managers look at the bottom line and make decisions from there.
The true success of any business – large or small – is determined by what happens before and after the sale.