You Have Questions…

Hey Mike, I need your help!  I’ve owned my furniture store for a dozen years.  And yes, we’ve had some ups & downs, but overall I feel we’ve been successful.  The trouble is that over the last couple of year’s growth has flat-lined.  I’m stuck on how to move the needle forward again.  I feel I’m playing not to lose and not to win.  What can I do here?  Robert-Village Furniture

I don’t have enough space here to cover everything.  And it would start with asking a whole bunch of questions.  In order to change future sales, we need to know what’s been done in the past couple years.  I need to look at ads and your ad budget.  From there I need to look at the big marketing picture.  Virtually no retailer is doing everything well.  There are always holes in their marketing funnels.  And by filling those holes, you’ll see sales increase.

Mike, how can I keep my staff motivated? It’s always a struggle for me.  I change the commission structure or put in some new spiffs and they’ll get excited for the first week or two and then blah.  How can I get rid of the blahs?

Two words– retail contests.  I luv contests.  I would suggest having them often.  And there are ways to get around the typical “Contests wouldn’t be fair in our store, because we have one full-time and many part-time salespeople.”  There are ways working around situations just like that, with one way being– let everyone win something.  But there are other ways of doing it too.  Give me a call or email and we can talk about it further.

I’m so frustrated.  We can’t seem to have consistent customer service throughout the store.  I implement something and within days it’s forgotten.  Mike, you work with many retailers, what do the successful ones do that I’m not?

You didn’t say if you’re actually writing procedures down and reviewing them on a weekly basis… But my guess is that you’re probably not.  You may not even be having weekly workshops (a better word than “meeting”), which would be a big mistake.  Bottom line is that all store policies and procedures need to be written down and reviewed on a regular basis.  Also there has to be a system of accountability where if an employee doesn’t follow what’s been written down and reviewed some sort of corrective measure needs to be put in place.

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