Retailers – Find the time to do what you do best

RetailingRetailing in regional Irish towns has been challenging for the last 5 years, and many independent retailers have found themselves struggling to keep businesses viable.

The cycle can be somewhat predictable.  Sales drop, which necessitates wage cuts and reducing number of hours for supporting staff.  The end result is the owner simply works longer and harder to bridge the gap. 

Unwittingly, and without recognising its effect, many retailers find themselves spending the majority of their time working in the business, rather than dedicating some of their time to managing and driving the business forward.  When any retailer starts their business off, they excel as an entrepreneur and as a manager.  They want their shop to be different, to be able to exceed the competition and to create an innovative retail environment. 

Many retail owners now find that valuable time as an entrepreneur and manager is being quickly eroded by day to day work which leaves them without some of the most critical tools necessary to run their business.

While it is hard to break the cycle, the reality is, that for the business to grow again, the business owner’s expertise is probably the main trigger for this and finding at least two clear hours in the week to manage the business is a crucial element of the recovery process. 

More and more business owners are realising that the recent declines in retail sales seem to have bottomed out and retailers focused on recovery are beginning to start to drive sales in a more aggressive manner anticipating positive sales growth over the next 3-4 years.

Retailers …find the time to do what you do best

James Burke - Beacon InitiativeJames Burke – Retail Consultant

James is part of the Beacon Initiative, Retail Programme Management Team, which can assist retailers through the provision of management and retail expertise. The Beacon Initiative is funded by Cork County Councils Economic Development Fund and supported by the Council , County Enterprise Boards and the Cork Institute of Technology.

One thought on “Retailers – Find the time to do what you do best

  1. That’s very true James and there’s sometimes a tendency to get stuck in the day to day as it is easier than the process of strategic thinking and future planning for the business.I see it all the time when I am working with manufacturing companies also and I usually relay the following anecdote to them:

    The Titanic is on its maiden voyage and the overall objective is to break the speed record to New York.The men are in the boiler room shovelling in the coal as fast as they can but still the ship is not going fast enough. The Captain decides to take everybody , including himself, to the boiler room to help with the effort and , as a consequence, there is nobody left in the control tower.After a while the combined effort downstairs is making the ship go faster – but unfortunately there is nobody upstairs watching the vessel gathering speed towards an iceberg!

    Strategic thinking is difficult, especially for small operations – but vital for survival.

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