Hardware Retailing

SEP 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | September 2017 54 that worked better than before for each employee while reducing the total amount of money he was spending on payroll. He also focused on cross-training employees and expanding their skillsets. Besides giving him more flexibility when it comes to scheduling workers, Rector says cross-training also improves customer service and opens up the possibility of some employees even earning more money when they're able to work a different position in the store. "I haven't had to lay anyone off as I've been reducing payroll costs," he says. "I've been able to look after my numbers and also take care of my employees. It's a win-win for everyone." Pointers for Success Be More Creative Than the Problem When faced with something in the store you want to change, "you need to be more creative than the problem," says Rector. It's important to question assumptions you may have about the way you run your business. Be willing to look for creative solutions that lie outside the normal way you operate. 1 Try Cross-Training Employees Look for employees who are willing to learn new skills. Cross-training your cashier, for example, means he will be able to take shifts in other parts of the store to replace hours you may need to cut at the checkout counter. This could eliminate the need to hire additional part-time employees if you only need them for a small number of hours. Give more opportunities to the staff you have before hiring more. 2 Lower Labor Costs by Raising Sales If labor cost as a percentage of sales is higher than it should be, first make sure you are making the most efficient use of your employees' schedules so you aren't overstaffed during the slow times. Then, focus on raising sales. Give employees product knowledge training so they are more confident about selling, and then teach them about add-on selling so you can raise the average transaction size. Look for ways to build the morale of your staff so they will be more excited about working for you. An enthusiastic and engaged staff will sell more and pay for themselves. 3 Lee Rector uses NRHA's Cost of Doing Business Study to compare the performance of his store against others in the industry and then identify opportunities for growth.

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