Hardware Retailing

OCT 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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Independent Thinking I f you could improve your employees' performance just a little, would it matter? I'd like to share with you a few numbers from the 2017 NRHA Cost of Doing Business Study. The typical (median) hardware store does more than $1.8 million in sales, has about 10,000 square feet of selling space and an annual customer count of 86,162, with an average transaction of $22. The top-performing quartile of stores does about $2.2 million in sales in just over 9,100 square feet, with an annual customer count of 75,236. This top quartile group has an average ticket of $30. Now, I concede that location can affect customer count, although there are ways retailers can grow their count. But transaction size can be highly influenced by your team on the salesfloor. If you're a typical store, you have almost 90,000 chances a year to grow it. Improving your team's sales abilities even a little can make a big difference. Let's suppose you do nothing to build traffic counts, but you grow your average ticket by just two dollars. You've just grown revenue by $172,324 and your gross profit by a whopping $72,893 (at the 42.3 percent typical store gross margin rate). It appears a small investment in improving your sales team might be worth it. We're not trying to persuade you to buy something from NRHA. We'd like to try to persuade you to try something FREE! If you don't have a training program because you don't know where to start or think it may be too expensive, your association has a low-risk solution, and it's FREE. Over the past two years, the NRHA staff has created a wealth of free employee training resources that are all available online. Now, you may say that nothing is ever free, and we'll agree that it may take a little of your time and effort, but you won't have to write any checks to get going. Here's how to get started. Visit nrha.org, and at the top of the homepage, you'll find a tab called Free Training. Click on this tab, and you will find nearly 50 short training lessons covering topics such as selling skills, merchandising, product knowledge and operations. Each lesson can be studied individually or can be used as the basis of a quick training class at employee meetings. Each lesson also has trainers' notes to get you started. There is also a 21-page Train the Trainer Guide, which will help you understand how to structure your program and keep it going. If you're an owner reading this, you may not have the time to take on another initiative like starting a training program. These free resources from NRHA provide an ideal opportunity for one of your up-and-coming employees or an assistant store manager. Let them know you trust them and are counting on them to help you develop your employees' skills. They will appreciate the responsibility, and it will be a great opportunity for them to show their stuff. Of course, NRHA also offers a range of additional training modules and educational programs for additional costs. These programs are intensive and valuable, and I would encourage all retailers to explore the full range of programs we offer. But if you're looking for a place to start, why not start with the no-cost options? We also can't miss the opportunity to point out one more FREE training tool— Hardware Retailing magazine. Don't leave this magazine on your desk; it's full of great merchandising ideas, retail best practices and product knowledge to share with your staff. Pass it around, make copies and cut out pages. Make it your No. 1 source for powerful new training tips every month. We'd also be happy to send every employee in your business a digital edition of this magazine—FREE! Bill Lee, President and CEO blee@nrha.org " If you don't have a training program because you don't know where to start or think it may be too expensive, your association has a low-risk solution, and it's FREE. " Let's Start With FREE HARDWARE RETAILING | October 2017 8

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