Hardware Retailing

FEB 2018

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 A s an independent retailer, it is clear that you have to be somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades to be successful. One minute you have to be a home improvement expert providing product insights to a customer, and the next, you have to play the role of coach motivating a new staff member. In between all of these duties, you also have to exhibit the foundational business skills that are essential to running your operation. That's a pretty wide-ranging skillset for anyone to try and maintain. This is exactly why the training team here at the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) works to provide you with the tools you need to keep your skills sharp. The most recent addition to the resources we have for you to use is our Basic Retail Accounting course. Though the name might imply that this course is for "beginners," in the world of business accounting, it provides a great introduction or refresher for just about anyone wanting to brush up on their basic finance skills as they relate to running a retail business. The course is set up in an easy-to-digest format that visually walks participants through the basic steps of understanding retail finance. The course starts with an overview of why retail finance is important to running a successful operation and how retailers can use the information available through financial reports to make their operations stronger. Next, it turns to a more in-depth look at the income statement and balance sheet— the two documents that largely provide you with all the information you might need to get a solid overview of a business's financial health. From there, the course moves on to an examination of the data you can find in each of these reports and what actions a retailer can take to improve these numbers. We end the course with an overview of basic financial ratios and the key performance indicators that can help a retailer determine the health of their operation. Throughout the course, we also reference NRHA's Cost of Doing Business Study (CODB). For those of you not familiar with our CODB, it is an annual research project that takes the financial information from more than 1,000 independent hardware stores, home centers and lumber dealers and aggregates the results to provide benchmarking for retail financial performance. The CODB allows you to look at your own operation's financial data and compare it to industry averages to see how your business stacks up. Any independent home improvement retailer can participate in the report at no cost and receive a customized financial overview in return. Combined, the Basic Retail Accounting course and the CODB provide an ideal platform for retailers wanting to gain a better understanding of their operation's overall finances and develop a plan for strengthening their market position. As we are beginning a new year, there is perhaps no better time to commit to making the financial changes that can lead your business to even greater prosperity. For more information on the Basic Retail Accounting course or the CODB, please feel free to reach out to me directly at dgowan@nrha.org. David Gowan, Vice President of Finance and Business Services dgowan@nrha.org " As we are beginning a new year, there is perhaps no better time to commit to making the financial changes that can lead your business to even greater prosperity. " Sharpen Your Skills in 2018 HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2018 8

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