Hardware Retailing

JUN 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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HARDWARE RETAILING | June 2018 54 Cut Ties Gradually Dividing responsibilities between himself and his son will ease the transition when George decides to exit the business completely. Like any retailer who has given a lot of blood, sweat and tears to their business, it could be tempting to want absolute control until the very end. "For anyone who has always had tight rein on their business, letting go can be tough. It's become part of your life," he says. "I think it's easiest to deal with that by letting go in small doses instead of all at once." Instead of dictating every move, he lets Barry run with his own ideas. "Barry is a go-getter and I don't want to slow him down," George says. "If I were always dictating to him how to do something, this transition would be tough." Putting all of the responsibilities of running a business on Barry all at once would be a recipe for burnout. George is also hoping the business will not consume as much of Barry's life as it did his own 20 years ago. He wants to see Barry be able to spend more time with his children. Fortunately, by automating many of the store's processes, Barry is working smarter, not harder, which helps his time management as he takes on more responsibilities. Find Mentors to Help You For Barry, thinking about full store ownership has changed a lot about the way he views the business. He appreciates the take-it-slow approach and has looked to his father to teach him much of what he needs to know. But he's also found it has been valuable to find mentors outside of the business, too. When Barry saw the opportunity to purchase the building adjoining the store last year, he got an exercise in creating a business plan, and then heading to the bank to secure financing. Not only did he get a loan, but he also established a valuable relationship with his local banker, who taught him some important lessons in finances. Through the process, Barry found invaluable resources at his local small business development center and his wholesaler. "I remember being at a meeting of local business owners and asking, 'What is the No. 1 thing I need for my business to succeed?' The person told me it was a mentor," says Barry. "To anyone looking to business ownership, I think it's critical to find those people you can call anytime you need advice." Realistic Expectations George is proud to have his son work alongside him, but when he got into the business 20 years ago,

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