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February 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 2
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5 Time Management Tips For Retailers

Increase productivity by managing your time.


Time management isn’t just for accountants — it’s for everyone.

Managers and independent retail owners are pushed and pulled in dozens of ways — it’s the nature of the business.

As a result, managers and owners can become overwhelmed by multiple demands, which results in not moving the business forward.

You can be passive and carry all these demands on your back, or you can become proactive and be the master of your day.

In the former scenario you’re stressed out — but in the latter, you’re sane.
It all starts with what you focus on as you come to work…

During the busy season, if you come into the store and all you can say is how overworked you are and that there’s no time, well, guess what?

Your will be harried and you’ll have no time. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When you start out each day in control, with a positive attitude and the knowledge of which tasks are most important to accomplish today, you’ll find that the day passed quickly and with less drama. 

That is what happens when you use these tips for time management.

5 Time Management Tips

Dump it: Begin every week or, ideally, every day, by listing every professional and personal task you need to finish in that time frame. I call this a brain dump — you don’t want all those tasks running around in your head and getting lost. Lose 10 pounds = not on the list. Send back returns today = on the list. You can then prioritize the items on your list to focus your week, starting with most important tasks. If you don’t get them all done, at least you accomplished what was most important.

Work it: The only way you’ll be in business tomorrow is if you sell your merchandise today! So, in addition to the brain dump, set a daily sales goal each day. Then give everyone you’re working with his or her own sales goal. Unless you tell your employees what you expect them to sell, they won’t be as focused on moving merch.

Train it: Aren’t you tired of hearing: “Where does this go?” “How much is this?” “How do I ring this up?” If your employees are asking the same questions over and over, guess what? You probably haven’t trained them thoroughly. Make sure training is on your weekly list with specific items or procedures to focus on until you get your full staff up to speed.

Plan it: Email, Facebook updates — all of it can be a time suck away from selling your wares. Schedule a certain time each day to check on and respond- then stick to it. If you want to check social media sooner — do it on a break.

Review it: Be sure you make time to praise your staff, because people who feel valued will be more likely to take on more responsibility, accept new training and ease the manager’s burden. Even if they’re on commission, your employees still need to hear you say, “You did a great job, and I appreciate your hard work.”

Seizing control of your time requires changing your attitude about who is in control — you, or outsiders. That can be uncomfortable. But if you can practice these five time management tips religiously for a couple weeks, you’ll find that you won’t be putting out fires every day. Instead, you can get up in the blimp and look at the whole operation — and guide it profitability with less stress.



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Bob PhibbsWriter's Bio: Bob Phibbs is the Retail Doctor®, a best-selling author and speaker who has helped thousands of independent businesses compete. His new book, The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business has received praise from both Inc. magazine and USA Today and can be found at your local bookstore or ordered at http://www.retaildoc.com/guide. He and his work have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur magazine. Questions? Contact Bob at info@retaildoc.com. This article was reprinted with permission of the author, Bob Phibbs, aka The Retail Doctor®. Read more articles by this author

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