Do your retail sales assistants know your break-even point for each trading day? Do they know how much you need to sell on a daily/weekly/monthly basis? Do they know what a good day looks like and what an average day looks like?
Some store owners prefer not to share any financials with their team which I can understand, however there is an argument for sharing which I would like to break down.
When cashflow was tight in my retail business, my employees were blissfully unaware and kept asking for more shifts, more stock, more benefits etc. I couldn’t work out why they didn’t care about my business more than their next pay check. Sure they enjoyed working for me and there was a great team spirit, but when it came to remuneration, they simply wanted more for doing the same thing.
What I learnt, is that unless you share some of the business information with them, a sales assistant can only see money coming in. Top line sales revenue. They have no clue that after all your fixed expenses, stock purchases, marketing and the endless list of unexpected costs, you are lucky to be in the green. They aren’t aware the landlord has increased the rent and shipping costs have increased year on year. And how could they? If you don’t share that with them.
I’m not suggesting you suddenly scare all your employees away by showing them your P&L statement however sitting down and sharing with them your break-even point each month will help them to better understand why and what you need them to sell. It’s not then just an unreasonable request to make X amount of sales that week. It’s a necessity.
You will be surprised how your team can take more ownership and responsibility when you are sharing with them. When you include them. Sales targets become more than a bonus scheme. Sales revenue is the centre of your business and your sales team is part of that.
I don’t believe in giving a store a monthly sales target without breaking it down into weekly and daily potentials. Sure, their sales might be stronger in the last week of the month when clients have generally received their pay checks, but they shouldn’t rely on that for the earlier weeks. You want them to strive each day for every sale and feel great when they achieve milestones along the way. A month is a long time in the daily life of work. A daily sales target is a great way to keep your team motivated and working hard even on those slower days. But don’t forget to celebrate the wins! Everyone loves to celebrate when good things happen so be sure to acknowledge them.
Do team targets or individual targets work better for you? I for one, am a fan of the team target. I would rather everyone is working together than in competition. Of course you need to keep watching for weaker team members and at the same time the really strong sales people but overall I found it usually creates a better sense of team spirit in the store. You can more gently measure individual targets through your POS system if you have one that lets you create individual log ins.
The above mentioned sharing of information and creation of targets is all meant to help motivate your team to make sales. However if they never reach your required daily sales figure then they will slowly become demotivated and won’t believe in your business. Whilst I believe you should be straight with them about what you need to sell, you also need to make a realistic plan with them to get it to that. And it isn’t 100% down to the sales people. Also consider the factors that your stock purchasing, marketing and in-store design all have on the sales figures.
Teamwork makes the dream work!
“Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.” – Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos