Articles for Retailers

Being The Team

By Tom Shay, Profits Plus Solutions, Inc

We have seen the expression, “team” -- as compared to being “employees” -- used so often in the past 30 years to express the idea of the people working in our businesses.  

We have the expectation the “team” gets along with each other; the “team” works together to accomplish tasks done vs. one individual doing the work; and, that a “team” can do a better job of serving our customer than an employee can.

All of this makes sense in allowing us to better compete.  Having that personal interaction with our customers should be a great experience that the Internet and competitors cannot match.

It’s common to see the players on a winning team recognize and credit the “team” for their success.  Together they’ve addressed their challenges throughout the season and succeeded. 

Just as the sports team gathers around their coach before the game begins, you could use this same strategy in your business each day.  What if your employees were scheduled to arrive just 15 minutes before the store opened? Having a pot of coffee ready makes for a soothing and mood setting environment for the day.  It could also provide you – the coach – with a great opportunity to quickly discuss what needs to be done that day – from following up with a customer to stocking shelves to cleaning the restrooms.  All of the “short term” issues and opportunities.

Requiring every employee to always have a notepad and pen with them to take notes of specific assignments, demonstrate you are always ready to conduct business and will remember what someone said or something they need to do.

Occasionally, you can convey a more specific message such as demonstrating how you want the phone answered or how you prefer to have your staff greet customers who have just walked into the store.  Do they know, for example, that putting an item in the customers hands, and at the appropriate time saying, “Is one enough or would two be better?”, have both been shown to increase sales?
The activities will consume at least 10 minutes and then everyone can start their day, hopefully, with a little stronger sense of “the team.”

Tom Shay is a fourth generation small business owner providing proven management and business building ideas through his Profits Plus Seminars, Profits Plus Solutions coaching, books authored, and articles written. Tom can be reached at 727-464-2182 or through his web site: