Articles for Retailers - by Tom Shay

The Value of Consistency

The major league baseball season is closing in on its final month of regular season play. But when the season starts each year, a couple of things are certain. Twenty-nine of the 30 teams are going to be losers at the end of the season and all 30—including the World Series winner — will face its challenges, including player ups and downs, and injuries.

The winning team probably handles the last two certainties differently than the other 29. Last year the St. Louis Cardinals Manager said late in the season that he’d used 112 different lineups through the first 130 games they had played. This meant that every player in the Cardinals organization needed to be prepared for change.

The same is true for managers and associates at art material retailers, especially those with multiple store fronts. If you are a multi-store owner, does your system allow employees to fit in wherever they go? Or, are you likely to hear that moved employ say “This is how we do it at my store.”
McDonalds, whose success, I think we all agree, doesn’t come from the company’s great food is another example of this smooth transition-type of management is. Much of company’s success comes from the consistent, successful delivery of its product.

The singularity of purpose may be something that is in writing for your business. But a singularity in process allows a business to deliver a consistent experience for a customer. This experience ranges with how a company’s phones are answered to dealing with customer complaints.
If you own multiple stores and customers are recommending one store over another, then someone is not doing their job in providing consistency of sales and service. Similarly, if you have a single art materials store it’s fair – and this should be an objective for you and your staff – for your customers to have a great experience.

Consistency is a critical element of retail success.

Like the Cardinals, your store(s) must be prepared for what tomorrow—and next season—will bring.


Tom Shay is a fourth generation small business owner, author, columnist, coach and speaker who has authored several training manuals for retailers that can be found in the Resources section of the NAMTA website – His knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing, and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits plus build their business for the future. You can learn more here -