Hardware Retailing

OCT 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 | October 2018 50 M y favorite 2-year-old boy says "Wow!" more than anyone I've ever met. Ducks in the yard, beads the size of pinheads, electrical outlets and shadows mesmerize him. Take some cues from him and other tiny members of Hardware Retailing employees' families (pictured here). Read this list to discover how you can better your operation by demonstrating the awe, kindness, curiosity and resilience that come more naturally to toddlers than adults. Retail Lessons From Toddlers Learn from bumps and bruises. Experimenting and trying to learn new skills can bruise a forehead or burn a tiny finger, but children learn important lessons from mishaps. Painful results don't mean your time was wasted. You may need to give up and try another approach or scrap an expensive project. Learn from every mistake you make instead of trying to forget it or continuing to do what's harmful to your business to save face. Keep a short memory. A toddler forgets a tantrum or lost opportunity quickly, and so can you. Don't fret over disappointments or let arguments fester for days or years. Even without resolution, you can move on without bitterness. You won't thrive if you're focused unforgivingly or anxiously on the past. Always stop and pet the puppy. Encountering a dog can turn a 2-minute walk across a sidewalk with a child into a 15-minute meet and greet. Slowing down to meet people and pets is important for customer service. Petting the puppy can help you move from, "How may I help you?" to "I'm really glad to know you." Learn by imitating. Mimicry is one of the fastest ways children learn. They watch adults and older kids, often modeling what they do and say after the people around them. You can learn by imitating, too. Other business owners have plenty to teach because they have more, better or different experiences. Visit peers' stores, ask questions and mimic what they do well. By Kate Klein, kklein@nrha.org

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