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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October 2018 | HARDWARE RETAILING 73 I thank customers with handwritten notes. When customers make large purchases, such as high-end grills, Haley personally handwrites and mails thank you cards after delivery. Because he has met the customers in person while making deliveries to their homes, Haley can add a personal touch to strengthen connections. I work at least one full day per week on the salesfloor. When Haley opened his store in 2016, he knew he could get sucked into a growing amount of office work and lose touch with customers if he wasn't proactive. "My goal is to work every Saturday on the salesfloor as an associate so I'm face to face with customers," he says. I make deliveries personally. Haley and his teenage sons deliver nearly every grill the store sells. "If you get to go to a customer's home and make a connection with them, they become intensely more loyal to you," Haley says. "When people deal with an owner, it changes their whole relationship with that business." I debrief weekly with my business partner. Haley recommends retailers sit down weekly with their business partners or spouses to debrief from the workweek. He and Melanie set aside focused time on Sundays to discuss how business is going. They share feedback they received from customers and thoughts on how they can improve their store. I work individually with new hires to instill company values. Haley and his wife Melanie make sure one of them can spend an entire day working with every new employee. They believe instilling a positive company culture is paramount. So, they take a personal interest in developing these values in new hires, especially if the employees don't have work experience. Jason Haley Haley owns Ace Hardware of Clarkston in Michigan. He previously held leadership roles with CNRG Stores and Great Lakes Ace Hardware, and worked for Ace corporate for many years before that.

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