Hardware Retailing

JAN 2019

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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Independent Thinking I t's a bit hard to believe, but the calendar says that it is indeed a new year, so I'd like to officially wish each and every one of you a prosperous 2019. As we are starting this new year, I'd like to ask you a simple question—do you plan to grow your business over the next 12 months? Well, if you're like most independent retailers, the answer is probably yes. In fact, according to research we recently presented during our fourth annual State of Independents Conference, about 70 percent of all independent retailers say they're planning for their sales to grow this year. If you do plan on seeing your sales increase in the next 12 months, the next logical question might be, "What are you going to do within your business to realize those increases?" Some retailers might be content to sit back and say, "Well, the market is growing, so I guess my growth will come as a result of those market forces." While this might get you a certain degree of growth, if you don't actually institute a plan for how you are going to drive growth, you might really be missing the opportunities an expanding market can represent. One thing is certain: Any business owner or manager should plan for growth, whether the market is in your favor or presenting headwinds. But any real growth plan should involve the steps you are going to actively take within your business to drive that growth. There are many different areas you can look to as a means of jump-starting your growth in 2019. You might add products, categories or niches to your operation. You can focus on increasing your transaction size or ramping up marketing efforts. Or you may even look at expanding your existing location or look to adding new ones. Regardless of what your plan is, I would like to propose that you also factor in a strategy that can be effective for any business—invest in growing your human capital. That's right. Whether you plan on adding new locations or niches, or implementing new operational strategies, you should also be focusing on how you can invest in and improve your most valuable asset—your people. How do you go about doing this, you might ask? Your association can certainly help. The North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) offers a comprehensive suite of employee training and development programs designed to elevate the quality of your team. From our Basic Training Courses in Hardware Retailing and Building Materials to our Foundations of Leadership course and Retail Management Certification Program, we have modules built to help everyone, from the newest hire to a seasoned pro. We are also unveiling something new in 2019 that is specifically designed to help business owners improve their entire operation from the top down. We are proud to be partnering with noted business consultant Linda Small of Retail People Solutions to offer an entirely new NRHA consulting service focused on retail leadership and organizational development. Stay tuned for more information on this new program in the upcoming issues of Hardware Retailing, but in the meantime, I would encourage you to check out the full complement of NRHA training resources that can help you prepare your team to support your growth in 2019 and beyond. Bob Cutter, President and CEO bcutter@nrha.org " Whether you plan on adding new locations or niches, or implementing new operational strategies, you should also be focusing on how you can invest in and improve your most valuable asset—your people. " Positioning for Growth HARDWARE RETAILING | January 2019 8

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