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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HARDWARE RETAILING | January 2019 50 He's active throughout his community and still finds time to spend with his wife and two children. He says knowing how to manage your time is critical to the success of your business. "If you don't have a strategy for managing your time, you procrastinate, you don't get things done and you could actually end up failing. You will stress yourself out, and that will impact your quality of life," Clouse says. Dr. Mike Goldsby, who teaches classes on entrepreneurship at Ball State University and has established himself as a leading researcher, speaker and author on the subject of entrepreneurship, agrees. Goldsby is also an instructor for the North American Retail Hardware Association's (NRHA) Retail Management Certification Program, where he coaches young business leaders on how to be successful. He says the only way someone can expect to meet their goals is to know how to control their time. First, realize that being busy is not the same as being productive. "There are plenty of people who appear very busy, but at the end of the day haven't accomplished much of anything," he says. "People who manage time well are spending more time working on things that are important, rather than just staying busy." When you get more done in less time, you feel less stressed, and that allows you to manage yourself and your business more effectively. Stress, whether you realize it or not, actually has a detrimental effect, not just on your health, but also on your ability to make good decisions. "When you are stressed, you are not using your brain at its highest level," Goldsby says. "You become more fearful and more reactive." A stressed mind is less likely to process higher-level thinking, such as strategy and vision. It's more likely to be caught up in trying to resolve whatever crisis may be on hand at the moment. On the other hand, if you are managing your time well, you are more likely to think about the big picture, set goals for your business, and then achieve them. When stressful situations do arise, you are better prepared to handle them than if you are continually operating in a state of crisis. An owner or manager who can regulate their own time well is in a better position to effectively lead their employees. Your attitude toward your workload will trickle down to other relationships, whether it's to employees or family. "The way you operate affects more than just yourself," says Goldsby. "If you are operating in such a way that you are in control of your time, the more likely employees will be less stressed when they interact with customers." Employees who feel they are working in a low-stress environment are more likely to enjoy where they work and provide better customer service. Customers who sense an environment that is well-managed when they come to your business are likely to feel more comfortable shopping there. Byron Clouse, who oversees multiple retail locations in northern Michigan, says having a time management strategy is critical not only for being successful in business, but also for reducing stress and living a more balanced life.

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