Hardware Retailing

JAN 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

Issue link: http://www.hardwareretailingarchive.com/i/918565

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Page 14 of 90

W hile my father was a chemical engineer by trade, there was little secret that his preferred vocation was something a bit less savory than you might find in any laboratory: gambling. In truth, you could say my father was a semiprofessional gambler. This isn't an exaggeration; it's an apt designation for anyone who has to list gambling earnings on his taxes, which my father did. Blackjack, baccarat, poker, horse racing and later in life, competitive bridge (yes, that's a thing). Just about anything where a wager was involved, my father was a willing participant. Because of these pursuits, my dad, and by extension our family, was used to seeing our fortunes quite literally rise and fall on the turn of a card. I think my dad's love for the "gambling arts" (my term) made us all very familiar with the concept of how finances can ebb and flow. Even during the long stretches when the cards weren't falling his way, there is one thing that kept my dad going—the inevitable comeback! At times, it seemed like the longer he was on the schneid, the more rewarding it would be when the tides turned. And while I know that there is a pretty big difference between playing cards in some smoky backroom and running a retail operation, there are also a lot of similarities. In retailing, like gambling, sometimes things beyond your control just happen that hit your business the wrong way. Other times, it may be the result of a series of poor decisions. But in either case, a shrewd operator will figure out how to mount a comeback from the brink of collapse. And when the comeback is complete, the rewards are that much sweeter. It was the famous coach and motivator Vince Lombardi who once said, "The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back." So, in this month's issue of Hardware Retailing, we take a look at retailers who have brought businesses back from the brink of failure. We will learn how they turned their operations around, and hopefully, by reading about the steps they took to go from the bottom to the top, you can see how their processes might apply to your own operation. I know it may seem like some operations never experience a precipitous drop in business and whose owners just find ways to keep the train moving forward. But in reality, even the most successful businesses will eventually face a crossroads where the decisions made by the owners and management team could mean the difference between success and insolvency. The new year is a good time to read some of these inspiring stories to both learn from these owners' actions and take solace in the fact that there aren't too many obstacles that planning, determination and hard work can't help your business overcome. And even when you are dealt a bad hand, sometimes you just have to take your losses, learn from the cards you've seen and start mounting your comeback. That's what my dad would have done! Dan M. Tratensek, Publisher dant@nrha.org Call It a Comeback Taking Care of Business " And even when you are dealt a bad hand, sometimes you just have to take your losses, learn from the cards you've seen and start mounting your comeback. " HARDWARE RETAILING | January 2018 10

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