You are an independent retail owner. You’ve spent a lot of time trying to establish your store as distinctive and unique. You’ve put a lot of effort into trying to differentiate your business from the competition.
You’re always looking for that edge, the one thing that will make the difference.
Look in the mirror.
You are the difference. Your business is a direct reflection (for better or worse) of you, your passion, your personality, your attitude, your engagement, your vision, your taste level, your fashion sense. I could go on and on, but the point is that if it’s part of you, it’s a part of your business.
The thing that differentiates your business from any other is you. Regardless of anything else you do, you’re the Chief Passion Officer, and nothing else you do might be more important, or more impactful.
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Most likely, you went into business because they have a passion for the things you sell and the customers you serve. This passion and purpose animates and focuses everything you do, and was the catalyst that drove your growth.
Your employees take their cue from you every time they observe you, every time they talk with you. You establish the norm, from how things get done, to how your customer’s are approached and serviced, to what the culture is going to be.
Your customer’s take their cue from you as well, both directly and indirectly. Everything that they experience in your store is a reflection of you, from the ambiance, layout, merchandising, to the interactions they have with your staff, to the way they feel as they are leaving your store.
It all starts and ends with you, the Chief Passion Officer. The first essential element to a winning independent retail strategy is passion. Successful independent retailers recognize that everything begins with that animating passion. When I’m working with clients, this is often the first place we start.
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Let’s face it, the past several years have been tough for most independent retailers. Many didn’t make it, and those that did spent many nights lying awake wondering if they would. This type of experience takes a toll on even the strongest business owner. The path to renewal starts with reconnecting to the passion that gave birth to the business, to reconnecting with customers one-on-one, one customer at a time, one day at a time.
The most successful independent retailers are possessed of an animating passion. It infuses everything the business does and thinks. And that passion comes directly from the owner, the Chief Passion Officer.
Recommended Books on Passion and the Independent Retail Owner:
- Passion, Plan, Profit: 12 Simple Steps to Turn Your Passion into a Solid Business
- Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives
- Retail Rebellion: How To Start Your Own Online Retail Empire
- The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store
Ted Hurlbut is a retail consultant, coach and speaker who helps independent retailers increase sales, profitability and cash flow by leveraging his deep expertise and proven retail know-how, Get his FREE report “The 16 Essential Elements of a WINNING Independent Retail Strategy” Visit: HurlbutaAsociates.com
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