Retail managers wear many hats and therefore could use these time management tips. They are essentially the face of the store and are responsible for making sure consumers have a positive experience. Managing employees, keeping up with inventory, managing finances, and keeping the store presentable are just a few of the hats retail managers wear.
The retail space is competitive, which means managers are constantly striving to improve their store and find more efficient ways to operate. This can involve thinking creatively outside of the box. The age-old saying, “Time is Money” couldn’t be truer when it comes to retail.
Successfully managing a retail store depends on your ability to cut costs and increase efficiency. A non-profitable store will not be able to keep its doors open in the long-run. Let’s take a look at 10 time management tips every retailer needs to know in order to increase profitability.
Your store is as strong as your weakest link. Do not hire mediocre candidates just to fill an open position. Bide your time and wait for the right candidate. Fully understand the expectations you have of the open position and the qualities a successful employee must possess. Do not settle for anything less. Thoroughly vet each candidate and even conduct a working interview if necessary before committing. By hiring strategically, you will build a strong team who will lend itself to a successful store.
Properly Train Your Staff
Hiring great employees will not do you any good if they are not properly trained. Make sure every new team member is trained to follow the same protocols and complete tasks to the same high standards. Not only do properly trained employees feel more confident in their roles, but it also eliminates time-wasting questions such as “Where can I find x?” or “How are we supposed to do this again?”.
A great approach to training new employees is to establish an onboarding training program as well as periodic refresher courses to ensure your entire team is on the same page. Training can either be conducted by yourself or a veteran team member who is dedicated to the same high standards that you are.
It is impossible to complete every task yourself. The purpose of having staff is to be able to delegate tasks so that you can focus on making sure the store is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Delegate tasks according to each team member’s strengths and weaknesses. Your job should be overseeing tasks and identifying areas where costs can be cut and efficiency improved.
Make to-do Lists
Task lists seem mundane but are a great way to help both you and your staff see what needs to be accomplished. You can either make daily task lists or weekly to-do lists depending on what works best for your store. Crossing each item off the list as it is completed will help everyone be able to see the progress made and boost morale. To-do lists will help make sure the running of your store stays structured at all times.
Maintain an Organized Store
One of the biggest time-wasters in retail stores is not being able to find merchandise.
Follow these time management tips to keep an organized store:
- Make sure you know where all products are located
- Stock shipments as soon as they come in
- Keep up with returns and restock as appropriate
- Reduce clutter
- Clean floors on a daily basis
Stay on Top of Inventory
In retail, it is important to know what products are on your shelves and how many. Make sure you are keeping up with inventory so that you do not over order certain merchandise and not order enough of other products. Not only will this prevent miscommunication between your store and consumers, but it also will help you once it comes time for an inventory audit if you already know which products you are carrying.
Build-in Flexible Time
Despite your best-laid plans, there will be times that things do not go according to plan or the unexpected happens. Have built-in flexible time each day that allows for the unexpected. Maybe an employee is sick so you are short-staffed and were unable to stock the latest shipment before the mid-day rush. An unexpected district manager’s meeting may have you behind on paperwork. There are a million different reasons why you may find yourself behind on your task list. Incorporating flexibility into your schedule will allow you the time to get caught up.
Distractions such as checking social media accounts can reduce productivity and decrease the quality of work. Consider incorporating a no-distractions policy until all tasks are complete. If necessary, have a designated area where cell phones are to be dropped off until tasks are completed or employees are on break.
Automate and Integrate Processes
Automate as many processes as possible. A good example is inventory management. If your computer software automatically deducts a product from inventory in the computer upon purchase it eliminates the need for you to do so manually. Automating and integrating processes saves you time, but it also helps to reduce the amount of human error.
Utilize Time Tracking Software
Keeping up with employee time is a huge undertaking and takes up a great amount of time during the week. Using time tracking software to automatically keep track of employee time can save retail managers over 30 hours per month!
Time Tracker by eBillity allows for:
- Easy clocking in and clocking out on an iPad or Desktop without the expense of outdated punch clocks
- Precise timers that track time down to the second
- Admin time approvals with 2 easy clicks
- Access payrolls and timesheets from desktops and mobile devices
- Integrate with your accounting and payroll software
Try Time Tracker for free for 14-days, with no credit card required and no obligation!
Work Smarter Not Harder!
Every retail manager’s goal is to find ways to improve their store. Following these 10 time management tips will help you streamline the running of your store and help you cut costs which inherently increase profits. Working hard doesn’t mean you can’t work smart!