In our work with retailers we encounter many different situations and are often asked for advice or feedback on areas outside of technology and our Point of Sale software.  Recently, we have been asked for advice on how retailers can deal with no longer liking their own business.  This promoted us to put together the following advice…

Is going into your retail store something you no longer look forward to? Have you lost pride in your retail business? Do you find yourself looking at other retail businesses with envy? Have you fallen out of love with your retail store?

It happens. The initial blush of love and excitement can slip into the routine and before you know it, you are out of love and bored with your retail store.

This can affect your performance in the business and the business itself can suffer.

If you are a retail business owner or manager, how you feel about the business is vital to your success. You set the tone of the business for others. As a leader, it is your job to ensure that everyone connected with the business, employees, suppliers and customers, enjoys the experience. You cannot fake your leadership role.

The first step in addressing the situation is to understand why. What has changed for you of the business to bring on this situation? Why do you think you are no longer in love with your business? Often, once you find the answer to that question, you will see a path forward for resolving the situation.

Here are some practical tips on how to fall in love with your retail business:

Clean the house. Before you start on the journey of rediscovery, clean up the business. De-clutter the store. Tidy up the back room or office. Create a fresh sales counter and shopping experience. This alone can reawaken good feelings about the business.

Take some time off. Get out of the business for a few days and do things which are completely disconnected from the business. While this can be challenging, give it a go and recharge your batteries.

Start at the beginning. Revisit your initial business plan. Look at any photos from the early days. Talk to your longest serving employees and your long term suppliers. What you are looking for from these connections is an understanding of your hopes and dreams from back in those early days. There may be something there, in the history, which connects with you and brings you back to where you need to be today.

Share responsibility. It may be that you have taken on too much for yourself. Share the load. Invite others in the business to step up. This could ease your load to concentrate on what you care more about in the business.

Connect with your customers. Customers are the lifeblood of any retail store. It may be that you have become disconnected from your customers. reconnect, spend more time on the shop floor. Talk with your customers and listen to their stores.

Set a goal. Maybe your business has already delivered on your initial dreams. Dream some new dreams and set new goals. It could be that these goals propel you to see your business differently and help you find your affection once again.

Recognising that you have fallen out of love with your retail business is the first step to recovering your feelings. Acknowledge the challenge and then set about rebuilding your feelings. With so many people relying on the business, it is vital that you, as a leader of the business, sort out where you stand and reconnect with the business in an emotional and valuable way.