In our work with small business retailers we have been fortunate to see many different sales counter situations. The best retail sales counters are the ones run in a structured and professional way.

We are often asked for advice on management of the counter. Here are nine points of advice for counter management (outside of direct sales) which our customers have found useful. This list is our retail management advice today.

  1. No food or drink to be visible to customers unless it is packaged and for sale.
  2. No personal staff items like bags, purses, wallets or mobile phones to be visible at the counter.
  3. Clean the counter at least every day.
  4. From the customer side, remove all products from the counter once a week, clean and rebuild.
  5. Keep counter messages, signs and notes that shoppers see to a minimum. Every note, sign or message must have a purpose that speaks to the mission of your business.
  6. When employees purchase from the business have them purchase from the customer side of the counter.
  7. Have a rule on how many people you have behind the counter at any time. Too often retail employees use the counter as a refuge. More impulse purchases are achieved by working the shop floor than at the counter.
  8. Dramatically change your counter at least once every three months – as much for your team as for your customers.
  9. When assessing the counter for product placement, cleanliness and being on-topic, do so from the customer side. How it looks from behind the counter is far less relevant than from the customer side.

In helping retailers use our Point of Sale software we often find ourselves helping beyond the technology. Developing and sharing this list is one example of our broader help of small business retailers.

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