We are grateful here at Tower Systems to work with many different retailers in many different settings. Over the years, our experience has evolved. Add two this our own experience running our own shops for more than 26 years and we are resourced and able to offer insights and advice on local retail business management.
I hate going into work. As a friend of ours said these words we knew they had far more weight than if they had been said by an employee. Our friend owned the retail store to which they were referring. He hated going into his own retail business. They had fallen out of love with what they had created and the bitterness they felt towards their business had soured to hatred.
Why do some retailers hate going to work? It is an interesting question which needs exploration before we look at strategies for countering this.
There is usually a trigger – tough economic conditions, personal challenges away from the business, a partner dispute, tiredness… there could be any combination of reasons. Sometimes, I have seen a reason quite a distance from the business itself.
If you own a retail store and you have reached the point where you hate going into work each day it is important to take time away from the business for an honest assessment as to why you hate the business. Until you can answer the question – why do you hate going into work? – you cannot begin to work on resolution.
Once you know the reasons you hate going to work, think about a series of small and achievable steps you could take to turn the situation around.
No matter how challenging the situation, there are always steps you could take. Focus on these, start work on them and in some instances that alone will be enough to move you through the fog of anger and ill-feeling toward the business.
Breaking a big problem down into small steps makes it feel manageable.
If finding small steps to take does not work, get together with a trusted friend and tell them how you feel toward the business. Ask them to talk with you about the business. Reminisce about why you started or purchased the business. Remember your dreams and hopes. Use the conversation to explore your emotion at the moment you decided to open or purchase the retail business.
If you have the funds, substitute your friend with a psychologist or professionally qualified counsellor to explore your feelings for the business.
We are not suggesting a business coach or mentor here because the ill-feeling toward the business is more often personal and is better dealt with by those with skills on working with feelings.
Understanding your hatred for your retail business is the first step. This will usually, of itself, reveal the first steps you can take to turn the hatred around. Be open to that. Take small steps and see where they lead. The change in feeling toward the business may not be immediate so do not expect too much too soon.
Some retailers we have worked with have felt ashamed of their hatred for their business. The best and toughest analogy we heard was that it was like hating your own child.
A retail store, especially one you created on your own, is like a child. There is no shame to be had in this feeling. So many factors can come into play to get one to this point.
By getting help to understand your feelings and using the understanding which flows from this to develop a strategy you can expect to start to feel better – even if the strategy involves you exiting that business.
If you do nothing, the hatred will be more and more reflected in the business and in your own person. Neither benefits from this.