Sam Walton is famous for founding WalMart, but he is also well known for his business acumen. Consider this quote.
This is just one of the many reasons Sam Walton is respected in the business world. It’s because he understood what it takes to succeed. He knew that great value and great customer service were of the utmost importance.
Before we get into the 10 ways to improve your small retail shop, inspired by Sam Walton, let’s first look at the man himself.
Who is Sam Walton
Walton was dedicated to providing superb service through leadership. He believed that leadership depended on the principles of service.
Born in 1918, in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, Walton joined the military in 1942 when he was just 24. The following year, he married Helen Robson.
After his stint in the military, he moved to Arkansas. He was already growing his business sense operating his own variety store.
In 1950, the Waltons moved to Bentonville, Arkansas, and he opened Walton’s 5&10.
Walton and his wife chose Bentonville because Sam was an avid hunter and living at the corner of four states was advantageous.
After the success of his dime store, Walton, wanting to bring greater value to his customers, opened the first Walmart in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. He was 44.
Walton changed the face of retail. Why? Because he combined great service and low prices. He encouraged his employees to provide a great shopping experience and made them partners in his success.
Most people thought he was doomed for failure. Yet, in 1970, he took the company public, and Walmart experienced rapid growth.
Walton went on to open Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenters while expanding into other countries.
He died in 1992, but he left a legacy of success behind him. In this article, we look at his 10 rules for building a better business and show you how you can improve your small retail shop.
#1: Commit to Your Retail Shop
The most important thing you can do is make a commitment to your business.
Believe in it. You might even go so far as to create a mission and vision statement for your retail shop. Decide why you are in business and what your goals are in regards to your customer and your future growth.
Have a passion for your business. Love your work, and make it your baby, growing it every single day. When you have passion for your shop, your employees will, too.
#2: Share Your Profits and Treat Employees as Partners
If you want your employees to perform at the highest level possible, treat them as partners and share your profits with them.
This doesn’t mean giving away control.
You can remain in charge while encouraging your employees to have a stake in your company. If you’ve got stock, offer it to them for retirement or at a discount.
You can also encourage them to invest in your business monetarily.
#3: Motivate Your Partners
Money is a good place to start when it comes to motivation.
But, you’ve got to reach higher. Set lofty, but attainable goals for your employees.
Encourage healthy competition among them and keep score.
Don’t get stale. Shake things up on occasion. This is not only fun for employees, but it keeps your staff challenged and aspiring for more.
Not only are you the shop owner, but you are the supreme teacher and mentor.
When your staff understands how to run the cash register, outfit someone in style or help a customer pick out fabric for a new sofa, they care more.
Knowledge is power and builds self-esteem thus creating more engaged employees.
#5: Appreciate Your Employees
Money and benefits are great, but nothing outperforms pure praise.
Compliment your employees on a job well done. Show them you appreciate their extra effort.
Employees who feel appreciated are more loyal and dedicated to your shop.
#6: Celebrate Your Success
Everyone likes a celebration. When you celebrate your shop’s success with your staff, they’ll celebrate with you spreading cheer among your customers.
Don’t forget to celebrate your successes with your customers, too. It excites them and encourages loyalty.
Listen to everyone associated with your small retail shop. This means your customers and your staff.
Solicit feedback from people and be sure to listen with an open mind so you encourage active, accurate sharing.
#8: Exceed Customer’s Expectations
Do everything you can to surprise people.
Give your customer what they want and then go a step or two beyond. Amaze them with your offerings.
Fix customer complaints immediately and always apologize. Stand behind your employees, your products and your services, always.
#9: Control Expenses
Curb excess spending. Be efficient and expedient in your handling of your money.
Sales should always be higher than expenses. Pay attention to this to keep a strong bottom line.
#10: Defy Convention
It can be hard to swim upstream, but to succeed you’ve got to break the mold. Be different, act different and be unconventional.
Encourage your staff, listen to your customers and respect everyone.
Be creative and fight the norm. Defy convention to maintain the competitive edge.
We’ve looked at 10 ways to improve your small retail shop, inspired by Sam Walton.
Now you know that commitment pays off, and hard work is actually a reward.
Stay engaged in your business. Treat your employees as partners and with respect. Stay in touch with your employees and train them to provide the best customer service possible.
And, lastly, commit to your business, stay involved and be fair with your pricing, and you, too, will have a shot at success just like Sam Walton.
What is your favorite way to improve your small retail shop? Have you tried any of these tactics? What are your tricks for success? Please comment below to share your tips with others.