5 Retail Manager Skills You Must Have
5 retail manager skills you must have. The best retail managers have a broad skill set. There are several key competencies that a retail manager must be proficient in to build and lead a successful business.
Fortunately, many of these skills can be learned, and there are plenty of resources available to help at all stages of retail management. For those taking their first steps into retail management, we believe these 5 skills are the most important to focus on. For experienced managers, there will always be room to enhance and improve management skills, to yield better results.
Getting that perfect package of people skills with business prowess will help you get the best from your store, benefitting everybody.
Here are our top 5 must-have retail manager skills for success!
The ability to guide and influence, this is to the ‘people’ element of retail management life. Mainly, this applies to your team of staff, although your customers will also look to you for leadership on occasion.
Good leadership combines several elements that enable you to get the best from your team. The most successful modern leaders will lead by example. Strive to teach, inspire, and motivate your staff to reach their full potential. Being respectful, showing empathy, and the ability to balance criticism with praise are just some of those important elements that make a great leader.
If you want create a strong team that you can trust to share the workload, start by becoming the best possible role model.
Although leadership doesn’t come naturally to everybody, there’s plenty of assistance available online to help you learn. You could try a free course for starters, here are a few ideas: https://www.coursearena.io/topic/free-leadership-courses
Management in retail means taking care of your business operations, both behind the scenes and on the sales floor.
This will be the most time consuming element of your role, so it’s important to be able to delegate tasks to that great team you have built to support you.
Management involves everything from staffing, recruitment, and training, to planning, logistics, procurement and inventory management. You’re responsible for selecting and implementing equipment, managing promotions, budgeting, accounting, payroll, business strategies, and everything in between.
Fortunately, there are specialist tools available to help you to manage all of these elements smoothly. Here are a few examples:
EPOS – Retail hardware and software to manage transactions, stock, CRM, and reporting.
Accounting – Software to manage your finances; bookkeeping, payroll, and VAT
Planning – Online services and apps that help you with business planning, strategy, budgeting and forecasting.
Staffing, recruitment, and training – make use of general job sites, specialist sites, retail training and industry experts.
Industry news – Retail is a fast moving sector. Keep up to date with the latest innovations and changes using dedicated industry magazines and signing up to relevant newsletters. Check out IBEC also, Ireland’s business representative group.
Good communication skills go a long way in all of your your daily interactions. You’ll spend a lot of time working with other people, between, staff, customers, suppliers and other businesses. Effective communication brings all kinds of benefits, so this is a skill worth perfecting.
When you can communicate clearly, you reduce errors created through misunderstandings. Additionally, you are creating a happier and more open workplace, increasing motivation and productivity through employee engagement.
Your customers will appreciate a positive environment, increasing satisfaction and promoting repeat business.
Encourage honest communication from the people around you, and strive to actively listen to them. Your staff, suppliers, and customers will inevitably have a difference perspective to you. By promoting feedback, you’re inviting all kinds of ideas and innovations you will simply never think of alone, and some will be great for your business.
4. Team empowerment
Empower your employees by giving them freedom to carry out their jobs as they see fit. By offering a degree of autonomy within their roles, you raise the level of responsibility and accountability within your team.
When team members are trusted and they feel valued, they are much more likely to care about the business and its customers, and will often go that extra mile.
Keep your team fully informed about the business. Be sure to include them in your plans and update them with any changes. It’s impossible for them to make good decisions without all the facts. A short daily meeting can be a great way to achieve this.
Let your team members know that they are valued. As well as taking their ideas and concerns on board, one of the most important things you can do is offer praise and encouragement where it is due. People appreciate knowing when they are doing well, and this kind of positivity encourages more of the same behaviour.
Team empowerment encourages innovative thinking and promotes loyalty and positivity within the workforce.
Retail managers are often the final decision makers within the business. Sometimes decisions need to made quickly and under pressure, so you will need to be able to be able to gather key information to make on the spot decisions when necessary.
The more you do this the easier it will become. Have a strategy in place to help you collect as much significant information as you can, and keep your goals and values in mind. Remember, making a decision, despite the risks, is always better than indecisiveness.
Be prepared to stand by your decision, unless you are presented with relevant new information..
Being decisive may be seen as more of a personality trait, but help is at hand if this doesn’t sound like you. There are many helpful articles and studies online regarding the subject of decisiveness. You could start with this one from well known job site Indeed: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-be-more-decisive-at-work
The best retail managers use a wide variety of skills for success. Whether you need to learn new skills or polish your existing ones there are useful resources available, and many of them are free.
Skilled retail managers realise the value of their team, and they are always striving to create the best environment for those around them.
Ongoing training and learning is important, as is creating a positive and open store environment. Making the most of technology and automation tools will free up management time to focus on staff and customers.
The buck usually stops with the retail manager. The smart manager keeps themselves informed, and knows how get the best from their staff and technology so that that can get on with their main task – creating a profitable business.
Who are we?
Retail Solutions is a market-leading EPOS provider with over 25 years of business experience. Our leading sectors are convenience stores, supermarkets, forecourts, and pharmacies.
We are dedicated to providing your store with the most up-to-date and reliable point of sale hardware, along with software management tools to help you manage your business effectively.
Our self-checkout partners are NCR, who are global leaders in self-checkout technology.
To find out more about what we do, get in touch to chat with one of our knowledgeable consultants:
About the author:
Susan McGuire is originally from London, United Kingdom, and has now lived in Galway, Ireland, for 15 years.
She has been with Retail Solutions for almost 7 of those, and during that time has enjoyed various roles within the areas of Maintenance, Finance, & Marketing.
You can follow her on LinkedIn!