The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business

Retail DoctorI was sent this book the other day from Bob Phibbs, well known in the USA as ‘The Retail Doctor’. As the name implies, he is approached by ‘sick’ retailers to ‘diagnose, treat and cure’ them to full recovery, very much like our own Mary (Queen of Shops) Portas.

Anyway, his latest book ‘Guide to Growing Your Business’ is is now available  and a very good read it is.  It is set out with very simple to understand suggestions along with real life examples and ends each chapter with simple action bullet points.

The chapters are split into clear sections including, financials, store layout, employees, selling, training, e-commerce etc. There is probably little in there which most professional retailers don’t know or appreciate but it’s always good to be reminded of many of the basics and look at your operations from an ‘outsiders’ viewpoint.

For example, many retailers are product or trading led and often don’t pay enough attention to the financials. Bob understands this and gives suggestions for key reports you should look at each week. He suggests getting print outs emailed to you of:-

1. Average sale per day – how much each customer spends
2. Number of sales – customer count
3. Weekly sales by category – top and bottom 5 establish trends
4. Weekly sales by person – how much each each employee makes you
5 . Year over year by week – comparing to previous years
6. Year over Year to date – running total for the year (will strip out changes to Easter dates for example)
7. Number of units per transaction – how your staff are upselling add-ons
8. Number of voids – a good alert to theft by staff

Now these figures will not take any more than an hour a week to analyse  but will give you excellent insight to trends to take action on. Rather than asking your manager general questions such as ‘why are sales down’ you can be more specific such as ‘why do sales drop when Vicki is working’?

As I’ve mentioned, it is a very easy to understand book with  simple step by step guides and at £13.99 or less will save/make you money even if you only take on board 1 or 2 of the suggestions.

You can buy it from £7.25 here

Tony Heywood – Gilcrest Services Ltd
Retail Troubleshooter
Business Turnaround and Recovery

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