Skip to main content

Business is Simple - But It Sure Ain’t Easy

Ultimately, every business boils down to three main elements: Sales & Marketing, Finance, and Operations. Most of us that own or manage a music store naturally gravitate to one of these three things. In my experience, most music store owners or managers fall into the Sales or Operations profiles (because if we were good at Finance, we’d have likely picked a different industry :).

A simple job description for these three roles might be as follows:

Sales & Marketing - create a sales & service strategy that effectively converts prospects into customers (a customer being a prospect that makes a purchase), while developing a marketing strategy that identifies your ideal prospect and stimulates a desire for them to learn more about your company.

Finance - develop and maintain a budget/cashflow plan that addresses capital needs for inventory and operational needs; identify trends in the business.

Operations - create systems to optimize efficiency and consistency in the day-to-day running of all aspects of your store (including both customer facing activities and the behind-the-scenes work).

Any successful company will have these three roles filled. If you are a 1-person eBay shop, you are filling all three roles. But as you grow, you start adding more people and it’s important to know what responsibilities they are supposed to fill. Ignoring any of these three will have disastrous effects on your business.

At Springfield Music, Inc, we are followers of the methods outlined in the book Traction, by Gino Wickman. Wikipedia summarizes this book as “a business strategy book... that guides leaders of entrepreneurial organizations on how to gain control of their business through the Entrepreneurial Operating System.” In this book, one of the points Gino writes about is the importance of having one person be accountable for each of these three roles. Or, in other words, only one person in that seat, but one person could occupy multiple seats. So, you would not have two people accountable for Operations, but you could have multiple people involved in Operations.

Following this one-butt per seat rule creates accountability for the outcomes of that role. “If everyone’s responsible, then no one’s responsible” - I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at one time or another. If you operate a small company, you might occupy all three seats but as you grow the goal is to add a new team member who has the required strengths and skill-set to occupy that seat.

At our company, we have found that finding people who have the experience and training to properly fill this role has been the key to making drastic improvements in the success of our business, while at the same time reducing stress on ownership and management. Most business owners or operators wait until they are running ragged before they hire additional people, and then they get the first warm body that can fog a mirror. You need to be disciplined in your personnel strategy, just like you would be in acquiring new lines or offering new services. The goal as an owner or operator is to find people with the education and experience to do a better job in that role then you were able to do yourself. You have to be willing to humble yourself to bring in better, more knowledgable, people than yourself. Then you have to give them the responsibility for the outcome of their role.

Take 30 minutes, away from your business, and think how you are currently filling these three roles. Do you have someone occupying each role that has the knowledge, ability, and time, to properly oversee this aspect of your business? If the answer is yes - congratulations! You are well ahead of the pack! If not, design a plan on what you need to change in order to make this happen. This simple task will yield huge strategic benefits for you and your company.

As always, if you have thoughts, fears, struggles, questions, or ideas you’d like to share - email me at Donovan@MusicRetailConsulting.com

P.S. If you'd like help with your retail business, I'm only an email away.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Your People Deserve Professional Sales Training

Hey folks…

I just wanted to let you know about a BRAND NEW FREE Master Class from the folks at WhizBang! Retail Training. In it, you’ll learn how to create a service culture in your store using the "6 Steps To The Perfect Purchase" selling system.

We have found this system to be very useful for us at Springfield Music!

Join the Master Class: "The Secrets To Surefire Sales Growth In 2019 Revealed" to shape your staff into customer-focused selling superstars and increase your sales in 2019!

Click here to register… http://WhizbangTraining.com/af/feb2019?af=1686481

The LIVE Master Class is taking place on daily, Monday, February 4 through Friday, February 8 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. Make sure you register even if you know you won't be able to attend live because each class will be recorded and available to watch for 24 hours.
I’ll see you in class!

Donovan

My 10 Best NAMM Show Tips

The NAMM Show and Summer NAMM are always fun times to see new products, meet new people and catch up with old friends. But as retailers, we need to make sure we're getting the most out of each show. With all the fun distractions, remember that we're there to work. It’s easy to watch every demo, concert and artist signing, but if you do that, you won't leave your first booth. Now, it may sound as if I’m all work and no play, but the world around us is changing. What we used to do isn’t as effective anymore. Take a few minutes to consider the following: Essentially, what it says is time equals change. The more things around you change, what used to lead to success will eventually lead to failure. We need new ideas and approaches just to maintain our positions in the marketplace. The NAMM show is the single easiest way to get inspired with new ideas to keep your business relevant. With that in mind, here are my top 10 tips on getting the most out of NAMM shows. 1. Attend NAMM Ide…

It’s not about being the best -It’s about being better than you were yesterday.

Ahh - the new year.  This is the time where we can dive in and begin working on our businessesinstead of just in our businesses.  So with that in mind, allow me to share a few of my favorite ideas that invigorate me for the new year.
The first one, and perhaps most obvious, is to attend the Winter NAMM show.  Take as many of your staff as you can so that they get inspired to work on your business as well. Obviously the new products are always exciting, but if you spend time in the NAMM Idea Centers you will come away with many ideas that will make your business better in the new year. Also, make it a goal at each NAMM show to meet new people and to strengthen the industry relationships you already have.
“Fortune favors the bold” - Latin proverb Second, are you planning any travel this year?  If so, arrange some time to visit other music stores on your travels.  I love to drive when possible, primarily so that I can spend time visiting other music stores on my trip.  Recently I took a t…