Empower your manager to be you while you’re away

This will come as no surprise, but you can’t be in your business all the time.

No matter what size business you have, there’ll be times when you cannot be there and you have to delegate someone to take your place.

But how can you get someone else to run the business as well as you do?

Simple! You should decide what they need to do, teach them to do it then make sure they have done it. You need to have a system for them to follow and targets for them to meet.

It may take some time to set up, but once it is done, then you are free to leave the store in their command.

Systems

Creating a system that allows for a management team to manage will require you to know your business very well.

The system you create needs to be simple and easy to follow.

Checklists

Checklists are a good way to do this, and they can be time-lined to make tasks are done on time.

A completed checklist is also proof that the manager has done their job.

So what would this checklist look like? Let’s start with the obvious: there has to be an opening and closing routine.

List each task that you do when you are opening or closing your business in the order that you do it.

Then move onto those management tasks that happen during the day when you trade: tasks such as staff management, stock management and customer management.

Next, you need to make a list of tasks that happen on certain days of the week. Again, list them out one under the other with a tick box beside each.

If you want to take this to the next level you can combine each list and have a daily checklist: one for Monday, one for Tuesday, and so on.

Bind them together in order, and there you have an in-store book that becomes the guiding light for your management team to run your store while you’re away.

You can be operationally sound, but are your team running a profitable store?

Share your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Sharing your daily targets and goals with your team is a sure way to ensure that you meet your yearly profit target.

Here are the KPIs that I gave my team daily: sales, average transaction value, and the labour percentage or labour cost for the day.

Incorporating these figures into my daily roster was an ideal way to share the KPIs because everyone knew what the targets were every day.

They were decided upon when the roster was created two weeks previous; all the team for the day had to do was meet them.

I was also lucky that my Point of Sale system had the ability to calculate these KPI figures during the day as we traded.

All my managers had to do was check these figures during the day to be sure we were on track, and if not, adjust where necessary.

Keep your managers accountable

The final piece of the puzzle when leaving your management team to run your store is to make them accountable for meeting your targets.

To do this it is a simple matter of creating a KPI dashboard.

On this dashboard I have all the targets that I shared with my team, and at the end of each day the team records the actual KPIs they achieved.

Some days they smashed the targets — and some days they missed them — but over the week they generally met the weekly targets that I set, which in turn lead to meeting my yearly profit forecast.

What you measure is what you get.

Meet regularly

The secret to having a management team that run your store well is to meet with them weekly.

Gather together the previous week’s in-store booklet and KPI dashboard and review the week that was.

Next, discuss the week to come: what marketing needs to be done, what levels of product need ordering, and who in your team needs training.

The weekly management meeting becomes the time and place to communicate with your team, to keep them accountable for doing the job you want them to do.

It’s also the time and place to refine your management system.

Now that you have trained your management team, step away.

Allow them to get on with what you want them to do. Let them prove to you that they can be you while you’re not there.

You may just be pleasantly surprised.