There’s a lot that sets the retail/wholesale industry apart from other businesses. One of its most salient characteristics is that it touches everyone personally and professionally. It is a part of our everyday lives. With online sales, we have even welcomed this industry into our homes. For many, it is the first step into the world of work; for some it is an entire career.
How do leaders effectively manage a workforce that is so varied and provides such an essential service? Not surprisingly, people skills are especially important. These skills aren’t just important for winning clients over or making a sale, but for creating a work environment that engenders positive team dynamics and energy.
I had the opportunity to observe many of these behaviors recently in a critically important retail endeavor: a lemonade stand, launched by my 9- and 12-year-old nieces and their friends this past weekend. All it took was one idea, lots of excitement and a bit of persuasion to get everyone on board. Once it was set up, the girls communicated well with one another and listened to each other’s ideas throughout the process – quite impressively, without adult intervention. The business venture resulted in net profits of around $50, which is not bad for a startup that opened and closed in a single day.
Lemonade stands are a long way from large scale retail and wholesale businesses, but some of the behaviors that lead to success might not be all that different. Read our best practices report to find out what else sets effective retail/wholesale leaders apart.