• Sara Mays

How Retrospection Can Help Your Business?

Experience really is the best teacher. The great golfer, Bobby Jones, said he never learned anything from a tournament he won. I believe the same thing applies in business. If you’re making your financial goals, winning the week, the month or the year, you may not be thinking about ideas to improve your business. That’s human nature but not a strategy to run a long-term profitable business.

Let’s walk through a couple of areas of your business and play the retrospection game.

We often say the biggest responsibility you have has an owner is placing the right people on your team so let’s start with hiring. I once had a COO who often ask, would you hire that person today to oversee your retirement. It was his way of saying, knowing what you know about your employee today, would you hire them again. It was a wonderful way to make you really think about who was on your staff. This exercise would make me think each about each person that was on my team and weigh out their strengths and weaknesses. If the person was a superstar, it was an effortless process. I’d think of their name and smile, I still do, and think well of course I’d hire her again, she’s a superstar. If the person was great at tactical responsibilities but not great with people, I’d have to be honest and say no. Now, this didn’t mean I’d necessarily work to remove them from their role, but I would focus more energy on helping them grow. At some point, you may determine that the person can’t progress and it’s time for a heart to heart talk. As difficult as it may be, we must realize that those employees that aren’t growing are holding us back.

From people let’s move onto processes. All businesses have a set of processes that are utilized to run the business. From scheduling staff to ordering merchandise or supplies, to managing payments, all businesses have multiple processes. So often we go through the motions of the day and don’t really give these processes a lot of thought. If you slow down and take a step back, what opportunities can you find in your processes?

Let’s move to the scheduling process. Is your schedule static or do you adjust it frequently based on the needs of the business? Play the retrospection game with the schedule. If I knew now, what I didn’t know then, would I schedule James to work 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday? Does that schedule support the goals of the business? Yes, it’s often great for people’s personal lives to have a set schedule, but is it great for your business?

So even if your business is making their financial goals, it’s always a good idea to play the retrospection game to consider what areas of your business could be improved. Don’t get stuck with the mindset that you can’t change something because you can. As owners and leaders, it’s our responsibility to make the business as successful as possible and that means learning from the past to make the future a success. If you’re ready to grow your sales and profits, contact us. We can help you improve your processes, employee and customer experience and your sales and profits.

Sara Mays

Co-Founder & Principal Consultant

The Retail Coach Consultant Group – NY