It’s easy to throw money at improving the cosmetics of a business. A pretty business is a thriving business, right?

Of course not! Your team are the most important investment, to ensure they do what the business requires of them, and the true brains of a store is the technology in use, not the retailer. These have been two points that I’ve been working on the most.

Six weeks ago I took my staff of 10 out of the store for some team-building exercises, which involved building tall towers out of everyday items. A common theme fed back to me was the importance of creating a strong foundation if you wanted to achieve the tallest tower, and not rushing to build the tallest or prettiest tower, or indeed the quickest. That evening I shared my vision on our extension, heard their ideas and made sure we were all beating the sound of the same drum.

Sometimes you need external reinforcements to plug any knowledge gaps. I’ve brought on board Rishi Madhani, an ex-retailer from the Today’s Group, to help me project manage our extension and refit.
The most frustrating decision we’ve made so far is to postpone the refit of Tara’s News to early 2017 as we’ve decided we are cutting it just too fine with the all-important Christmas trading period looming. Believe me, that was a bitter pill to swallow! In the meantime, we will get the new shell built and overhaul our retailing processes by Christmas.

At the core of these processes is our new epos partner, ITS. We will implement their simple yet powerful technology at the end of the month to help us understand our store in greater detail. Our team will learn how to use the system the way it should be used – something many of us (myself included) don’t do currently. After all, without real data you’re just another person with an opinion.

We will then be ready for everything the new Tara’s News will throw at us.

Some tough decisions have been made and 
it’s just only the beginning. Rome may not have been built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.