Thursday, April 16, 2015

Realize the Dream

I look for the dream before I look at the merchandise. That’s where I start when I come into a store as a retail consultant.
     My Amazon.com bio sketch says I’m a “nosy shopper.” Yes, I do have limitless curiosity about why people buy and don’t. But my inquisitiveness extends to seeking what the retailer has in mind for their store and how they define success for themselves.
     Making money is up there at the top, as it should be. There must be adequate profitability if the business or professional practice is to survive. With the best of the retailers I’ve seen, also at the top is the drive to serve the community with competence. Central to the dream is pride in performance.
     Achieving the dream requires perseverance. In fact, the dream will probably never be fully achieved. The richest, most satisfying dreams evolve rather than end. The gossamer coalesces into concrete form, which soon gets gauzy again for a while.
     To muster and maintain that perseverance, psychologists at University of Minnesota and Texas A&M University advise us to avoid continuous monitoring of how far we need to go to achieve those long-term, somewhat fuzzy goals. The psychological research says that when a retailer carefully monitors results toward achieving long-term goals they’ve set, one consequence is that time seems to pass more slowly for the retailer. And that, in turn, makes the goal seem more distant. The best solution is to regularly monitor how far we’ve already progressed toward each clearly defined business objective.
     Realizing what the dream is can be tougher if you’re taking over the family business. It doesn’t work well to live out somebody else’s dream, especially when the somebody else drops by regularly. Investigators at Boston Consulting Group and Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise say that only about one out of every ten privately-held businesses makes it through to the third generation.
     The sentiment transcends languages and cultures, as evidenced in the English-language versions of these maxims:
  • “Father merchant, son gentleman, grandson beggar” (Mexico) 
  • “Rich father, noble son, poor grandson” (Brazil) 
  • “From the stables to the stars and back to the stables” (Italy) 
  • “Wealth never survives three generations” (China) 
     Family-founded business or not, every store comes with a history. Regularly check that if I come to visit your place, the dream I’ll see is yours. Recognize what it is and achieve it. Realize your dream.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Monitor Your Progress Toward Objectives
Prolong Opportunities for Family-Owned Stores
Honor Salesmanship

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