August 8, 2018
Sometimes familiarity and routine can block easy changes that can increase your c-store sales. That is why operators say that consultants increase c-store sales. Getting a fresh set of eyes to work with your team can be a quick way to find a few break-through changes that can increase sales. Habits and history can sometimes limit choices and an outside view of possible changes can provide a different list of options to consider.
Attention Brings Focus
Engaging staff to think and share experiences while also opening the possibilities to new ideas brings attention to obstacles and opportunities. Focusing on making things better while reviewing existing work habits can uncover good ideas that are not hard to implement. For example, store managers may share that up selling is not consistently done. routine operations may have become sloppy and need improvement. Other times, you may learn that the competition has a lot better offers that have not been addressed. Many times, a new look at promotions and signage brings new ideas to the buyers that may not be aware of specific-store conditions.
Getting Buy-in for C-Store Performance
During the process of gathering information from staff, they become an owner of the new ideas. It also ensures the store-specific conditions are considered and as well as providing staff with a corporate perspective that may not be understood. Everyone gets a chance t0 understand the full range of issues. The most common obstacle is just the business of doing one’s day job that prevents special projects. Having a consultant provides someone with the specific job to do the assessment, brings perspective and focus. Such a resource can often spark the energy and activity to make a few changes that have been left to be done ‘when we find time’. Of course, considering necessary work flow and keeping the changes to a few critical items is important to avoid overwhelming the staff and missing existing work tasks that remain necessary.
Choosing a C-Store Consultant
When choosing a consultant to help your c-store operations to increase sales, experience and fit are key. Make sure you have sufficient buy-in from leadership and the objective is made clear. Setting a timeline and promoting open dialog will increase the initial participation level from your staff. Many times implementing an on-going service helps to ensure that success changes become part of the daily work. Therefore, always consider the tools that the consultants use. The goal is to get better and stay better.
Finding a consultant that understands your culture and works to balance existing needs with the right amount of change will provide the best results. Before choosing someone to help, ask for an outline of the consultant’s planned activities. Spend enough time so both you and the consultant have a clear understanding of the scope of work. While each situation is different, there are a few basic steps that any consultant will take to ensure a successful store-sales engagement.
8 Consulting Steps to Increase C-Store Sales
- Interview District Managers to Assess Strengths
- Visit Stores to Assess Cashier Interactions and Store Presentation
- Compare Competitive Promotions and Product Mix
- Determine Budget and Flexibility of Service Options
- Brainstorm Options and Pick the Best
- Implement Options and Train Staff
- Measure and Understand Results
- Celebrate Success, Learn from Failures and Adjust as Needed
Change versus Stability
Great operations know their culture and strengths. They seek outside perspective to challenge weaknesses and improve strengths. No one wants to delegate leadership, but having different perspectives add value and grow teamwork. Ponder whether you believe that consultants increase c-store sales. If so, would listening to convenience industry best practices justify part of the expense. Would it help your company’s culture and corporate capabilities?
C-Store Performance- Related blogs and links
You may also like a related blog regarding What C-Store Managers Need to Increase Sales.