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Retailer2Retailer: The Seven Ps

by Scott Perron

Over the last three-and-a- half years since relocating to the Midwest and changing my job description from retail entrepreneur to corporate franchising, I have been asked on countless occasions to develop a shortlist of key ingredients to operating a successful business. In response, it occurred to me that although there are thousands of required steps, my mentors have helped identify seven characteristics crucial to being victorious.

I have presented this recently to several business groups and felt it was worthy of sharing with the many retailers who spend each day improving and honing their skills.

1. Pain. In order for a business to be viable it must be able to identify, surmise and solve a client or customer’s pain. The buyer has a need (pain) and the business they trust to solve it will ultimately prevail and acquire the customer.

2. Plan. A business plan must be created showing all the required steps to design, strategize, finance, staff, execute and measure business performance. It must be in the moment and flexible to change. Make certain the plan is prepared to change, just like football when the game plan is failing at half time and the coaches must change quickly or face defeat.

3. Process. The process is the system all great businesses run on. McDonald’s, E-Bay, Starbucks and Groupon have all become wildly successful moving their products due to the ease and simplicity of the system in the minds of the consumer. The correct process also makes it easier for your staff to operate the business.

4. Passion. Also known as desire, urge, excitement, hunger or enthusiasm. Ask yourself if you have passion and do you infect your employees, vendors and clients with it each day. Do you hit the snooze button on the alarm clock or do you fly out of bed? Do you dread going to work and look at the time every half hour or do you never have enough time to finish and look forward to the next set of customers and challenges? In business, passion is the fuel that drives us to succeed and lack of it can be tragic.

5. People. The single most influential resource your business has besides its process are the people who execute that system. Hire for attitude and train for skills. Find out who your people are, what makes them tick and what they want out of life whether it is accomplishment, money, time freedom, faith or family based. It is paramount to determine company culture early on and surround yourself with the people who most adequately represent that culture.

6. Patrons. A satisfied customer is the lifeblood of any company and those who are disgruntled can lead to its demise. When your business serves its customers correctly, they will become the most powerful tool your company possesses to succeed; a silent non-commissioned sales force.

7. Profit. In a business, this can come in many forms outside the obvious financial ones. It can mean success, security, purpose, legacy and personal satisfaction. Those of us who go into business imagine the greatness of being our own bosses and creating something from nothing. Profit is the reward for a job well done and when you have successfully executed the six P’s before it, is well deserved.

Thanks for reading and for being an entrepreneur.

Scott Perron is president of Big Bob’s Flooring Outlets of America based in Shawnee Mission, Kan. He is a 25-year industry veteran and professional speaker. Contact him directly at 860.250.1733 or e-mail scott@bigbobsflooring.com