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Rule number one of running any business, be it a grocery store or a luxury spa. Cash is King, and as the economy begins to recover, people are beginning to spend more on luxuries. However, with the upturn of the market, comes a swathe of new players who want a slice of the cake.

Different industries have different demographics, and as such you have to think carefully about what, and who you want as a customer and then to find staff who also fit in to the criteria.

If you run a high end fashion shop, you want to have someone that is into high end fashion. If you run a restaurant, you want your waiters and chefs to have a passion for food. And so on and so forth.

Firstly, you should never let your staff become complacent and think their job is forever going to be safe. Being complacent eventually ends up with standards slipping, and it’s a slippery slope when this happens. Regular training and staff meetings will help this and will also boost morale.

Secondly, if over the years a hierarchy has been formed among your staff when there really shouldn’t be one, break it down. You’re the top dog. Not Bob that’s worked for you since the day dot. There is a difference between asking Bob a question about something, and Bob taking that as a power trip and thinking that he’s suddenly been promoted to Master of the Universe.

Basically, bring everyone down a peg or two and put them all on the same rung of the ladder. This will also lead to a decrease in in-house politics which can be damning for your reputation as a business.

Thirdly, if you have a reasonable sized workforce, allocate individual jobs to each of them to be in charge of. Stock Take, Ordering, Dealing with suppliers, Tilling Up/Cashing Up, Retail, Meet and Greet, etc. This will streamline the whole process, making it more efficient while ensuring that no one feels worthless, or worth less than the other members of the team.

Fourthly, have a shake up. Are the walls looking a bit dull? Could the place do with a deep clean? Maybe the Sign above the door is looking a little bit dated. Shut down for a couple of days. Get all these little things you’ve overlooked done, but at the same time, market it so it sounds a lot more exciting than it really is.

My favourite one was when a shop was shut for 3 days, the windows were blacked out so no one could see in, police style tape was used and in HUGE letters across the paper blocking the view was ‘We’re having a Facelift!’ This cheap, but effective marketing ploy saw people become more interested in the shop, and upon re-opening, the shop saw sales sky rocket.

Fifthly, and most importantly, if you have a member of the team that is showing no signs of improvement, let them go.

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Sara O'Connell
A passionate photographer from Arizona, Sara enjoys art and culture.