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Get Out Of Your Store

Dave Ratner//August 6, 2014//

Get Out Of Your Store

Dave Ratner //August 6, 2014//

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Hi! Did you miss me?

As you probably noticed my “words of wisdom” have not been appearing in the last few months. Truth is, I ran out of stuff to write about. My very kind editors agreed that I could/should take a sabbatical and come back when the creative juices started flowing again. It’s hard to believe, but I have been writing in Pet Age for 10 years.

As you faithful readers know, most of my articles come out of what happens in my business, and/or how I screwed something up (a.k.a., what I have learned). My favorite ones are when I get really ticked off at a vendor. So over the past few months life at Dave’s has been pretty smooth. Our stores are doing well, and the wholesale business is still growing at great clip. I have gone to several conferences where I have picked up very useful marketing info, and I followed some advice that was given to me.

That advice is worth retelling and certainly worth you remembering if you plan on growing your business. Here it is: If you are running a business that does X volume and you want to double or triple the size of the business, hire a person who can run the bigger business.

Seems like such a “duh” doesn’t it? Trouble is most of us don’t do it. Why don’t we? Well, you may have to pay too much for a presently overqualified person or we don’t even know what the job will be when we get to that level or whatever other reason you can think of. I can tell you, if you hire the most overqualified folks you can find, they will help you grow your business.

On a different note, one of my favorite sayings in the retail world is “if you don’t want your customers to spend any more money with you, don’t show them anything new.” Think about it for a minute. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So one of the questions is how and where do you find new stuff to show your customers?

I am such a lucky guy, I get to visit so many stores across the country, and I really do find at least one new product or merchandising tip on every road trip. My phone is loaded with pics of brands and products that we don’t carry in our stores (yet). Not to mention ways to merchandize.

So where am I going with this? You have get out of your store.

It amazes me how many store owners don’t visit competition and stores in other areas to see what they are missing. I don’t care how good a merchant you are, you just can’t learn new things if you don’t get out and see the world. I also ask my distributor reps what other stores are doing that I am not. My reps know my first question is, “What are we doing wrong?” The interesting thing is my reps are not the least bit bashful. They tell me the good, the bad and the ugly.