How to be a successful retail manager

Woman with arms crossed smiling near clothes

It’s been nearly ten years since I stepped foot in this retail sector. I have tasted quite much the sweet and the bitter it brought and also plenty lessons in building a retail business. Most of those were lessons about how to make me a great manager. After ten years and spending a lot of time thinking, I have turned them into my career secrets and opened some courses for my employees as well as businesspeople who want to be future retail managers.

However, I know many of you who are running small-sized retail businesses are busy and sometimes cannot afford for such courses. Therefore, I am writing this article to reveal to you some of the fundamental criteria about how to be a successful retail manager. Read them carefully because they might play a significant role in changing the managing strategy of your business.

Before starting, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you regularly challenge yourself with new goals?
  • Do you put your money where your mouth is?
  • Do you usually challenge your employees with new goals?
  • Do you encourage your employees every day?
  • What are your company’s priorities at present?
  • Have you solved the conflicts correctly?
  • Are you paying attention to your employees’ opinions?

The maximum time to answer those is 10 minutes.

Have you finished?

I stick these 7 questions on the mirror in my bathroom and my computer screen so that I can quickly look at them and remind myself every day. They are essential questions for a retail manager and need to be answered not only now but also frequently. But if you have not replied to them well in the allowed amount of time, don’t worry because that is a common feature of various retail managers. Here is how to answer.

1. Train yourself

The first and foremost factor is “YOU.” If you are not a role model, don’t expect to be respected by your employees. You should do these tasks regularly to put yourself in a framework:

  • Enriching your professional skills

You cannot work in retail business if you don’t have deep knowledge of how it works. A retail manager needs to have an organized checklist, ensure the attractive store displays, and control the inventory in all kinds of circumstances. When you have trained yourself to have such skills, you are taking the first steps to becoming a great retail manager.

Look for more information about how to manage your retail business in here:

  • Taking care of your employees.

To become a great retail manager, you need to become a great employer first. Employees are human, not your money making machines. Every good manager should aware of that fact and show a proper manner to their staff at work. Tell them by actions that you care about them as human, support them whenever they need. For example, when they have troubles in organizing their time, you can show them your experiences. Or when they have difficulties in personal lives, you can act as a big brother or sister and give them some advice. I’m sure that your employees will be very appreciated and no matter what happens, they will be loyal to you.

  • Getting ready for conflicts

Conflicts here can be between you and your employees, among the employees, or even between staff and customers. You need to train yourself for a good negotiating skill and a clear mind to be wise in all situations. Find out the reason why a conflict started and how you can solve them.

For instance, two years ago, there was a massive “war” in my company, between a new employee and an old one, who was her mentor. The new girl was too hot-tempered, and her guide was also impatient. They had an enormous fight because their opinions in creating a new marketing strategy were too different. I immediately had a short internal meeting and brought this problem to discuss. And all of the staff and me decided to let both of them have 15 minutes of meditation every day, which was what they both loved, before starting working. Moreover, if a little noise of fighting came out, they will have to put 100 dollars on the employees’ budget. The result was surprising because, after a week, everything went back to normal.

This example is only to tell you that just be calm whenever conflicts come and take them for granted, you can solve everything.

  • Inspiring is an art

In a retail business, it’s hard to work when you don’t have an enthusiastic attitude. And your employees are even more likely to get frustrated when they have to talk to thousands of customers a day, build a new strategy, or run a new campaign. As a retail manager, you need to boost them to go beyond their limitations. Keep a lovely smile when you walk into the office every morning, have a courteous posture while receiving customer’s complaints, or give your employees some stunning solutions to deal with problems. Those are some things you can do to inspire your staff and make them work better.

Besides, listening to their ideas and appreciating their contributions are the most efficient ways to stimulate them. Remember, your thoughts are not always the best. Instead of being conservative, acquiring new contributions from your staff can give your business more strength to develop. And they are also very triumph thanks to your esteem for their ideas.

  • Discovering the priorities

This factor is quite crucial because it reveals your capacity of managing. Most of the starting retail managers cannot name their priorities at the very first time because they had too many tasks to do.

I have one tip that can help you improve this situation. At the end of the day, after work or before going to sleep, take out a sheet of paper and write everything you have fulfilled that day down. See through them and decide which task you would like to do first in the next day, next week, or even next year, such as to inventory the goods tomorrow and hold a new product display next Monday. Starting a new day won’t be so hard anymore when you already prepare what to do. That is my secret in setting up my retail business priorities, and sometimes, it motivates me to come up with several completely terrific marketing strategies. I believe that it can also help you. So always set up the priorities and focus on them, they will guide your company to success and turn you into an excellent retail manager.

2. Train employees



Again, we have to emphasize the strength of you being a role model.

When you have trained yourself well, there is nothing complicated when training your employees. If you have kids, you may notice that they barely listen to what you say. They are more likely to imitate what you do, and that is how they form their behaviors. It is similar to your employees because they consider your actions their standards. So to have your staff well-trained, you should:

  • Use yourself as an example

This is why I asked you whether you put money where your mouth is or not. If you do, your employees will do the same action. Try to work harder than any staff you have, show them how the works can be done, and cooperate with them, not only check them. Besides, taking responsibilities and showing how dedicated you are will be significant instances for them to follow. And an employer can still make mistakes sometimes. Admitting that you’re wrong and listening to other ideas to make things right can also show tough you are. I believe when your employees see these actions, they will work as hard as they can to contribute to your company.

  • Challenge your employees

Increasing revenue and profits is always what a retail business aims at. Therefore, the goals that you and your staff set need to be higher and higher every period. Nevertheless, boosting their capabilities is sometimes really complicated, even with the most enthusiastic employee. You need to ask them what they need from their job or you so that you can set an overall goal for the company. Then, create new goals for them; the latter should be higher than the previous and train them how to come up with solutions. And one thing you can do to create incentives for your employees is to award them when they have adequate accomplishments. That is one of the most efficient methods to raise their spirits as well as profits for your company.

  • And guide them

I guess this is not difficult to understand anymore, isn’t it? You have to take full advantages of your experiences to guide them. And more importantly, train them to be a mentor just like you. The old ones will mentor the new ones. It will be a chance for the old ones to test their knowledge and skills. Moreover, in the working process, each of them will enrich their knowledge, and they can use it to teach the new ones. In that way, the new generation can learn from not only you but also other experts you have trained.

I consider this activity a culture of my company. And I am sure to tell you how proud I am to have many experienced employees, who are willing to follow me. If you want to be a great retail manager, keep teammates side by side and don’t hesitate to become their mentor.


Those are the most basic tasks you can do to be an excellent retail manager. Are you interested in them?

And once again, training yourself and your employees are the most compelling things you need to be an outstanding retail manager. I hope your company will become one of the most successful retail businesses in the future. If you like my article, do share your employees and other managers because it will be very useful for them as well.

Lastly, thank you for reading my How-to article, and I hope to see you in subsequent ones. Goodbye.

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I am a marketer at RockPOS, an avid reader and a blogger. I enjoy learning about business and I also have some good knowledge about technology. I write blog as a hobby and topics are mainly about online marketing, SEO, e-commerce. When not writing or at work, I play sports, travel, or read books.