This great list of retail-related tasks for employees, managers, and owners came across the Our Town Belfast email recently. Consider sharing with your staff. Back in my days as a line-cook, I remember often hearing the old adage: “If you can lean, then you can clean.” This motto applies to many workplace tasks, even without the helpful rhyme. Here are 50 things you can do when you’re not busy!
The following are things that tend to be forgotten and in some cases need to be done throughout the day, not just when we open:
- Clean the glass on the entry doors and front windows.
- Sweep the front sidewalk
- Knock down cobwebs in the corners of the ceilings and floors.
- Check the bathroom for cleanliness and clean if necessary.
- Check for moldy stuff in the staff refrigerator and toss it. Clean if necessary.
- Wipe the counters and all machines clean.
- Check the dressing rooms for pins in the carpet, not just hangers and clothes.
- Take some Pledge, spray it on a rag, then rub the rounders and clothing racks so the hangers move easily.
- Pick a display, remove all the product, clean the shelf and merchandise with a dry cloth.
- Pick up any stock on the floor taking care to look under every rack.
- Check the vacuum bag in the vacuum cleaner and replace if dirty.
Here are things you can do when it’s just you on the sales floor:
- Change any burnt out light bulbs
- Check that all remnants of holiday decorations and promotions including tape, wires and strings are removed.
- Process returns.
- Put merchandise holds back.
- Go through all layaways and make sure they are current.
- Size a stack of pants or shirts, largest waist/longest length on the bottom
- Pick a rack and make sure every item is priced and tagged accordingly
- Pick a rack, then look and remove garments with hand marks on the outer shoulder.
- Pick a rack and look at the front of every garment checking for makeup in the collar area. Remove them to the back for cleaning later.
- Test the security alarm batteries on your leather and other luxury items.
- Match up all displayed merchandise to their boxes.
- Check your special orders or requests to see if items have arrived or need follow-up.
- Make sure digital displays are working correctly.
- Organize the under-the-counter areas.
- Call or write a customer thanking them for a purchase
- If you have computer access, go to a vendor’s website and learn five new things about an expensive item you carry.
- Research a new line to carry and write an explanation for why it is a good fit for your store.
When there are more than two of you in the store:
- Role-play a sale.
- Role-play a return without receipt.
- Give another employee a list of ten items to find in your store; time them while they look.
- Create a scenario where employees find the biggest add-on to a sale in just five minutes.
- Fill the bags at the cash-wrap counter.
- Organize the stockroom and make sure areas are labeled correctly.
- Throw out all food and beverages that are older than 1 hour.
- Take a portion of an online retail sales training course like this one.
- Offer to help a customer to their car.
- Spot check if inventory spot matches POS
- Find the ugliest item in the store and come up with how you could sell it.
- Break down empty boxes in the back.
- Fill up the register supplies.
- Fill up the bathroom supplies.
If you are the manager:
- Analyze your sales figures and markdown those items rarely sold, overbought or dated.
- Analyze your store’s online reviews on sites like Yelp, then find a solution to stop the bad comments from recurring.
- Teach an employee how to order supplies, check in shipments, make a call tag, etc. so those employees can take on more responsibilities and see a path to the next level of employment.
- Make up a quiz of the top 25 questions customers ask you with a correct response for each.
- Have an employee write out a review of a product.
- Check out five large retailers’ (like Macy’s, Pottery Barn, Home Depot) Facebook pages and list 3 things that seem to get a lot of “likes” or comments.
- Write several emails to send out during the coming month.
- Perform an employee review.
And it doesn’t all have to be work; if you allow yourself to go into sleep mode, you’ll be sluggish when that customer walks through the doors and you’ll lose the sale.
A few things to do for yourself:
- Go in the back and throw some imaginary hoops like you were playing basketball.
- Drink some water, when you’re dehydrated you can feel sluggish and tired.
- Go out in your car and take a catnap so you can wake up ready to go.
- Shop a competitor and write up recommendations about what they are doing right.
Of course, once a customer comes in, all of this stops and the customer is given full attention.