Author: Michaelean Pike
On the reality TV show “The Profit,” Marcus Lemonis assessed companies for potential investment using the three P’s of business: people, process and product. Even if a millionaire isn’t investing in your business, the three P’s can help you evaluate your shop and make improvements.
Make sure your employees are in roles that best use their skills. Photo Credit: ATA
You know the importance of employing the right people. Good employees make huge differences in any company’s success, but make sure they’re in the right roles. That’s especially true for those in management. Businesses often promote from within by rewarding high-performers. Effective management, however, requires unique skillsets. Someone who excelled at their previous job—for example, sales or bow technician—might lack management skills.
Some business owners ignore the people component of their company until encountering a problem they can’t ignore, such as customer complaints or excessive absenteeism. To optimize your company’s profitability, you must regularly evaluate your people.
In an article for SMBCEO.com, Ivan Widjaya recommends monitoring employees’ attitudes and efficiency. “Poor attitudes create tension that will find its way to the rest of the team and your customers, thus affecting both the process and the product,” he wrote. Employees with poor attitudes are also expensive. According to LinkedIn, a disengaged employee—defined by Gallupas “unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to coworkers”—costs employers 34% of their salary!
Talk to your employees. Find out if they enjoy their work and if you can make changes that improve their ability to do their jobs. These conversations can uncover issues with other employees, managers and processes; and identify where employees need more training or support.
Evaluate whether your standard practices are working or if they need to be reevaluated. Photo Credit: ATA
Everything you do repeatedly at your company should have a defined process. That includes everything from answering the telephone to managing inventory.
Many companies fail to change their processes as the business grows or changes. What works for companies with two employees might not work for other companies with 20 employees, and processes that worked for a retailer in 1999 might be obsolete in 2019. That’s normal, but it must be addressed.
Do you have processes requiring an update or redefinition? Talk to your employees to hear an internal evaluation of your processes. For external insights into what works and what must change, consider hiring a consultant to evaluate your business or survey your customers for feedback. You could also bring in another respected archery retailer (whose shop is far enough away to not be a direct competitor) to get their thoughts on what works and what doesn’t in your shop.
Your product is your range as much as your equipment. Offer exciting events at your range to generate interest. Photo Credit: Archers Afield
The product part of the three P’s is not the bows, arrows and accessories on your shelves. Your products are the services and programs you offer customers. That includes bow services, your range, and lessons and classes. It also includes your retail services, such as selecting quality products to stock, and helping customers choose the right product for their needs.
David Ciccarelli of Entrepreneur.com thinks customer surveys ensure that your products—your services as a retailer and archery expert—deliver what consumers want. “My favorite one-question survey I’ve participated in was, ‘What can we do that will knock your socks off?’” he wrote. He also thinks you can learn much about your product by determining whether your customers would recommend you to friends. If surveys reveal that customers don’t enthusiastically recommend you, you might need to better tailor your services.
For example, you can evaluate your lessons and classes by comparing them to similar programs in your area. How do your prices and availability of your classes compare to karate, dance and other nearby programs for adults and children. If you need help, the ATA resource website offers a pricing-structure program and recommendations for program progression. The ATA’s range-optimization plan can also help you make the most out of your range.
The Fourth P
If you’re not maximizing the fourth P (profit), look closely at the three P’s to learn where you can change. That might include hiring or shifting staff, adapting processes to improve customer experiences, or improving your services and programs. To learn from other archery retailers, and share ideas for optimizing a retail business, visit ATA Connect, an online community for ATA members, through your MyATA dashboard.