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Are You Ready — for BOOT CAMP?

This week’s blog post is by Cathy Nagle-Ervin, Retail Consultant at RetailTrainingTools.com, who is leading the popular Nonprofit Retail Boot Camp at MSA FORWARD 2022 this year. Be sure to purchase your ticket for this workshop before it sells out (more details below)!

As the leader of your museum store – whether you have one store and just a few employees or multiple stores and dozens of employees – you must make time to think about your business. Here are some ways to help you do that:

  • Make a list of three things that you do not enjoy doing in your business. Maybe it is writing the schedule, receiving merchandise, designing the windows, or drafting your email newsletter. Give those jobs to someone else who loves doing those things. Then, spend the time that you have freed up –thinking.
  • Schedule some time for thinking on your calendar and find a particular spot to do your thinking. Library, park, bar, road trip… it only has to work as a thinking spot for you! Then, count that appointment with yourself as important as any other on your calendar.
  • Get out and go to a conference (like the MSA FORWARD 2022 Conference!) that forces you to take the time to think bigger and better about your store. Remarkable progress will be made when you get out of your store to work on your business.
  • Make a list of business books and give yourself some reading goals. Books are great prompts for deep thinking and force you to stop “doing” for a while. If you do not enjoy reading, try listening to retail podcasts instead!
  • Start or join a mastermind group. The time you spend thinking with your mastermind colleagues can be among the most profound and productive hours of your year. Being accountable to them helps force you to take the time to think.

If you are like most nonprofit store professionals, you started your career with a passion for your institution, product, and a talent for one or two of the essential retail skills. For example, you are great at visual merchandising and assortment planning or a whiz at marketing and selling. It is enough to get you started in retail, but it is simply not enough to create a super-successful, long-term business.

Every nonprofit retail professional – no matter what they sell, where they live, or their store budget – must master all essential retail skills and put them to work in their store. The ten essential retail skills are:

  • Assortment Planning
  • Customer Service
  • Financial Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Marketing
  • Personal Business Skills
  • Selling
  • Staff Development
  • Store Operations
  • Visual Merchandising

Your natural tendency may be to explore the areas you are already good at – the activities you LIKE to do. But it will be most beneficial to your business if you work on the areas where you need the most help.

To figure out which of the ten skills you are best at and which you need the most help with, take the complete Retail Skills Assessment. Then, rate and rank your skills and start where you need the most help—Email cathy@retailtrainingtools.com for your copy of the entire Retail Skills Assessment.

Even if you have decided to start in another area (sales training, your most significant pain point, or an urgent project), it is still a great idea to take the complete Retail Skills Assessment and produce a plan of action. If you attend the Retail Boot Camp at the MSA FORWARD 2022 Conference, you will complete the Retail Skills Assessment and leave with an Action Plan ready to implement.

Learn more from Cathy at her Nonprofit Retail Boot Camp on Saturday, May 21, 1:30-5 pm during MSA FORWARD 2022! The focus of this fast-paced and content-packed workshop will be on the pillars of museum store management: building gross revenue, managing expenses, and management fundamentals (read the full event description here). Please note there is a fee for this ticketed workshop.

Cathy Nagle-Ervin is a seasoned professional specializing in the training and coaching of retail professionals and managing multiple store operations. With over 30 years of experience in the retail industry, Cathy has gained tremendous experience working for companies like Barnes & Noble College Division, PetSmart, Eastern National and Annie’s Creative Studio. In addition to her work with Eastern National, Cathy has created RetailTrainingTools.com. As a WhizBang Training Certified Retail Coach, Cathy works with other retail organizations to train them on best practices within the industry. Through intensive online or in person sessions, Cathy endlessly works to ensure that her clients understand just how to perform most effectively and efficiently in a retail environment. Cathy has presented at national conferences and webinars for the Museum Store Association and Public Lands Alliance. She has served as Secretary for the Board of Directors of the Museum Store Association. Read her full bio here.