All You Need to Know to Run a Convenience Store You Learned in Kindergarten


Sometimes, and especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed as a convenience store manager, reflecting on some basics of the business can help you feel re-centered, such as  basic customer service skills, basic store care, and basic leadership principles. It might even help to think in more basic terms than that, like all the way back to the skills Robert Fulghum noted in his best-selling book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. When you think about it, the wisdom you gained as a child applies in your world of convenience store management, too. Take a look:

Share everything. Share ideas with your staff before you implement them. You’ll be able to manage change more effectively when you have staff buy-in.

Play fair. Give credit where credit is due and celebrate successes with your staff regularly. Not only does this make you a good person, it improves staff morale and reduces turnover.

Don’t hit people. Basic etiquette is a core principle of customer service. The way you treat your employees is the way they’ll treat your customers, so be nice.

Put things back where you found them. You are in the business of providing convenience, and convenience can’t exist without order. Simple tidiness goes a long way toward creating a positive impression with guests.

Clean up your own mess. Even if you didn’t make the mess, you need to make sure it gets cleaned up. Basic store care can be the difference between a loyal customer and one who pulls into the parking lot and then right back out.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Also, make sure no one else takes from you and your store. Train your staff on loss prevention and protect yourself against internal theft.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Not only do you need to mind your manners, as a manager you need to make sure everyone on your team does as well. Provide training to stop harassment from happening in your business.

Wash your hands before you eat. Likewise, train your staff on proper handwashing and food safety best practices that protect your customers against foodborne illness.

Flush. Nothing will cost you customer loyalty quicker than an unclean bathroom.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Just as indulgences can improve your mood sometimes, rewarding and recognizing employees can help keep team morale high and reduce turnover.

Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work every day some. It’s okay to have fun at work. Create a positive work environment where employees can be themselves and thrive.

Take a nap every afternoon. Of course it’s not okay to fall asleep on the job, but great leaders avoid total exhaustion and burnout by learning effective time management strategies and productive responses to stress.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Teamwork makes the dream work. You can’t accomplish your store goals without everyone on your team working together toward common big picture mission.

Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. You, and all of your employees, are like that little seed. When you’re rooted in a good place, your potential to grow is endless. Commit to lifelong learning and give your employees access to training programs that help them meet their personal career goals.

Convenience Store Basics

The convenience store training curriculum from Ready Training Online covers convenience store basics at every level, from new employees to seasoned managers. Click here for more information.

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