How to Find Time for Innovation in Your Grocery Store
Making Time for Innovation: Manage Your Workload to Include Creativity
As the owner of a small business or manager of larger chain, you don’t need to be told that there aren’t enough hours in the day. From scheduling to ordering to putting out customer fires, there’s always something demanding your attention. Where could you possibly make room for the downtime that’s needed for innovation and creativity in your job?
Your competitors are finding a way – or they will soon. It’s essential to stay on top of industry trends and come up with your own new ideas for your store. Here are a few strategies you can try to manage your workload to balance time for creativity.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!
The most important thing you can do to take back your schedule and free up room in your mind for innovative ideas is taking unnecessary tasks off your plate. It’s so often easier to do things yourself rather than teaching someone else, but this practice can be detrimental.
Hire senior-level staff who you trust, train them thoroughly, and then delegate tasks that they can handle. From drafting lower-level employees’ work schedules to facilitating deliveries to stocking shelves, you don’t need to have your hands in everything for your grocery store to run smoothly. Make sure your upper-level employees know your door is open for questions or emergencies, and then let them do their jobs.
Listen and Learn
Speaking of capable employees, you have staff who cover every type of responsibility, and they see and experience lots of things you don’t. Encourage an environment in which they feel comfortable offering their ideas to you and make time to listen. It could be in regular staff meetings, one-on-ones, or suggestion boxes – whatever method works best for you and your team.
You could find some of your best ideas come from feedback you received from an observant employee. And if new procedures stem from staff suggestions, you’re likely to find it easier to obtain buy-in.
Rely on Your Vendors
When it comes to vendors and suppliers, choose representatives whose expertise you can trust. One example of this could be your sweet shop setup. If you’ve partnered with a vendor such as Gold Medal to provide equipment and supplies, you’ll know you can let go of some stressors. Experts are available to help plan the design and layout of your setup, recommend appropriate equipment for your space and volume, and even provide insight on popular flavors to try.
This frees you up to focus on other things, such as customer preferences and buying trends. Having a pulse on data like this can help spark your creativity to try other things, such as adding caramel or candy apples to your lineup, hosting tasting events, implementing a delivery service or online app, or creating an appealing and innovative atmosphere for customers.
Above all, of course, time away is important. So just as you encourage regular breaks for employees, make sure to schedule them for yourself too. You never know – your next great idea might just come while you’re soaking up the sun!
Find more retail tips and ideas in Gold Medal’s Concession Insights.