Do you know who you are? No, not you. Your business. Well, okay, and you, too.
Did you know that as much as you try to keep your business separate, your business is really simply you?
You only have so much energy to give to your business. You only have so much energy to teach your staff, merchandise the store, work with the customers, pay the bills. You can't do it all. So you prioritize. There are the things you have to get done. Period. The necessary stuff. Then there is everything else. With limited time and energy what part of the everything else will you do?
The stuff that is important to you.
If orderly and organized is important to you, you will spend your limited resources on straightening, organizing and getting your staff to do the same.
If having fun is important to you then you will find fun things to do or do things in a more fun way. You'll encourage your staff to join in the fun.
If education is important to you, you will spend time reading, watching instructional videos, teaching others.
If staying active is important to you then you will find things to do that get you out of your desk chair and out on the floor. You'll be directing traffic and assigning tasks to anyone who looks the slightest bit bored or inactive.
If punctuality is important to you then you will be standing by the time clock waiting for the staff to arrive, devising games to get them to show up on time, firing those who are chronically late, and posting clocks all around your store.
If innovative is important to you, you will be updating to the latest technologies, using the most modern design features, trying new things, encouraging your staff to follow the trends to help you stay ahead of the curve.
Whatever is important to you - your values - will be where you spend your limited resources after doing the necessary stuff. Those values will then become your store's values, and eventually your store's reputation. More than your product mix, more than your services, this will be the most true differentiating factor that sets your store apart from everyone else's.
The key is to know what those values are, and openly embrace them. Not only will it help set you apart, you will end up attracting more customers who share those values. Those are the best customers. The most loyal, the best recruiters for more business.
First, however, you have to know who you are.
Check out this worksheet I designed to help you figure out your own values and those you most closely share with your store. Here are the accompanying notes.
PS Once you identify your values that also fit your store, you will have a blueprint for every decision going forward. Does it fit with my values? Yes, do it! No, don't do it. It's that simple.
PPS Yeah, that is also the foundation of Tim Miles' First Order of Business. (In his naming contest I was a runner-up because I called it "The Order of Business". I won the bacon!) Do this first because everything else depends on it.