Game Time: How to Build a Winning Culture at Your Retail Business

For football fanatics, the off-season every year is always too long of a wait. But fortunately for fans everywhere, football is back, and both in-person crowds and families gathered in front of their TVs can enjoy games on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays even Fridays – actually, football is on most days, now, come to think of it.

The reason for football’s enormous popularity could be debated forever, but the main thing to note is that people from all different backgrounds love the sport. There’s something nearly universal about it, where fans of all kinds find something to interest them. Football is so universal, in fact, that lessons from the sport are often brought up in relation to or applied to the business world. The types of lessons we learn from football and other sports can be applied to a variety of business models, but, in today’s fiercely competitive economy, they seem particularly relevant to retail businesses.

Like football teams, retailers have a responsibility to their fans (customers), and, of course a major responsibility to ownership. Success is not optional; it is to be expected, and changes will come if it is not attained.

So, with that being the case, what are the lessons that retail operations can take from football and other team sports? Here are three vital ones to bear in mind as you look to build a winning culture at your business.

#1 – Personnel Matters

Ask any college football coach what the key to a successful team is and they’ll say --- well, who knows what they would say, coaches often are PR focused, but if they were giving it to you straight they would say “players, players, players.” There’s a reason why we it feels like we see mostly the same teams in the top 25 – recruiting is critical and success drives recruiting.

In a similar vein, it is absolutely essential that you put together the right roster at your retail business. You need to train up a team of motivated individuals that devote their time to understanding the customer’s needs, and who deliver on your game plan. The right players at your business can set you apart from the competition and drive your success. That success will, in turn, make easier than ever to attract top talent.

#2 – Playcalling is Critical

Every football fan knows the sinking feeling that comes after watching a particularly bad playcall. Whether it’s a bubble screen on 4th and 13 thrown well short of the sticks or a handoff up the middle four times in a row at the goal line resulting in zero points, we all know bad game management when we see it. By the same token, both your team members and your customers know when your retail strategy needs tweaking.

By way of example, consider your consumer finance program. If you are spending the time to develop a finance program, but it takes too much time to process applications and your customers end up waiting around just outside the end zone, you may need to update your playsheet. Oftentimes, problems with a consumer finance program come down to the tools you use. Do you need to call an audible on your tech stack and look for something you may not have seen on game film?

#3 – Don’t Leave Points On the Field

Modern football coaches love to go for it on 4th down, even in situations where they are up or tied and well within field goal range. When the attempt fails, commentators often note they were simply being “aggressive,” but old school football coaches would say they were leaving points on the field. If you ever watch football with an older fan, “take the points” will probably be a common refrain.

There’s a lesson to take away there: when you have an easy opportunity to earn more revenue – the “points” for your retail business – you need to take it. As an example, if your team is not offering financing to every customer every time, you are guaranteed to miss out on a potential sale, eventually. It’s the metaphorical field goal you didn’t kick, which could end up costing you the game.

Make sure your team knows to offer financing to every customer who walks in the door, whether they look like they “need” it or not. Adopt this as your daily game plan, and you’ll see more revenue over time.

Preparing for Your Retail Championship

Making the most of lessons from football and other popular sports can help business owners grow their business, build better relationships with their team members and customers, and establish stronger consumer finance programs to drive profits. But to really bring it all together, you need an X factor that sets you apart from the competition.

For many retailers, a consumer finance program is that distinguishing factor and, for more and more retailers all the time, the thing that sets their financing programs apart is FormPiper, a complete consumer finance automation solution. FormPiper makes it easy to call the right plays with your consumer finance program, by speeding up the application process through eliminating duplicate data entry when applying to multiple lenders, and delivering convenient managed or self-managed services. With an easy-to-use reporting dashboard, you’ll be able to analyze your retail game tape and make adjustments as needed to create more opportunities on the business field.

Make the most of your consumer finance program and take advantage of all that FormPiper offers. With this game plan in place, you will find that you are well on your way to winning your retail championship over the competition.

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