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Does it Come with Instructions?

21/04/2021 White Rose Retail Consultancy
Does it Come with Instructions?

Do you have your policies and procedures for running your store written down? What would happen if you were unable to run your business for a period of time, could someone coming in to cover you pick up the reins without impacting your business? How do your employees know what to do or what the required standards are?


Having a set of operating procedures for your business can be about more than making sure everyone knows how to do the tasks in the right way, it also means that training new employees is easier, you ensure that nothing is missed in their training. A retail operations manual also provides a handy resource for potential questions about procedure and therefore it saves time in finding answers as well as giving structure to your operation. Do you want to expand your business to another outlet, or already have more than one location? Do you want all of your stores to operate in the same way with consistent standards? Do you want to reduce the risks in your business, make it more organised and professional? If you do, you require a retail operations manual.  

So what sort of stuff would you expect to be included in an operations manual? A retail operations manual is unique to each business and so are the contents, but typically they may include areas such as:

  •        Store opening hours;
  •        Customer service expectations;
  •        Returns policy
  •        Inventory management systems;
  •        Loss prevention measures;
  •        Store maintenance procedures,
  •        Visual merchandising standards,
  •        Back-office procedures,
  •        Health and safety procedures including evacuation plans,
  •        Emergency contact details for services like plumbers and electricians
  •        Till operating instructions
  •        IT policies and procedures
  •        Markdown procedure
  •        Changing room policy
  •        Charity request policy
  •        Anything else that is deemed relevant to the operation of your store.

The retail operations manual acts as a “how to” guide for any area of your business and provides a framework around which to build your business to provide a stable base for getting the best results from a team focussed on the same goals as you, the business owner and therefore it is individual to your business. If you want to make sure nothing gets missed by your team, or that things can run smoothly in your absence, then you need a retail operations manual.

What would you include in a retail operations manual for your business?

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