29 May 2019
Spending time working on your small business, rather just in it, can lead to improved growth and opportunities.
Knowing where to start, and what to focus on, can be nearly as challenging as finding the time to dedicate to business planning for small business owners.
According to Braeden Lord, 7-Eleven general manager retail operations, 7-Eleven has teams that work together with store leaders to focus on opportunities for sustainable business growth.
“Running a small business is incredibly rewarding but it’s a full time commitment. With so much happening in the day-to-day in retail environments, it is easy to spend all your time focusing on working in your business. However the rewards for taking the time on a regular basis to work on your business can be outstanding,” Lord said.
To help its store leaders to maximise the potential of their 7-Eleven business, the brand has invested in developing a bespoke business management program for store leaders’.
This framework is designed to work alongside the company’s well established Retail Business Manager (RBM) business coaching support service, and the range of financial and performance data the company’s IT systems provide.
7-Eleven operations senior analyst, Craig Bannister, developed the new program. He says the information and support available to store leaders can maximise individual store potential.
“When our store leaders take the time to step outside the day to day of their business, and look at their business more holistically, it can be incredibly powerful,” Bannister said.
“By working with their RBM to use the data and insight available, to develop a business plan, set goals and track progress, our store leaders can start to see that everything they do day to day in their business can really add up.”
One of 7-Eleven’s 56 RBMs, Steve Went, helped to pilot the program. According to Mr Went, the relationship between the store leader and an RBM is key to maximising the success that can be achieved from using the insight and information available to 7-Eleven store leaders.
“Growing a good business relationship with your franchisees is crucial. Within that relationship, by developing mutual trust and respect, it leads to good honest conversations that generate good outcomes for both the 7-Eleven brand and the franchisee,” Went said.
“You have to have a clear plan, and the franchisee needs to come into that planning process with some clear goals they want to achieve. Being transparent about what you want to achieve from your business helps the RBM to work with the franchisee to develop a plan that can achieve those goals, and to coach and support them to achieve it.”
“Even in stores that are performing well, there’s always an opportunity to improve. Business might be good, but it could be better if we focus on particular areas, whether that might be stock levels, store standards, or the ability of the franchisees’ team to deliver the customer offer when the franchisee isn’t in the store,” Went said.
The focus on individual store business plans and how they are tracking goes throughout the organisation to the senior leaders of the business. Each of these plans are collated and roll up into state and national operating plans.
“As an operations leadership team we review the plans, and continually monitor how we are tracking at store, state and national levels. The 7-Eleven senior leadership team also take active interest in supporting and reviewing the plans and progress, with a number of sessions throughout the year dedicated to focusing on them in addition to day to day monitoring and actions,” Lord said.
“I’m really excited to see how the financials masterclass can add incremental value to individual stores by supporting the work our teams do every day with our franchisees to maximise the potential of their businesses,” Lord concluded.