How do I Become a Storekeeper?
Whether you want to own or just manage a retail shop, it is possible to become a storekeeper. The first thing you'll need is at least a few years of experience working in retail stores. Although retail experience is a must, formal education or training may not be required to run a store. Business courses or a certificate or degree in management is certainly desirable, but the most important skill needed to become a storekeeper is to be able to successfully manage all areas of a retail shop.
Hiring as well as training staff is necessary if you want to become a storekeeper. You're likely to need department managers plus bookkeeping and accounting staff. If you hope to get tasks done through others efficiently, you must be a leader who can motivate and inspire your workers to coordinate well as a team. For example, if you'll be running a grocery store, you should hire a competent manager for each department who is willing to embrace your business vision and choose assistants who are passionate about getting things done. While you, as the head storekeeper, will be responsible for everything, you'll be able to oversee rather than micromanage the shop if the rest of your team is functioning effectively.
Micromanagement is an over-attention to details or a tight control over workers. If you become a store manager, you'll likely find that there will just be too many things for you to control yourself. You'll need to hire competent, responsible supervisors to take care of the details in different departments. It will be your responsibility to make sure these workers are achieving the goals you set for them. These goals should include compliance with any laws and safety requirements as well as specifics you want achieved in the areas of customer service, sales and inventory.
Every type of store should have an inventory that meets the needs and desires of its customers. Too much stock of anything means items won't sell in a timely manner; these are likely to have to be discounted, which will reduce profits. Yet, too little stock means not being able to keep up with customer demand, and this may send people to your competition. Understanding both your customers and inventory is necessary if you want to become a storekeeper. Working your way up in the retail industry, such as starting with stocking shelves and cashiering before becoming a supervisor for several years, can give you a good background for an eventual storekeeper position.
@bluedolphin-- Experience is important. At the very basic level, experience at a store and watching how store managers handle all of the various responsibilities teaches a lot about the business. This is also a great way to know if you will be able to handle it when it's your own store. In fact, I encourage you to work as a manager at a store for some time before opening and managing your own store.
Education can also be important for storekeepers, especially if they're planning on handling some of the financial bookkeeping. It's helpful to have at least a two year degree relating to finance. If you will be hiring someone for the financial work, this is not required.
As long as you know what goes into making a store success and managing employees, you will be fine. So concentrate on the experience part.
I want to own my own bookshop one day and be the storekeeper. Although I understand that education isn't really required, the bit about experience is kind of vague. Is it enough to have worked in a store as a sales clerk for about four years?
One of the important requirements for a storekeeper is definitely the skills for hiring competent employees. The store near our house for example, had awful cashiers who did not do their job right and were very rude to the customers. One even yelled at my neighbor once. We complained to the storekeeper a few times and the cashiers were eventually fired and new ones hired. The new cashiers are great. They're helpful, fast and kind.
Any business owner has to learn how to not micromanage if he or she wants to grow a company. When you're the only employee you automatically keep track of every detail, but if you do this with your employees then you aren't taking advantage of the people you are paying to work for you. You might as well be doing all the work yourself.
The article makes a good point about a person not having to have a college degree to be a storekeeper. I have a cousin who never was much for formal education. Sure she graduated from high school, but she was not a particularly good student, and she had no desire to go to a four year college after graduation.
Somehow she got into the retail business. She started in a small store as a clerk. She learned the ins and outs of the business, and in less than two years she was an assistant manager, and then she became a manager. She changed stores a few times until she landed a position as storekeeper at one of the most popular stores in one of the busiest malls in the city.
There was a successful store in my community when I was growing up. The guy who owned and operated the store ran it for thirty plus years before he decided to retire. As I said, the store was very successful. The location was convenient for the people in the community, and almost everyone went to the store to do business.
When the store owner decided to retire, he had no children or other family members to leave the store to. He decided to sell the store. The guy who bought the business had a ready-made, profitable business, and he just had to maintain it.
This is a good way to get your own business without a lot of the risk. Sure there is still some risk, but most businesses fail in the first year. Since this business was already established the new storekeeper didn't have to worry about this.
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