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The Retail Doctor’s newest book helps you diagnose, treat, cure

Creative Commons License photo credit: a.drian

Bob Phibbs’ staff recently sent me a review copy of The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business, his newest book for the retailer looking to improve their business’ performance.

Or to go from wondering about survival to reaching a state of “thrival”.

The Guide’s subtitle, “A step-by-step approach to quickly diagnose, treat, and cure”, gives away the structure of the book. It’s organized by areas you need to address, such financials, training, hiring, retail presentation (merchandising, sort of), the internet, sales and finally, what to do after you’ve read the book.

When you have a business and you buy a book in hopes of solving its problems, one of the things that sometimes makes it difficult to take the first (and next) step is gleaning what to do from all those good ideas. Bob solves this with sections called “Stat” (medical-ese for “Do it now”) at the end of every chapter. Stat lists a half-dozen things to do RIGHT NOW based on that chapter’s teachings.

The Stat summary is a clever tool for the busy business owner because it not only tells you where to start, but with those things behind you, their success will encourage you to go back and look for more things to do.

As a whole, the Guide to Growing Your Business could become the roots of the operations manual you’ve never gotten around to creating. It’s rich in the what and why of fixing things rooted in common (yet incorrect) maxims of retail businesses, such as “if there’s enough gross, there has to be some net around here somewhere” (a Dan Kennedy quote).

About that operations manual thing – I know that you might think your business doesn’t really need one. However, since Bob has done much of the work for the core of it – why not take that and run with it? As he states in the hiring chapter’s discussion on job descriptions, every job needs a complete description. Likewise, every retail business needs an operations guide, which is simply a consistent rules-of-the-road document for how to run the place.

If it (it being an operations manual) is good enough to get 16 year olds to competently run a profitable franchise store, it’s probably good enough for you.

Even if your business isn’t struggling, each chapter of the Guide is bound to reveal at least one nugget, strategy, technique or “Stat” item that you should be doing. There’s bound to be something that you’ve overlooked, forgotten or just didn’t think about. Take those things, implement them and continue your success.

I suggest you grab a copy. I suspect it’ll end up dogeared.