Being a manager is tough. Especially in retail, where store managers hit 72-hour work weeks, and the day-to-day is anything but predictable1. Managers are working under pressure to improve store performance, put out fires, lead staff members, and the thousands of other things they have on their plate.

One of the major differences between successful store managers and sinking store managers is in how they manage their time. Store managers today are increasingly expected to do more in the same amount of time they had in the past. With looming deadlines, tighter budgets and a lean staff, how can store managers accomplish more with their time?

  • Workloads Are Lighter in Teams

Delegating workloads to your teams is the best way to take on large tasks. With multiple hands working on how to fit more merchandise on a shelf or rotating out holiday items for the big rush, everything is easier in teams. Prioritize meeting with your staff early in the day to discuss day and long-term goals. Having an open and honest discussion about workloads and how to best take on the tougher jobs allows you motivate your team and assign resources for their success.

  • Flexibility Is King

Creating a daily schedule is a staple of good time management. From meeting with district managers to overseeing product shipments, most store managers trap themselves by forgetting to schedule for flexibility. Having a cluttered schedule can lead to disaster as staff members are overwhelmed with the pressure of wearing too many hats.  Add flexibility to your schedule by ranking tasks by priority. This way, if your staff members need more time on a task or if your plans needs adjustment, you’ll be able to make calls with the big picture in mind.

  • Treat Training as a Top Priority

Your ability to manage a store is only as good as the team that you’re managing. Unfortunately, there’s only one of you and many things that need to get done throughout the day. If your staff lacks the experience or skills needed to get a job done, then the whole store suffers.

By making training a priority, you are building a more capable team that is confident in taking on new tasks. Keep your staff sharp by committing time to training. If corporate has workshops, learning modules or classes for managerial staff members, set a block of time for their training.

  • Manage Tasks, Lead Teams

Former GE chairman and CEO, Jack Welch, said it best, “When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”2 Set goals and action plans for your employees, followed by accountability meetings and performance evaluations. The evaluation should focus more on the outcome and the specific behaviors needed to meet those goals.

For example, if a goal for your customer service team is to earn a score of “above satisfactory” and they land just below the mark. Evaluate how well their behavior matched their goals and offer suggestions on what they can do to improve.

  • Stay On-course of The Big Picture

As a store manager, the work of your staff should build up into the big picture. District managers depend on store managers to curate corporate strategies into a clear vision with action plans for their staff members. An informed staff is an armed staff, giving you more freedom to pursue more important tasks as they take out the small fires.

Managing a store is all about coordination and buildup. There’s only 24 hours in a day, but you need 48 to get everything done. Utilize the unique talents of your staff members to align your store to the corporate strategy and meet business goals.

Keep your stores more focused on the brand vision with a Store Relationship Management platform by Square Root. Check out our latest white paper about how SRM can improve store performance today.


1. Jennifer D. “Welcome to the 72-Hour Work Week”. Harvard Business Review.
2. Kevin K. “100 Best Quotes On Leadership”. Forbes.