Small Business Center
By Angel Cicerone, Tenant Mentorship
Looking for ways to get your staff pumped this holiday season? I know one surefire way to light a fire under them, and that’s pay them! Even if money is tight, there are ways to incentivize your staff to sell more without it being a drain on cash flow or margins. Even if you don’t ordinarily have a bonus program, there’s no reason not to implement one this holiday season. Most retailers earn 20% to 30% or more of their annual revenue during the holidays. This is the time of year you want to maximize every single sales opportunity! And incentives are a great way to motivate staff. Here are some dos and don’ts for setting up a successful bonus program.
Do understand what motivates your staff. What makes them drool? Depending on their age and tenure, it might be time off or perks like gifts or gift certificates. It doesn’t always have to be money.
Don’t just offer a reward on a blanket sales goal. A bonus program needs to work on both sides. That means your employees get incentivized for meeting their goals and yours! Let’s say, for example, that last year, your sales were $100,000 during the holiday season and your goal is to increase that number by 20% this year to $120,000. Your staff incentives would be based on achieving or exceeding this year’s goal. That way, any additional commission or bonus you’re awarding is coming out of new revenue.
Do consider segmenting. Let’s say you’d like to grow sales for a new line or service. Perhaps you’d like to increase your average sale. You can create a bonus program around any specific segment of business or goal you’d like!
Do tier the bonus structure. Add an even more delicious opportunity for your staff after they’ve hit the goal. Using the example above with a goal of $120,000, add an additional incentive if you reach $130,000. In sales, we call that a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG. You’d be amazed at the enthusiasm you can generate around a big, fat opportunity.
Do train, train, train. Just implementing a program isn’t enough. You need to host regular training to help your staff achieve their goals.
Don’t be afraid to instill a little competition among your staff. Most owners I work with are afraid that competition is divisive, but it can create a ton of energy and, ultimately, great results!
Do make sure your goals are reasonable and achievable. Goals should be a stretch but not so stratospheric that they can’t possibly be met. If your goals are excessive, it will have the opposite effect of motivating your staff. It will discourage them.
This article was originally published at www.angelcicerone.com.