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How to find the right store manager

Store managers are an essential part of many retail businesses and hiring the right one is important. See what skills you should look for and what interview questions you should ask when hiring for this position. Learn more

Store managers are an essential part of many retail businesses. They oversee all aspects of operations, manage other staff members and make up a big part of a business’ customer service strategy. For small business owners, hiring a store manager to run their precious project is a big step, and not one they take lightly. If you’re a small business owner looking to expand, it’s so important that you hire a store manager that you can trust to grow the business with you.

 

What is a store manager?

Simply put, a store manager is responsible for running a retail store. They usually work on the shop floor, ensuring that everything is running smoothly. And we mean everything - customer service, stock management, cleaning, maintenance and even security could fall under the store manager’s role. Store managers generally run a team of retail staff that they can delegate tasks to, but in smaller stores, the store manager may need to take on responsibilities themselves.

 

Why are they important?

The bottom line of any store manager’s job is the customer: everything they do is in service to them. Often in smaller businesses, the business owner is the de facto store manager. However, due to the sheer number of things to focus on, hiring a dedicated store manager to keep track of day-to-day operations can help take the pressure off of business owners and allow them to focus on the bigger picture of growing the business.

 

Common duties of a store manager

The responsibilities of a store manager are broad and varied and could include anything that helps the smooth running of the business. Some of these duties include:

●       Delivering good customer service and ensuring other staff do too

●       Monitoring stock levels and ordering shipments when necessary

●       Dealing with customer queries and complaints

●       Recruiting, training and supervising staff

●       Managing budgets and financial preparing reports

●       Managing sales by overseeing pricing, approving discounts and organising sales

●       Designing and/or making promotional displays

●       Managing staff holidays, sick leave, conflicts and disciplinary actions

 

Key skills of a good store manager

A good store manager doesn’t always need training, qualifications or a great deal of history. What is important is that they can demonstrate the following key skills:

●       Excellent customer service

●       People skills

●       Ability to manage and delegate tasks

●       Time management

●       Attention to detail

●       IT literate

●       Sales skills and commercial awareness

●       Organizational skills

●       Loyalty and trustworthiness

●       Basic math skills

Interview questions to ask store managers

Finding the right store manager means asking the right questions. Here are a few ideas of what to ask in a store manager interview:

How do you motivate staff members?

Let’s face it, some days are going to be more difficult than others. If the retail floor staff are under pressure or losing energy, it’s the store manager’s responsibility to give them the motivation they need to carry on. How they choose to answer this question can also be a good indicator of whether they share the business’ values or not.

How do you delegate tasks?

Store managers are responsible for everything, but that doesn’t mean they can do everything themselves. To run a successful business, they need to know when to pass tasks onto other people. How and when they choose to delegate tasks is a good indication of the type of leader they are.

What is your customer service philosophy?

While customer service is always important to every business, not every business approaches customer service in the same way. How a store manager approaches customers informs how they will train their staff and, ultimately, the attitude of the business itself. It’s important that the store manager’s customer service philosophy is in line with the business’ mission and values.

Where can I hire a store manager?

Many workers with the skills and experience to make them successful in a store manager role are searching for jobs right now. Register now to post your job and start hiring!

Tom (he/him) is a growth marketing manager at Snagajob helping small businesses find hourly workers.