How to Choose and Train a Store Manager

How to Choose and Train a Store Manager

Your retail business is growing, and you can’t (or don’t want to) man the store 24/7. It’s time to look for a retail store manager. How do you choose the right store manager and when you found the perfect hire, how do you train them? Here’s what you need to know.

How to Choose a Store Manager

Look within your Business First

Hiring from within is always a smart move. It rewards good employees and motivates the rest of the team by showing it’s possible to advance in the company. While you don’t need to limit your search to your existing staff, it’s a great place to start.

Focus on People Skills

Being able to motivate, manage and lead employees is crucial to success as a retail manager. You can train your new manager in many other aspects of running the store, but if they lack basic people skills, those are harder to instill.

Investigate their Integrity

Your store manager will be in charge of inventory, cash and customer financial data, so it’s essential that they be absolutely trustworthy. Be sure to do a background check on any candidates you’re seriously considering.

Look for Retail Passion

The retail industry is going through exciting and challenging times. With so much change happening, a store manager who is passionate about the industry, keeps up with the latest trends and technology, and embraces rather than fears innovation can be a great asset to your business.

Seek Someone Who Complements your Skills

Don’t make the mistake of hiring a retail store manager who is your clone. While your managers should share your basic approach to the business, hiring people with different strengths can help to build a better business.

How to Train Your Store Manager

Once you’ve hired the perfect person, these tips will help you train them.

Train Them to See the Big Picture

Especially if you’ve promoted an existing employee to management role, the former salesperson may tend to jump in and do things themselves. Remind them that they are now in charge of the big picture, not the little details. Emphasize the importance of delegation to keep the store running smoothly.

Create a Consistent Training Process

If you don’t already have an operations manual, now is the time to create one. It should lay out specific duties for the store manager to perform every day and explain how to do them. It should also have guidance for store employees that both the manager and the rest of the team can refer to when there are questions.

Set Goals

Create benchmarks and goals that your store manager can aim for. Regularly meet with your manager to review sales, employee performance, customer satisfaction and other key aspects of retail success. Having a store manager is a chance to take your business to the next level — so take advantage of the opportunity.

Provide Continuing Education Opportunities

Give your store manager plenty of chances to keep their retail skills and knowledge sharp. Send them to industry events and conferences, sign them up for online training courses and have them attend retail webinars. Your store manager can be your second pair of ears and eyes absorbing valuable retail knowledge.

Encourage Open Communication and Provide Feedback

As the new manager gets comfortable with the role, be sure to provide lots of feedback on their performance and demonstrate that you’re always open to hearing what they have to say. Ongoing communication helps build a strong working relationship so that both you and your new store manager can learn from each other’s strengths.


Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.