It’s easy to whip newsagents into a frenzy about magazine supply, lottery competition or late newspapers but almost impossible to achieve the same attention and comment about employee theft, poor business planning or falling stationery sales.
I am concerned that as a channel we like to complain about the parts of our businesses over which we have the least control while ignoring opportunities to complain about ourselves and our poor stewardship of those parts of our businesses over which we have the most control.
The data reported by our computer systems tell us the truth. They tell us how stationery, gift, toy, card and other sales are year on year. yes, I include cards in this list over which we have control because it’s time newsagents realised that they have more influence over their card sales than their supplier.
My management challenge to newsagents today is – next time you are about to criticise a supplier, pays and think whether you hold your own performance over your business to the same standard. Look at your year on year business data. It won’t lie. If your stationery, gift, card, toy and plush sales are down it’s 100% on you. If magazine, newspaper, lottery and agency sales are down, you;re playing a role in that decline.
Embrace the truth of your data and use it to guide where you need to focus your attention.