Why Training works

Store need a Turbo Boost? Unleash all the horsepower that you can!

When a vehicle stands idle for a few weeks it deteriorates. Likewise: Skills, Motivation and Energy levels of people who have been idle for weeks on end will become jaded and sluggish. Everyone needs fresh lubricant, new spark plugs and a spit-and-polish to return to their best!

To get a jump start on your competitors: your store needs a Turbo Boost!

Post-Covid hiatus: your people are more than likely facing tough challenges – in their own lives and doubts about the future. Despite that, your business needs the best possible performance from them to give Sales an immediate boost: when Revenue grows the business is on its way to peak performance again.

Why the focus on Sales Revenue? – because it is the oxygen of a business. Without Revenue, nothing functions.

Facing the challenges of the “New Normal” will take extra effort and a power boost in performance from your staff. Considering that your competitors will also be looking for ways to compete in this new trading environment it is unlikely that a business that re-enters the race with the same strategies, skills and motivation levels as before, will succeed.

The days of one person (the owner/manager) providing all the energy and power in the business and the rest of the team waiting for instructions, are over. While “Empowerment” is sometimes regarded as a dirty word, what does it really mean?

Let’s say that your staff are operating at 50% of their potential now: how much will your business benefit if you are able to harness and utilise the rest of that latent potential? Is it possible that your business could improve its performance by, say: 7.5%, 10%? or even 50%? Consider the benefits of a significant increase in performance resulting from a nominal investment in Training!

This is “Empowerment” – where teams are:

  • Trained to execute their responsibilities at peak performance
  • Given measurable indicators with which they can monitor and manage their own performance
  • Able to operate in a motivational and supportive climate: where they are not afraid to use their skills and initiative
  • Encouraged to use their initiative (within defined parameters) and to make improvements, solve problems and take accountability for their actions
  • Recognised and rewarded for their performance and achievements.

While this may sound like Neverland to many, it is possible and (surprisingly) not difficult to do. We can report on several hardware stores who have enjoyed immediate and sustainable increases in (profitable) Sales, resulting from the right training in the right environment with the right management support:

  • A store in the deep rural areas of Limpopo turned around a 3-year declining trend, to ramp up from R40m p.a. to R72m in 2 years – without any increase in overheads. At the same time the profit margins increased from 17% to 22%.
  • A store in an urban area increased their Average Transaction Values (ATV) by 32% in the first month after training and managed to sustain these sales levels through the difficult months of January and February
  • A business in Mpumalanga doubled their sales of plumbing ware in the first week after undergoing product knowledge training in this category.
  • A hardware store East of Johannesburg turned around their 12-month declining Sales trend and improved to profitable trading levels within 6 weeks of implementing our Sales Driver programme.
  • Why can’t your store be part of this legend?

(There is only one proviso: management must be involved, supportive and encourage their staff to apply their new skills.)

Here are 2 scenarios to consider:

  • 10% increase in Sales on an annual turnover of R40m at 22% GP yields extra profit of R880 000 in a year – or R78 000 per month.
  • Or a mere 7.5% sales increase on R40m p.a. and a nominal 2% increase in GP yields extra profit of R126 667 per month or R1 520 000 per year.

Which of the businesses that are competing for a share of a smaller market will succeed? It will be those companies whose resources are operating at optimum levels – who are focused, tuned-up and determined to be part of a success story.


Essential Hardware Group has partnered with Ilanga Retail Consultants to deliver Retail specific training which is simple yet effective.

Ilanga Retail Consultants’ specific purpose is to provide services to independently owned small – to medium/large businesses in the hardware industry. Our team consists of former store owners, directors, senior executives of retail groups and internationally experienced consultants.

Sign up for the suite of Training videos and webinars designed exclusively for the Essential group by Ilanga Retail Consultants.