In this month’s Mastermind, we talked about Local Lift Max, overcoming communication barriers, team-building exercises, and how to improve store culture.

This mastermind was packed full of amazing content, so without further ado, let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways from Mastermind

Key Takeaways

You make these Masterminds what they are! If you have any feedback or suggestions to add to these takeaways for what worked with your store, feel free to reach out!

Marketing Mastermind Takeaways:

Our topic for this month’s Marketing Mastermind was to talk about the new Local Lift Max. Local Lift was launched in 2019, and this program helps smaller hardware stores compete with the likes of Lowes and Amazon.

While Local Lift has had many names, there’s a new version coming in April 2024! Are you ready for Local Lift Max?

Not only did we talk about Local Lift, but we also dove into some things that were at the forefront of hardware store marketers. One of them is a bi-annual “Yard Sale” to clear out all of the clutter from around the store and move seasonal inventory before it’s too late. For this particular hardware store, the event was so successful that they are actually low on things to sell so they’re running sales on: 

  • 10% off grills
  • 30% off plants
  • 20% off garden wall art

Is this something that you could implement in your store? How nice would it be to have a clean stock room and space to organize?!

One of the last things that we talked about was the importance of communication in your hardware stores. One of our innovators said that she leans into team development tools like Pinnacle’s badges to drive communication and get everyone on board and heading in the same direction. It was especially surprising to see how well some of the older stores with long-serving team members responded. She also recommends to get face-to-face time with each team member, walk the floor, and directly talk to the employees.

Some hardware stores have weekly “huddle” meetings where they can download all the information all at once. 

Some other highlights that came up during the Marketing Mastermind were:

    • Giving love back to the stores makes the stores want to go above and beyond, and they’ll fall in line with your marketing ideas!

General Managers Mastermind Takeaways:

Let’s talk about team-building exercises you can implement in your store to build a more cohesive and efficient team! In order to keep good people, you need to find something that keeps them around – company culture can be a huge catalyst for increasing employee retention!

Here’s a list of team-building activities that have been effective for some of our Hardware Innovators: 

  • Company picnic – include fun activities like a relay race or minute-to-win-it games. You can also have volunteers from your store be in charge of the “fun” while you take care of food and venue!
  • Hawaiian t-shirt Friday – Especially if your store has a strict dress code. When employees dress in Hawaiian t-shirts, they can also wear blue jeans. The little things matter when building comradery! 
  • Annual Christmas party – Have fun games like relay race and minute-to-win-it games. One suggestion was to buy sumo suits – cause everyone always gets a kick out of games with sumo suits!
  •  Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries – make it a big deal when employees have been around for 10+ years! That rarely ever happens in retail.
  • Snacks – Buy snacks for $250-$300 (once a month). Put an employee in charge of a Costco run, and they get to pick up the team’s favorite snacks!
  • Employee recognition is hugeincentivize employees to earn company-wide badges and give them a shoutout on social media (take a look at what Hogan Ace Hardware does to recognize their employees)! Include team lunches based on those employee achievements!
  • Value board – Encourage team members to catch each other doing something that’s based on your store’s core values. Put those team member’s names and what they did on the value board. At the end of the month, put those names into a hat, and winners get $50. You can also do this quarterly and create a gift basket that’s tailored to that person for $250-ish dollars worth!
  • Lean into store competition – one idea is to have a bucket sale competition! The team gets really into it, but it’s mostly a sales-driven competition. Create your own trophy out of supplies around the hardware store, and the store winner gets to keep the trophy on display until next year’s competition! 

As you can tell, there were plenty of ideas when it came to building an effective team!


March Hardware Innovators

Join Us on March 20th for our Next Mastermind

For January, we’ll have four groups that meet: marketing, GMS, owners, and OSR.

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Does the idea of a monthly meet-up with other hardware stores sound valuable to you? Are you interested in sharing resources, asking questions, and participating with your peers on-demand with an exclusive slack channel?

Join the Hardware Innovators!

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