In this month’s Mastermind, we discussed SEO for hardware stores and lumber yards and how to compete with sites like Amazon, and then we got in the weeds with personality assessments and how they can help with hiring and employee retention!

Hardware Innovators is about equipping you with the knowledge and tools you need to excel in today’s market. So, let’s roll up our sleeves, pick up our digital tools, and learn how to strengthen your hardware store’s foundation that will empower your team and propel your business to new heights.

Let’s dive in!

man in hardware store

Key Takeaways

Each session had its nuances, but the theme of the day was clear: we have an amazing, collaborative, generous community. Y’all are the stars of this show, and we couldn’t do it without you.

Marketing Mastermind Takeaways:

When it comes to SEO, there are a couple of things that stood out during this conversation. First, the fact that it’s possible to compete with mega retailers like Amazon. It comes down to how you position your website in your local area. Because let’s face it. Local hometown folks will always choose to buy from local stores that they like, know, and trust over Amazon. The key to this is to rank #1 when it comes to people searching, “How do I get rid of voles in my yard” or “Best log splitter near me.”

The trick is to get more people to engage with your content – just think, 3,000-4,000 more people a month engaging with your website could mean a massive difference to your bottom line.

We have to create content that’s relevant to stay top of mind. So, why not focus that content on SEO?

Here’s a couple of words that you should know when it comes to SEO:

SEO – Stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s the process of improving your website so that search engines like Google are more likely to show your business in users’ search results.

Short-tail Keywords – These are search queries that refer to very broad topics and have high search volumes. 

Long Tail Keywords – These are more specific and typically have low search volume.

Here’s how to work smarter and not harder: 

  1. Write a blog post and optimize it for SEO
  2. Post it to your website 
  3. Post snippets of that blog with eye-catching graphics to social media channels and link to the blog on the website
  4. Take that post and include it in your regular newsletter – chances are if a couple of people have that question, then more than a couple of people in your newsletter subscriber list have that question, too! (always link back to the post on the website!) 
  5. Bonus tip! Engage your employees when it comes to getting content – ask younger employees to make reels and make it a competition for your veteran employees!

Google keeps an eye on how many people read, how long they spend on that page, and how many people click links on that page. The more eyes on the page, the higher you’ll rank on Google, and the more people will see that blog! 

Need more support when it comes to SEO? Our partner, Mountain Mojo Group is experienced in building SEO strategies specific to Hardware Retail stores like yours.

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

    • Here’s an out-of-pocket idea for gaining more content for your store: set up a photo booth review station where customers can record a testimonial or review! This will not only be entertaining to watch, but I think you’ll find there are some really big fans out there!

General Managers Mastermind Takeaways:

Managing people is a challenge, but based on conversations with hardware store leaders, it’s also the most rewarding part. Personality assessments have been instrumental for many of our Hardware Innovators in building a culture where people will ditch a 6-figure desk job to work at a hardware store because “they get to work with their friends every day.” 

When it comes to hiring the right folks that make your job not feel like a job, here’s a couple of tips that might help: 

  • Hire good people instead of hiring for positions. When you hire for positions, your failure rates will skyrocket, and employee retention rates plummet. 
  • When you add a team member into the interview process – it increases retention, and creates ownership for your employees to hire the right people that will be the right fit for the team.

After hiring, guess what? You now have to manage those hires. Here are a couple of gems that we talked about during this Hardware Innovators Mastermind that we think will be helpful: 

  •  Take self out of the equation and focus on what the individual needs.
  • What you learn in your life, like coaching hockey for years, can actually translate for managing people. The skill of managing and melding personalities translates – no matter where you learned the skill.
  • There are heart skills, and there are human skills – good leaders/management have both.
  • If you run into conflict on your team, use DISC and run the report between those individuals to help them better understand each other. DISC literally tells you which communication style each type prefers, and they can use that newfound information to improve communication!

    Here’s an example of an effective hiring process for one of the most effective and cohesive teams we’ve had the privilege of working with!

    • Start with 1:1 interviews (you tend to hire people who are just like you and that’s not beneficial for the team) 
    • 5 people are interviewed for half an hour before the interview process
    • Hand pick 8 employees to come into the interview process
    • Give the advice to potential hires to “have fun” 
    • When new hires walk in the room, have the team start clapping and cheering! High energy (almost unnerving) keeps everyone on their toes and creates an atmosphere similar to what they’ll experience in their day-to-day role.
    • Give each person the opportunity to briefly talk about/introduce themselves
    • When it comes to questions – include industry questions, and core value questions, and always include fun questions that will catch them off guard 
    • Then have your employees go around the room. Each individual in the room stands up and introduces themselves, including the years worked for your hardware store, to let the new hires know that this isn’t JUST a hardware store.


Join us next month

Join Us on February 21st for our Next Mastermind

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

Need help signing up? Send us an email:

Are You On Board?

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!

Learn more about us here.