In this month’s mastermind, we were scheduled to talk about social media (photo and video) content in our Marketing Mastermind and receiving, stocking, and merchandising tips with our general managers! We got a little sidetracked with our general managers and talked about a relevant and timely topic of lower retail sales and B2B opportunities to make up the difference, instead!

Continue reading to find out what we actually talked about for our general managers!

March 2024 Takeaways

Key Takeaways

We’re thankful for each and every one of our Hardware Innovators – they’re not shy to bring up struggles and concerns that they’re having about their hardware store or the industry, in general. The saying, “rising tides lifts all boats” is true for our Hardware Innovators!

Let’s dive into the highlights of these Masterminds!

Marketing Mastermind Takeaways:

A common struggle that our Innovators were facing was getting their employees to buy into creating and grabbing content while they’re on the floor. Everyone understands that floor staff are already wearing multiple hats and snapping a photo of a customer that walks in with a dog isn’t top of mind!

One of our innovators came up with a brilliant idea: Create paid commissions for employees to capture and send content to the marketing person on the team. They get paid and it’s an extra incentive to snap those photos or videos! 

Another idea to grab content is to do video shoots in bulk. You can create 25-30 15-second clips within a couple of hours, find a willing participant who can do impromptu segments/content, knows the store well, and is comfortable on camera. Bonus points if you have a store employee and can pay them on the clock. Not only can you use these clips for a minimum of a couple of months, but you’ll notice that you can repurpose and put this content in newsletters, and social media ads. Plus, you can repost on social for years to come!

Bonus points if you can focus on the humorous content and don’t forget that authentic and not perfect videos perform the best! 

Helpful Resources:

    • Get familiar with Adobe Express – stock images are great, cutting still images into video, spice up the red hot buys with dancing people and graphics. Adobe Express is all authorized and doesn’t have limitations. Here’s an introduction video to feel more comfortable with this software. 
    • Get organized ahead of time – here’s a shot schedule template that you can use when it comes to creating your content in batches.
    • Find the right person – are you in need of marketing help but feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to hiring the right person, here’s a marketing liaison job description you can use to get started!

General Managers Mastermind Takeaways:

While we were scheduled to discuss receiving, stocking, and merchandising tips, we actually focused on how our Hardware innovators are navigating the constant increase in the minimum wage, how retail seems to have dipped in profit, and how B2B seems to be the best option to adding topline store revenue.

One of our Innovators recommended focusing on what you can control instead of worrying about everything else you cannot control. Another great tip was to find someone in your network that’s been super successful in an area that you’re struggling and set a meeting with them to ask them how they’re doing it.

When it comes to B2B tips on how to increase revenue, here’s some advice that the Hardware Innovators came up with:

  • Follow up on house account potential upsells – if you’re not, you’re likely leaving money on the table!
  • Owners need to make sure that they’re managing B2B Sales folks – ask them questions. You’re supporting them and making sure they get commissions to hit their goals. Weekly check-ins might be helpful: 
  • B2B feel like they’re on an island – have a team of people to share success while still having their autonomy 
  • Devote one day a week to go out in the community and head to job sites to check-in with your clients, relationships are everything and guarantee of delivery is more important than pricing for customers. 
  • Treat B2B customers like to be treated like VIPs – drop everything when they call to ask for something. You don’t have to discount to be competitive in the industry, you just have to have the best customer service. Things like same-day delivery, separate entrances in your store for contractors, always having snacks or hot coffee ready, and some customers having personal cell phone numbers on speed dial!
  • Follow through on promises and manage expectations

Helpful Resources:

Predictable Revenue: It was brought up that the best salespeople are the hardest to manage. For insights into why you might want to segment your B2B sales role into 2 different people, check out the book recommendation: Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler


April Mastermind

Join Us on April 17th 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.