In this month’s Mastermind, we talked about the importance of local SEO for your website, margin erosion, BBQ grills are trending down, but flat top grills are trending up, the importance of team retreats for your bottom line, and so much more!

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!

key takeaways

Key Takeaways

Each session had its nuances, but the day’s theme 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:

During our Marketing Mastermind, we dove into the importance of owning your website’s domain name – renting your domain name is tricky and can cause a headache. If you don’t own, get it before your competitor up the street does. You can find out at Along with your website, it’s important to note that Google loves local websites and SEO – Mountain Mojo Group has seen almost double the amount of traffic when it comes to setting up a local website for hardware stores! Making this switch should pay for itself in 6 months or less. 

Here’s a quick guide to know if it’s time to update your website: 

  • Can you remember the last time you updated your website? Are the images still relevant? Does your store look like same?
  • Take a look at your website from a customer’s perspective – can they shop on your website, is it easy to find rentals or store hours? If you’re having trouble tracking down these common searches for hardware stores, it might be time to revamp your website.
  • How about functionality? Is your website slow or look dated? Here’s an example of a recently updated hardware store for reference.

COVID threw a wrench in hardware store numbers – you may have blocked those years out of your memory, but let’s just recap briefly: your hardware store suddenly became the most popular place in your entire town. Everyone suddenly wanted to tackle every DIY they ever dreamt of for their home and yard. Your staff was trying to navigate wearing a mask, sanitizing after every customer, on top of trying to keep a certain number of people in the store. Some stores even stopped marketing altogether because they couldn’t manage any more customers, and they were trying just to keep their stores functioning.

Now that we’re out of the pandemic, it’s time to ramp back up marketing and our internal processes, including scorecards. We’re noticing a trend of DIYers are still in our store because of the cost of inflation – it’s just cheaper to DIY. 

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

General Managers Mastermind Takeaways:

During our General Managers Mastermind, we talked about trending items and the importance of implementing new items to your store. Here’s a quick list of items you may want to think about: 

  • BBQ Grills are trending down, but flat tops are trending up!
  • Local artists work near the register
  • Similarly, local food vendors like chocolate, popcorn, and candies! 

Increasing your sales per customer is key – they’re already shopping in your store, so increasing your sales by catching their attention at the register can help boost this metric! 

Along those lines, we talked about considering doing a monthly clip strip contest to empower your floor associates to come up with new trending products and to increase sales! Be sure to keep in mind an exit strategy if that trendy product isn’t so trendy to your customers.

We also talked about the importance of team retreats and carving out time in your leadership schedule to have a retreat at a different location from your hardware store with no distractions. Think about it this way: it’s way too expensive not to pull key leaders out of your business and set goals! It doesn’t have to be expensive, and you can even rent a conference room from your local library.

Here’s what a retreat can look like: 

  • Celebrate victories –  Important to pause and celebrate, track monthly successes – and have little cheers for yourself.
  • Create a game plan for the next year – what are some achievable goals you want to set for your team
  • Talk through the hard things – what went wrong and then create solutions to those problems (It’s important to reflect on what went wrong and right in order to grow!)
  • Have a team-building activity – bring in someone outside of your business to talk to and inspire your leadership
  • Get personal! Talk about personal goals here, too. This builds trust and connection with your leadership team

Here are some resources you might find helpful:

Owners Mastermind Takeaways:

For our Owners Mastermind, we talked through some BIG questions to ask your team to connect with your employees and what they really want, both personally and professionally. The big question is:  if you had one more hour in the day, what would you do with it? 

When it comes to growing beyond one store, we talked about how it’s common to find 2nd stores being the hardest step in expanding. If you want to grow to more stores, ask yourself:

  • what does the business need?
  • Do the managers need to be leaders?
  • What is our org structure?

Once you get two, you can get to seven.

Speaking of growth, we discussed how it’s important to set up boundaries to maintain sanity and ensure you can show up the next day recharged and energized. The goal is to have a life that’s outside of work – do you set up personal goals or just business goals? Ask yourself the question: what do I do for fun? If your answer is, “Work.” That’s a clear indication that it’s time to put processes in place that doesn’t allow one person to take on too much of the workload. The goal is to be focused on the position and not the person. Because if or when the person leaves, that one person might turn into 4 positions. Burnout can be a killer for your business.

We also identified that people in our industry have figured out all the problems, but the industry is not doing a good job of sharing those solutions. This begs the question, what is the best method to do this – if you’re reading this, we want to hear from you! What are your ideas?

Some other highlights on for the Owners Mastermind:

Owners Mastermind Takeaways:

Announcing a new mastermind group for OSR (outside sales reps!) If you have questions or are running into issues when it comes to bringing in sales from the outside, this is a group where you can share your wins and ask questions. All you have to do is sign up!

Join Us on December 20th for our Next Mastermind

For December, 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.