Avoiding Retailer Burnout

You've probably been in a retail store at some point where the owner is grumpy or angry and not handling the day well. Maybe it was your store. It happens to all retailers at some point: burnout. They are tired, worried, or afraid, and it comes out as anger. Maybe a challenging customer pushes the button, or a slow-to-learn employee does it, or a damaged delivery. Burnout is the problem. What's the solution?

Recognition! Unfortunately, retailers who blow up at a customer, employee, or delivery service haven't yet recognized that they are burned out; they don't see the signs and take action before they become overwhelming. If their boiling point is 212°F, they don't recognize that they're already operating at 211° and are close to producing steam. A common and otherwise minor event—customer request, employee question, or delivery problem—adds a few degrees and everyone gets scalded.

How can you avoid burnout? By recognizing the signs and taking action toward lowering the temperature. Taking a break is a primary step in avoiding burnout. In addition, you can consider what it is that has increased your operating temperature. Is there a conflict at home? Are you frustrated by your lack of control over a business or personal situation? Is there a health or diet issue that is making you volatile? Recognition of the components that can lead to burnout is the first step in minimizing it.

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