Last month, I attended an Independent Achievers Academy retailer workshop with seven former winners to discuss planned 2015 improvements and test the new judging process.

One of the most enjoyable things from the morning was hearing the tips and ideas swapped by the retailers around the table. The room was buzzing and my notebook filled up with ideas.

Sam Coldbeck showed the group a template and store map she created for her staff to take accountability for each daily task. They love it as they receive recognition for something they should be doing anyway, she said.

Dee Sedani told us about the app he is developing to automate the process Sam has created and reduce the amount of time he spends managing staff.

Dean Holborn scribbled down an idea from Paul Mather about a post office grant he didn’t know he was entitled to.

Adam Hogwood said he sits through a four-hour cluster meeting with Londis just for the half an hour he spends networking with other retailers at the end.

Andrew Newton, meanwhile, quizzed Ramesh Shingadia over lunch on how he gets the best margins on in-store services.

They might all be award-winning retailers, but they know there are always better ways to work and are hungry to learn.

If you are always on the lookout for a new idea, pick three and test them out in your store

Everyone knows the best ideas come from talking to other retailers, but this takes time. It’s why I’m proud to bring back RN’s ‘50 ideas’ special this week – 50 brilliant ways to make or save money, tried and tested by 35 of the UK’s best retailers.

If, like these retailers, you are always on the lookout for a new idea, pick three and test them out in your store. They might just make you richer.

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