After taking over the store at a moment’s notice following a family illness three years ago, I’ve handed back the reigns to my dad.
I’ve always played a part in my father’s store, but running the shop for the past three years has really kindled my interest in retail and I’m set on opening a store of my own in the future.
For the moment, I am enrolled in a graduate programme to hone management skills I will be able to apply to my future retail business, skills such as delegation, staff development and co-ordinating different teams.
When I started this new graduate scheme role I was confident in my abilities because taking over the store taught me so much. I felt better prepared just for having been a convenience retailer because it teaches you just what you are capable of.
It teaches that you have the power to control your own environment. I learnt that a store can either be your own personal hell or a source of immense satisfaction depending on what you put into it.
It’s only looking back now that I can see just how much the store changed, I remerchandised and redeveloped the look and style of the shop, a task I wouldn’t have known how to achieve before I started.
Best of all, my dad has continued these changes, motivated by the sales success it produced. Time apart from the industry has also given me a new confidence in the future of the independent convenience store.
My new job involves a lot of travelling, and I always visit local shops in the towns I pass through. It’s something I wish I had done more as a retailer because the quality of these stores has been phenomenal.
They have my head swimming with ideas and even now I can’t wait for the day when I’ll cut the ribbon on a shop of my own.
Do it: Read more of Sohail's views and advice