Earlier this week, the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA) revealed the shops that had made it into the Top 100 for 2017.

We spent Monday morning calling some of the retailers in the Top 100 to tell them the good news. Those we spoke to were thrilled to hear they’d made the Top 100. They told us how the IAA had helped them benchmark their businesses and deliver success stories across their stores.

But there was one word that struck a chord with me – motivation.

“It means a lot to the staff,” one retailer told us. “It highlights all their hard work and it’s great to be able to give them the recognition,” said another. A third added: “This should motivate them to keep it up and keep achieving in the future.”

With trading a continual challenge and the past eight months delivering a wave of uncertainty to the independent sector, it’s easy to get caught up in what you can do to cut costs and make more money.

Staff are a shop’s biggest asset and shouldn’t be forgotten. Inspiring them to aim high and recognising the great work they do will only spur them on to keep delivering a great service to happy customers. Motivate your team. And with motivation comes profit.

Read more about the Top 100 and the IAA for this year.