When you run a convenience store for a long period of time, it is easy to become blind to the dating of your surroundings, your technology and the very equipment that keeps you in business.

It occurred to me recently that we had not looked at our business with critical eyes for some time, so I did. What I found surprised me – while business is better than ever, we need to update several items of equipment. These include:

  • Our outdated EPoS system
  • Our food warmer
  • A couple of fridges
  • One of our bean-to-cup coffee machines
  • Our outside seating
  • Our inside table and chairs
  • Our hot water system

None of these things are in dire need of replacement, but we took the decision to replace them anyway. The new touchscreen coffee machine and low-profile EPoS system send a message to the customer that we are ahead of the game.

We are changing with marketplace expectations and we are leading, not following.

This creates a new feel to the shop and gives the staff confidence that we are looking forward with increased enthusiasm.

We have just begun our journey of renewal and when complete, all of the items on our list will be sparkling new, breathing even more life into our happy village store.

While looking at hardware, we also re-evaluated our procedures and updated them. Over the seven and a half years we have been operating, many new items and ways of doing things have entered our store. We needed to update our procedure manual so that everyone that works and interacts with us is on the same page. A working, updated procedure manual is almost a guarantee of success and ensures a smooth-running operation.

I am pretty boring, I love procedures. They ensure that every job gets done the same way every time regardless of who is doing it. The challenge is convincing your staff of the merits of this approach.

One of the additions to our procedure manual is a stipulation that technology reviews are conducted and acted upon annually. This will ensure that Lambs Larder stays ahead of the game.