Winning on Service – Getting The Most From Your Team by @DressingRoom1 for #IndieRetail

The making of a successful business has to be the dynamic between the team and the customers.  Being a great entrepreneur, a fantastic sales person or brilliant businessman/woman can only get you so far, once your business starts to expand and grow you need a team that will help you to take it to the next level.

Getting The Most From Your Team

Staffing, as we all know, can be one of the biggest headaches for any business and particularly in retail which is often not seen as a first choice career option.  The aim is to always hold on to the good people and inspire them to want to build a career within your business.

At the Dressing Room, my team has grown from 3 to 12 in 7 years.  Finding the right people to join the team is always the most challenging part, but once we get the right people on board they tend to be in it for the long haul.

10 Levels To Guide The Team

We have a strong staff development programme of 10 levels to guide the team from the very basics right through to senior management skills.  Used in conjunction with government NVQ training, the staff development plan encourages the team to grow and develop within the business.  It is important that each individual can see a future within the business, and that they understand what they need to achieve to get there.

Top tips for engaging the team and encouraging excellent performance include:

  • Constant communication with goals and targets are key to making this work.
  • Annual appraisals and six monthly performance reviews help to address training needs and development potential.  Although time consuming, these are invaluable for understanding the team.
  • Wherever possible I ensure that all promotions are organic, working on people’s strengths and weaknesses to get them to the level required to move onwards and upwards.
  • Reviews are a great way to find out how you are performing as an employer as well – is there anything else you could be doing to motivate, lead and inspire your team?
  • Hold regular informal training meetings as well to get your team up to date with product training.  We have breakfast styling training sessions every other weekend to ensure that the whole team is up to date on current looks and how to style the product for different customer types.
  • Staff meetings are also held after hours twice a season.  These give an in-depth insight into how we are performing, keeping the team focussed on our business goals & targets.
  • Get your team to help put together sections of the training sessions.  Choose different topics for individuals to research and present.  Also, give the team certain tasks that they need to prepare in advance of the session – mood boards for the new season, preparation for a product quiz – anything to get them involved and participating.

All of these take time and energy, but they do ensure that you and your team are working towards the same goals.  It takes along time to find the right people for your team, so you may as well invest in them for the long term.

Our business values are Honest, Friendly, Progressive, Driven, Passionate and we try to apply this to everything we do.

Blog Author – Deryane Tadd – Biography

Deryane Tadd, former buyer and Retail Expert, is the owner of the Multi Drapers Award Winning Independent store and website, the dressing Room.  Having started her career in retail and rapidly progressing to Store Manager and Area Manager for High Street stores such as LK Bennett, Warehouse and French Connection, Deryane then spent 7 years running the buying and Operations for French Connection Franchises.  In 2005, Deryane opened the dressing Room boutique in St Albans, targeting fashion conscious 30 something’s.  The dressing Room has expanded 3 times in 6 years and is constantly evolving.

The Dressing Room is the Proud winner of 5 coveted National Drapers Fashion awards. Best New Business 2006. Independent Womenswear Retailer of the Year 2009.  Independent Womenswear Retailer of the Year 2011.  Overall Independent Retailer of the Year 2011.  Best Accessories Offer (independent & Multiple) @ The Drapers Footwear & Accessory Awards 2012.

The Dressing Room has also been listed in the Sunday Telegraph Top 50 Boutiques outside London.

Deryane was named in the 2011 POWER LIST of the 100 most influential people in the Fashion Industry.  Described as a super-stylish blonde with razor sharp business skills, a keen eye for product and an exceptional understanding of her customer, Deryane is one of the most respected independent store owners in the industry.  The Dressing Room is the store that every brand wants to get in to.

Well respected in the Industry, Deryane has joined a panel of industry big hitters as a Judge at the Prestigious Drapers Awards and the Paypal Etail Awards.  Experts in the Fashion industry are chosen to vote on who are the leading retailers and etailers of the moment.

Deryane also writes a regular freelance column for Drapers giving an insight into the world of independent retail.  Deryane is a regular key speaker at the UK’s leading Fashion Trade show – Pure London, and has taken to the stage as a Guest Speaker at various Emap conferences giving advice and help to fellow retailers.

The Dressing Room has been featured in various publications including The Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, Easy Living magazine, Red Magazine, 3rd Floor magazine, Drapers, WWB, Style, The Telegraph Stella magazine.

Tel: 01727 853577. email:


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
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