Step 10 of #RetailChampion 10-Steps to Retail Success: Back Office

This blog introduces the tenth and final step of the “10-steps to retail success“, Back Office. 10-steps to retail success is a process / methodology I’ve developed for my 1-2-1 mentoring clients. Over the past weeks / months I’ve been introducing each step with a little more detail, and this is the last one…

Back Office: HR, Legal, Finance and IT

These functions are often seen as a cost to the business, but in reality they keep the business compliant, protected and future proofed.

Why do you need an HR Expert to support your retail business?

Good HR advice will help you plan your future resourcing needs and will help you recruit for the here and now. Not only that, with the right advice you can be confident you stay on the right side of the complex issues in employment law. People are one of the top 3 cost drivers in a retail business – consider great HR advice as an insurance policy to protect you from costly mistakes.

Legal advice is very expensive – is it necessary for a small retailer?

Like HR, a good lawyer is an insurance policy AND given they often negotiate your property and product supply contracts (the other 2 of the 3 top cost drivers) then they can save you their own costs many times over by making sure you’ve got decent contractual terms in place.

Additionally if you have intellectual property (designs or inventions etc) in your business they can help ensure you’re well protected from copy-cats!

Finance, accounting and book keeping

When it comes to finance you have no choice – you have to prepare your accounts and you have to keep the books! A good accountant will potentially also be able to provide you with advice to minimise your tax liability and resources to complete your book keeping. Additionally a good business advisor can help you plan and manage your finances, keeping you in the black and avoiding any cash flow disasters!

IT – Business Information Systems, EPOS, CRM, Ecommerce and “all that stuff”!

In this day and age a business really can’t run effectively or efficiently without IT. The time it would take to do simple task with “pen and paper” compared to the speed things can be done with IT make it impossible to consider alternatives.

IT can be expensive so you must chose your partner wisely – you will need to have all the data and information on hand to make informed decisions, so just make sure that you know what your business needs, what it can afford and select a software supplier carefully (reflect back on supplier selection in step 8).

10-steps to retail success

Over the past couple of months I’ve introduced each of the steps from my 10-steps to retail success methodology in more detail.

I also offer the “Be a retail champion by next year” programme, which includes 52 FREE weekly retail tips by email. Get 2012 off to a great start and focus on how you can become more successful, more efficient and more profitable in your retail business by next year.

To sign up for 52 FREE weekly retail tips then visit

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
This entry was posted in 10 steps to retail success, back office, Retail Strategy, robust repeatable processes, saleable business, scalable and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Step 10 of #RetailChampion 10-Steps to Retail Success: Back Office

  1. Pingback: Introducing the #RetailChampion 10-steps to retail success… | Clare Rayner: The Retail Champion

  2. Pingback: Is there hope for the small independent retailer? #indieretail | Independent Retail

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