Although much of this advice is valid if you're working alone, most retail businesses have at least one employee. We hear time and time again that managing staff is the hardest part of any small business owner's day. Employees working in smaller organisations experience a very different working world to those in corporate roles. Frequently, employees in small businesses have very varied roles which might spread over a wide range of tasks and test different aspects of their skillset. Many relish this challenge and enjoy the freedom and variety they get working with smaller organisations however some may start to wonder what the future holds for them. You want staff who are intelligent therefore are likely to be aspirational, but at the same time you know you can't offer them an open ended career - realistically there's going to be a limit to how far they can progress with you. The right employees accept this limitation and offset it by the benefits you offer.
A great way to get your employees as engaged as they possibly can be is to involve them as much as possible with the planning and strategic direction of your business. Ask for their input when you build your mission statement and when you create your marketing plan for the next year. We know that employees are far more likely to support your vision if they are involved at the planning stage, and if it features any ideas that were specifically theirs, you can be totally sure they'll be committed to its success.
Make sure you're aware of your team members' hidden talents. If you've got a social media wizard working for you, take advantage of that skill and get them working on your Facebook campaigns! If you've got someone with an eye for layouts, make them your visual merchandising specialist and get them arranging your window displays.