Does Your Small Retail Business Need Uniforms?
by Mashum Mollah Small Business 28 August 2018
If you own a small retail store, chances are you have grappled with the question of whether to enforce a uniform policy. The last thing you want to do is take away your employees’ individuality and uniqueness – after all, that’s why many of your customers keep returning –but you wonder whether a uniform might solve a few small problems, like a lack of team spirit and a weak branding message.
It’s a good question, but ultimately, weighing out the pros and cons, it’s better to get uniforms for your retail business. They don’t even have to be anything fancy or over-the-top; a simple branded t-shirt can go a long way. Here’s why your small retail business should implement uniforms.
Easier Than Enforcing A Dress Code
You might think that, instead of buying uniforms, you can simply enforce a dress code. Everyone will come in a white shirt and black pants, and that will be enough to give your business a cohesive sense of style and brand. Well… not quite. Not only does a dress code shift the onus to your employees, who may not own the required clothes, and therefore cause resentment, but you’ve missed out on a crucial aspect of the uniform, which is the branding opportunity. You want that logo displayed proudly.
Reinforce Your Brand
The more opportunity you have to reinforce your brand by showing off your logo and name, the better. If your employees aren’t wearing uniforms, your customers might get the feeling that they could be in any store. But when your staff is cohesive and wearing branded apparel, there’s no mistaking where they are – they are in your store, which has a strong presence and a clear message.
Create A Unified Team
Even if you were just to mock up a simple logo design and get custom t-shirts printed for your staff, that would be enough to increase team spirit and solidarity. When everyone is wearing the same thing, it adds to the subconscious feeling of being on the same side (why do you think sports teams and military organizations enforce a uniform?). It also allows employees to be proud of their work, as they can show off a sense of belonging.
Optimize Customer Service
As a customer, here’s one of the most frustrating situations: you need to ask for help, but you can’t tell who works at this store and who doesn’t. Uniforms provide customers with a clear, loud indication of who to ask. Your employees are easily identifiable and therefore easily accessible.
It’s true that uniforms might be difficult to enforce at first, as employees adjust to the change, but before long it won’t be an issue, and in fact, will have boosted their overall sense of camaraderie and belonging. And don’t worry about the cost – you can create custom screen printed t-shirts inexpensively these days that will last for a long time. Does your small retail business need uniforms? If you want to reinforce branding, create a unified team, and optimize customer service, the answer is yes.
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