Sam Walton’s rules

June 20th, 2011 by Ken

With a new Wal-Mart store scheduled to open soon in Tumwater, to join the one in Lacey, it might be prudent to review how Wal-Mart became the nation’s largest retailer.

Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, has laid down some rules for building a business. Here’s my interpretation of them.

Rule 1: Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anyone else. I don’t know if you’re born with this kind of passion, or if you can learn it, but I know you need it.

Rule 2: Share your profits with your associates and treat them as partners. In turn they will treat you as a partner and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.

Rule 3: Motivate your partners. Money and ownership aren’t enough. Constantly, day and night, think of ways to motivate and challenge your partners. Set high goals and encourage competition – – then keep score.

Rule 4: Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. The more they know, the more they’ll understand. The more they understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them.

Rule 5: Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. A paycheck and a stock option will buy one kind of loyalty. But all of us like to be told how much somebody appreciates what we do for them. We like to hear it often.

Rule 6: Celebrate your successes. Find some humor in failure. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun.

Rule 7: Listen to everyone in your company and figure out ways to get them talking. The folks on the front line, the ones who actually talk to customers, are the only ones who really know what’s going on out there.

Rule 8: Exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over again. Give them what they want and a little more. Let them know you appreciate them. Make good on all of your mistakes and don’t make excuses – – apologize.

Rule 9: Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find a competitive advantage. You can make a lot of different mistakes and still recover, if you run an efficient operation.

Rule 10: Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everyone else is doing it one way, there’s a pretty good chance you can find your own niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.

Those are Sam Walton’s rules for building business success. I’ve cut them down considerably and hope I haven’t diluted their meanings. I’m sure, if you want them all, you can probably find them on Wal-Mart’s web page.

Posted in Business, Informational, The Real News

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