ortland’s Next Adventure is the kind of specialty retail shop all specialty retail shops aspire to be. Their inventory spans outdoor sports and hobbies, both new and used, engaging a spectrum of customers. Their roots run deep into their community with hands-on, focused programs like Women’s Wilderness First Aid Course and 2 Day Introduction to Hiking and partnerships with local organizations that promote good-for-Portland initiatives. Next Adventure’s hyper-engaged staff leads to hyper-engaged customers and a fan base so true they tattoo themselves with their logo (seriously). And perhaps most important of all, they’ve been consistently and increasingly profitable for two decades.
Proprietors Deek and Bryan opened Next Adventure in 1997, both with established careers in specialty retail under their belts, so to say they’re experienced in the field is an understatement. But even with their renowned success and combined decades of know-how, Deek and Andrew still turned to—and more importantly, trusted—The Mann Group.
Since we began working with Next Adventure in 2015, we’ve returned six times to conduct Mann University courses, plus longterm strategic planning workshops. Now the Next Adventure guys aren’t just experienced in retail, they’re experienced in Mann Group-Style Specialty Retail.
What intentional moves are you making to increase buy-in?
Deek: The Mann Group has helped to create a company “structure” for our Company Culture.
Andrew: As we’ve grown to over 100 employees, communication has become increasingly more challenging while becoming more important than ever. The Mann Group has provided us with communication tools that match the needs of our growing company. Working with Dan and Leslie on our longterm strategic planning process has not only provided these tools, but has helped us to clearly define what accountability looks like and how it functions within our company and culture.
After your employees experienced Mann U, how did they seem more invested in the company?
Andrew: When our staff is recognized as a valuable asset, they bring value to our company.
Deek: In my experience, people are happiest when they feel in control of their life and work situation. By exposing them to Mann U, they have gained tools and understanding for how they can influence and control their personal success and the success of the company.
Andrew: The investment in Mann U is a win-win for our staff and company. Attendees learn valuable skills that play a role in both their personal and professional life, and then, through buy-in and commitment, they put those skills to use creating a stronger community and bringing value to our company.
“The investment in Mann U is a win-win for our staff and company. Attendees learn valuable skills that play a role in both their personal and professional life, and then, through buy-in and commitment, they put those skills to use creating a stronger community and bringing value to our company.”
—Andrew Sullivan, Next Adventure