By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
Managing the occasional deluge
Well, the lazy days of summer are winding down, and it seems like life is cranking up again. It seems that once Labor Day hits— boom—next thing you know, the holidays are upon us. And as Murphy’s Law would have it, these busy times seem to be when life’s little emergencies seem to pop up! Managing what life throws at us and still keeping up with our businesses takes some talent, organization, and sometimes, even the costly outside contractor.
There are times when there’s just so much on our plates that hiring outside help becomes a necessity. Now, I am definitely a do-it-yourself kinda girl whenever I possibly can, but there are times when there are not enough hours in the day to take care of it all. For example, in the middle of this month’s crunch time in publishing The Retail Observer, the main sewer line in my house collapsed, requiring me rip out the flooring and jackhammer a 1 ft. x 2 ft. trench in the concrete slab from one end of the house to the other, taking with it the kitchen and 2 bathrooms. The timing couldn’t have been worse. While working on the repair as best I could, it just made more sense to hire workers so that I could continue to deal with the most important issue at hand — the magazine.
While many people are hesitant to hire outside help in the effort to save money, there are times when hiring an outside contractor or business consultant become the best financial decision. Having someone take care of the items that draw your focus away from your business frees you up to concentrate on the crucial areas of your business that bring in the money, grow the company, and ensure repeat customers. Your time is well spent in your business—after all, its success is largely dependent on the values, style and climate you established when you originally opened your doors, and you are the expert.
Here’s to your expertise-
By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
What’s on your desk? First impressions make a difference. What does a customer see when they step into your of ce, cubicle, or workspace? Do they see a cluttered mess or an organized work area? Like the store you work in, organization and cleanliness in your work area are key to that rst impression. What people see in a salespersons desk is what they see in that person.
Who would you rather have work on your car — the mechanic with greasy tools and rags piled on his bench or ones whose tools are organized in an orderly fashion? Maybe the messy guy knows his job and is a great mechanic, but that’s not the point. How he treats his tools tells you how he will treat your car. That’s the first impression, and that’s the most important.
What’s on your desk that you can do away with? What can you do to be more organized and give a better look to your work environment? I understand you have quotes, delivery orders, returns, and other paper trails to follow-up, I’ve been there too. Are pens, paperclips, and notes strewn everywhere? Get organized but have fun with it. Conversation starters are a great way to get to relax your clients. Instead of a store-bought pen holder, file rack, or desk organizer, find some things you can use on your desk to give your client a little background on you.
Maybe a coffee cup with your favorite saying, a family picture, or a place you have been for your pens. A golf ball or baseball-themed container if you’re into sports to hold rubber bands and paperclips. The options are endless.
I’m not touting to be the Martha Stewart of desk top design, but some personal touches, some organization, and a clean work space can give you an upper hand in winning over your clients’ trust and respect.