Tuesday, 19 November 2013
If you want to find out why university students, graduates and professors from Charlottesville, Virginia (United States) all covet a job at the humbly-named, 'Corner Parking Lot', you gotta check out this heart warming movie - "The Parking Lot Movie".
This bunch of quirky, super-interesting, intellectual dudes had me re-assessing my own happiness in my work. And actually it's helped me let go of a lot of status and ego that was attached to my thoughts about careers. Now I'd love a job at the Corner Parking Lot (just not night shifts)! So if you don't want your career-paradigm changed, or to see your job from a different and enlightening perspective - don't watch this movie!
Here's a link!
Saturday, 16 November 2013
I saw you out shopping. You purposefully re-arranged that teapot in a position that will maximise its sales better than it was before, didn't you? I caught you casting your eye over the shop and imagining it less cluttered and with a boutique-y feel. When you thought no-one would notice - I did.
No!! Of course I didn't, I'm not an all-seeing, God-like, big-
But, if you DO get overly excited about colour-blocking, jeans hanging from ceilings and vintage telephones in shoe shops, then I'm afraid you may have 'Merchandising Addiction'.
Here's how to tell if you have this mind-encompassing condition:
1. You cringe when you see a highlighter star card with handwriting on it
2. You feel a little bit memorised (and in colour blocking heaven) when in Smiggle
3. You hold yourself back from re-merchandising someone else's shop or window
4. Your own wardrobe uses visual merchandising philosophies
5. You feel the need to freshen up the furniture positioning in your own home. No one else is allowed.
If you identified with just two or more of the above situations then I recommend you...
Comment below and we'll figure it out together. Actually, I have it too and I don't know where to turn!
Friday, 13 September 2013
Last year I had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people at the Business Mentors NZ centre in Christchurch. These lovely folk make spare time to help out business owners who would like a little extra support.
They have over 1,900 business mentors nationwide, and can match you with a mentor who has the skills and knowledge specific to your business circumstances. They have assisted over 65,000 businesses since 1991. Their mentors are proven successful business people from a diverse range of fields.
It only costs $150 to apply for a Business Mentor and you can have their assistance for up to 2 years, free! So if you starting a whole new venture, want specific advice, or just want someone to bounce your ideas off of, head here:
Monday, 26 August 2013
I'm not a surfer (or anything close) but I know for sure that 'good vibes' go a long way in retail and business.
Who doesn't like to be, or shop, in a place that has a good feeling?
I worked for a company that had such a wonderful atmosphere that it has made a lasting impression on me, for life. And now every organisation is measured up against this one. I like to deal with companies that offer a positive vibe, and when I find them - I'm hooked. A loyal customer forever.
So how do you get your customers addicted, using such an immeasurable, seemingly intangible approach? That's right, I'm not talking about price wars, discount sales, shopping reward points or policies and procedures. I'm talking about mushy old feelings. And yes, they do have a place in business.
Because you can tell when a business has a good, and well thought out flow and the people all have the right attitude. Watching staff seamlessly sort through stressful, high pressure situations can be amazing to watch. It's like they've put on a show. And it's such a buzz to experience yourself as a manager and a customer.
And during quiet times, its a joy to come across a retailer not slumped on the counter, counting away the minutes is it not?!
When you're running a business, busy crossing T's, dotting I's and crunching numbers... how can you make sure your bricks and mortar retail store has a good vibe?
Be F.R.E.S.H in your business approach
F - Family
Are you treating your staff and customers like an extended family? Do this and reap the rewards. Check that everything is OK with their families too.
R - Respect
Easy one. Treat others as you would like to be treated and ensure everyone is doing the same.
E - Energy
If the energy is lacking in your store, get your thinking cap on to get some energy going. Do you need some high energy music or a staff competition? Does your ever-yawning employee need to just get some fresh air? Do you need a nap on your lunch break? Chocolate anyone?
S - Simple
Simplify your store and its systems. De-clutter the shelves, your desk and shop window. A spring-clean surprisingly does wonders for sales.
H - Holistic
Think about everyone's needs in a holistic way, and don't forget your own. We can be so focused on the business that we forget we aren't robots - we are human. So be mindful of your own and your peoples whole selves.
Monday, 5 August 2013
Want to change the world? It's pretty simple. Give good customer service.
As the service industry booms worldwide, it is a cruel irony that a culture of disconnect, individualism and unsatisfied under-employed people are also (seemingly) on the rise.
It is definitely worth bearing a thought to what impact poor service has on ourselves and each other.
You might think your job in retail or service is unimportant. I used to think I wasn't contributing much to the world compared to my mum, whose tireless efforts as a nurse has saved and enriched lives all over the earth. And here I am just working in a shop. Oh.
But with customer service playing such a constant role in our lives, I realised how powerful being a retailer really is. Just mentoring your own staff is enriching. And making a customers day could have a butterfly effect. Talking to a person who is lonely, or helping a family with a tragic loss could change their lives.
I think it is so important, actually more important now than ever, to look after our customers as our own people.
I realise that many young people in their first retail job find it difficult talking to strangers and especially those a lot older than them. I used to say to them, 'just imagine your talking to your own uncle or grandma!' But it's not just young people that need to be taught/reminded of this!
And to the service people sick of grumpy customers - just think, they probably had a rubbish experience moments before walking in to your store, it's your job to restore their faith in humanity!
Banana smiles everybody.
How to banana smile: here
This was inspired by a post I discovered over at iheartprocrastination. A heart-wrenching experience, made worse just by poor customer service, told here: Customer service in New Zealand?