About the middle of February I started believing that spring might never arrive and that another ice age was upon us. Of course I was wrong. The last couple of days here in north eastern Kansas have been spectacular!. I've made a few calls to some of our clients and they tell me business has begun to pick up and hearts and attitudes have been lightened and brightened by the changes in weather and traffic.
OK, game on! Are you ready? Is your house prepared for visitors? It should be. You should have been directing your staff all winter toward gearing up for spring. But, if, for whatever reason, you didn't get it done, do it now! Make sure that your displays are fresh and your store is clean and inviting. Examine your store's exterior and if needs a fresh coat of paint, paint it. If the windows look hazy and in need of a wash, wash them. If your signs need changing, change them! Poise your store ready to accept visitors.
Parting shot: Visitors are coming...clean your house...put out a welcome sign.
Here in the midwest winter has been long and grueling. Today, as I write this entry though, the sun is reflecting off of the snow base that will linger for another several days even though the forecast is for the temperature to top 50 for the next 5 days. This represents a huge and welcome departure from the weather that we've been experiencing.
I hope that you have spent the gray days of winter focusing and planning on how to give your business a jump start into spring. We Americans have gone through some stuff lately, haven't we? With the collapse of the stock market, soaring unemployement and the uncertainty of world news weighing dismally on attitudes it seems that a bright tomorrow might be a distant and fuzzy dream. HOWEVER, concentrate only on the things that you have the power to change and you will be much the better for it.
It slays me when I talk to managers who feel completely powerless to make positive changes in their operations. Truthfully what one needs is a fresh perspective. Sometimes living, eating and breathing a business doesn't really lend itself to fresh perspectives because you are so entrenched in your environment.
How about visiting some similar stores in surrounding communities. Dare to compare. Because you may be seeing these operations for the first time, it will be easy to notice things. Take the things you notice, both good and bad, and return to your own operation and apply the same filters. What do you see now that you didn't notice before. I'm almost willing to bet the haze will vanish at least for a while and you'll be able to take some positive steps to improve what you're doing!
Parting shot: Forward focus and dare to compare!