Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No soliciting means...come on in??

So I don't want to get off on a rant here, .....wait yes I do. I have a HUGE problem when every Tom, Dick and Harry comes waltzing into my store trying to sell me everything from pizza, software, to light bulbs. Really? Do I look like I need you to come in here and sell me light bulbs?? You might be shocked to learn this, but there is this little store called Home Depot, I think there may even be another store like it called Lowe's and they have a plethora of light bulbs in every shape, size and wattage; even indoor and out door selections! So no I don't need you to come into my very BUSY life trying to sell me a light bulb. I have an ASSISTANT that will gladly run to Home depot or Lowe's to buy one for me. She even changes them out for me. Will you do that Mr "I sell light bulbs"!?

So my purpose in writing this post is that I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! Two weeks ago I had a girl come into my showroom "pretending" to shop. When I offered her something to drink she came at me like a jet falling out of the sky. Sprinting in an orchestrated incessant flight pattern straight for my office. She pulled up the chair and plopped out her dog and pony show claiming to have the best advertising rates in town with Comcast. Um.......back the "f" up here. Did she just invite herself into my office? Did she just shove my fabric samples, wallpaper, paint chips, AND my vendor books out of the way and plunge her advertising shit, I mean garbage on MY desk!! ( Ok breathe, in out, in out, deep breaths, dive deep into my soul to find the tact) I could not believe what I was witnessing. Somehow, someway I found an inkling of tact (Not much) and asked her to get her shit, I mean dog and pony show, out of my office, and kindly, (not really) told her to get the "f" out of the store.

I took my 3x8 "no soliciting" sign down and had a 11x14 one made at Office Depot. Surely this will get noticed and no one will DARE enter my castle unless they are here to see me, shop, or they have been invited. How generous my thoughts can be when there is HOPE! And not only did I put one 11x14 sign up I put up two, just for good measure. I like to be clear and concise about my intentions.

As I was getting ready to lock up last night two girls strolled in. Nice and sweet making lovely comments about my antique abacus. If you are unaware of my handsome, useful antique abacus I suggest you read the previous post. Proud of my accomplishments for the day my abacus gleamed with yellow. No good deed goes unnoticed. And then without any hesitation the blonde one runs up to our check out counter and starts blurting out how great and inexpensive her Office Supplies is. Out comes the book with all her fancy instruments, utensils, equipment and SHIT! Holy mother of Jesus Christ all mighty, so help me GOD!! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Yellow. I had YELLOW!! In a super sonic instant I turned into Lucifer. The princess of darkness (Embezzled in pink feathers, diamonds and a martini...ok wait that isn't very scary, that sounds like Liz Tailor) the evil spirit demon of rage came over me and I screamed at her to remove herself from the store because I don't work with people who are illiterate. And we don't appreciate soliciting!!! Do you know what she said!!!!!!??? " Oh no, I think you misunderstood we weren't soliciting, we just wanted to show you what great products we have and at such great prices." Ok so you are illiterate and DUMB. GET OUT!!!! YELLOW people. I had yellow.

So my perfectly pleasant YELLOW day turned into a lucifer fighting, knock down drag out RED!! I wish I could invent a life sized bug zapper for solicitors. It would be inviting, shiny, fancy, and promise gargantuan returns so encouraging, favorable, and assuring that they would float without trepidation to the golden land of DEATH!!!

Unfortunately I do not have a tip here. I have tried, (and my staff has tried) EVERYTHING to get rid of them. Like fly's to cows they wont go away. They are obnoxious, rude, unsavory despicable creatures. Lets put our heads together and come up with a juicy, no holds bar solution to kill them,( I mean get them to go away~smile~)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Assisting Barbie

Well here it is folks! We are L-I-V-E!! Whoo hoo! We have actually been live for a few weeks, but now we are LIVE with a capitol "L" and showin' off the spiffy NEW blog.(YUP, thats right take it all in, we know ya'll are flustered with envy) Our plan is quite simple. We want to help all you striving entrepreneurs out there get visibility, devise successful plans for growth, serve up some juicy tips and share all things business, so that we can learn, acquire mad skills and become proficient in something other than disorganized pandemonium.

As a business owner myself, I have stumbled along the way, occasionally stubbing my toe, somedays cutting off my arm, and I have been known to put my foot in my mouth a time or two as well. Just ask my partner in crime Kristen! Tact is not my strong point. I say what I say and I think later, divvying up the consequences as I count my winnings and losses for the day on my snazzy abucus. When my abacus gleams with yellow I have done well. When it possesses nothing but red, Im at a strong disadvantage for the following day. DAMN!

Many of my friends had the opportunity to be mentored. I however did not. I have stuttered through my share of presentations, been ill equipped for a rather important meeting and possessed hesitant tact since I was 2. I have bumped into, tripped, stumbled, and faltered through my short comings gaining insight, perception and a new perspective. Somehow through the grace of GOD I have blindly unearthed and discovered (accidentally I might add) true success. SO here in lies the importance and purpose of this blog.
My first tip I would like to share is my greatest and most invaluable tip to success. GET AN ASSISTANT!!! For four and a half years I raced all over town trying to get a handle on my chaotic, confused, muddled unorganized life. Operating a business, transporting samples, schlepping samples, chauffeuring, working with vendors, screaming at vendors, gathering with other professionals, intersecting at some point with clients, running a household and occasionally meeting for a birthday, holiday or get together of which I had NO TIME FOR! I convinced myself I did not have the time or money to AFFORD an assistant...for four and a half years people!! What I soon realized is that I spent more time spinning my wheels doing unproductive busy work than I did designing,.. ummm isn't that what Im supposed to be doing? Hang on let's take a look at that business card, ah yep thats what it says INTERIOR DESIGNER "The accessible affordable solution to all your interior design needs!" But my blue collar roots automatically defaulted to lack and cluttered my thoughts with "I can do it myself, it saves me money!"

Then the day came upon me. Like church is to Sunday the angels sang, the doves clapped their wings in the misty air and she arrived! She capitalized completely on my disorganization. Within one week she had a system, for me and her. She took away all my busy work, ordered samples, ran samples, schlepped samples, took over phone calls, met with vendors, screamed at vendors, cancelled appointments, made appointments, and stayed on top of my billables in a timely, CONSISTENT manner. Even chased down the non payers so that every month I didn't have to turn my designer badge upside down and turn into a designer hitman. Sliding down dark ally's, I had to make advances, dismiss politeness and become an uncivilized savage to track down every apathetic, unconcerned client and customer to collect my MONEY! But for the first time in four and half years I was doing more design work. She was doing the dirty work. I wasn't spinning my wheels for countless hours, (wee hours), playing catch-up. I soon realized I was wasting away an incalculable amount of time each week doing work that was completely against my grain, wasting away a perfectly good day to be creative and inspiring. That was left for the wee hours when the most inventive and experimental designer comes out. No wonder my clients raised a brow a time or too!

When she came into my life six and half years ago I was terrified to let go. To be submissive (god forbid) and not be in control of everything and every aspect. BUT what finally made it hit home for me was when I quickly, VERY quickly started making twice the amount of money I had been making in the previous years. I soon understood that by her doing the busywork which I hated, I had tenfold the amount of time to do what I do best; DESIGN.(yup still says the accessible affordable designer on the card, and in big words INTERIOR DESIGNER) So if you say to yourself that you cant afford and assistant, think about what you could accomplish with an assistant. Think about how much more time you would have doing what you do best. The money will quickly follow to cover that expense, and you will be AMAZED at how soon you will give in, and freak out when they leave for two weeks vacation!! A-hem, Kay I hope you are enjoying your stupid trip in Cali, but you will have to skip a year of college to make this up to me!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Coming soon!

As I have mentioned we are still under construction. Kristen and I wanted to get the temporary storefront sign lit up to let you all know what's moving into the vacant blog next door! We have great plans and ideas to help all you business owners get THE best exposure, and visibility available. We have plans to help you get the most out of our blog and yours. And we hope to drive as much business as we can to your virtual storefront too.

We are encouraging everyone to give us feedback. Our plans are grand, but we also don't want to throw stars in your eyes if our coming attraction is going to fall flat of your expectations and needs. Tell us what you are lacking in today's new economy. What help do you need, that isn't being offered? How are your vendors falling short on helping you make the most of your product sales, and PROFIT? We want to hear from you! And tell us the experiences you are having with customers!

Thanks, and again stay tuned. We are hoping to have everything up in the next few weeks!!