you thought of your consignment, resale, or thrift shop just a little differently in 2012? Would your shop be more successful? More fun to run? Would you find unexpected supporters and fervid fans if you just approached things a tiny bit differently?
This week we’ll present a few What Ifs for you to consider. And what if you took the kernel of one of my what ifs and modified it for your business? What if my idea, and your interpretation, and someone else’s version combined… can you see where this is going?
What if you dared to be greater than you already are?
What If? You changed the way you thought of incoming goods? Whether you buy outright, deal in donations, or consign, this Auntie Kate question might have you thinking about your intake procedures:
“Help me please! When new consignors call for an appointment and we can’t fit them in for months, some just laugh. We try to take 4 or 5 appointments a day.” “I have to turn down new consignors every day. I take one new consignor a day. I’m backed up for three months.” “I want to read about how many items to accept and methods for getting items on the floor more efficiently.”
Auntie Kate answered:
Processing incoming merchandise can be a business-killing bottleneck. The most productive shops have systems to ensure their sales floor is full of fresh new items without detracting from their sales activities and without sacrificing their patience, good humor or family life.
The keys to effective acceptance are simple:
- Accept when your suppliers can come in, not when it’s convenient for you. Give your suppliers what they want: a quick, easy, convenient way to bring items in.
- Don’t waste time ondecisions. Mulling over the price of a t-shirt for 10 minutes can mean the next consignor (the one with the designer bags) decides the wait is too long.
- Arrange your acceptance area for efficiency. Having to shift goods, dig out forms or even your computer, or tripping over hangers will slow you down. Spending five minutes too long on each batch can mean a full wasted day a week.
- Don’t lose time on mistakes. Lost a whole batch? Whose items are those? Where are the tags for these? Where are the things for these tags? You know what I mean. Develop a system that works and stick to it.
- Don’t perform tasks less-experienced people could do.
- Design a way to handle overflows. Consider a variety of possibilities, from a “free-for-all” day to a Drop-&-Run system. You may be killing yourself trying to fulfill expectations you think your suppliers have without realizing that they might be delighted with an alternative.
Imagine what you could do if your intake structure reflected your desire to grow your business.
There’s more What if‘s all this week… look forward and back.
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/libraryman/