Messages

It was the Saturday before Mother’s Day. The weather was cooperating (after what seemed  like 2 weeks of non stop rain) with a slight breeze and plenty of sunshine.  The Farmers’ Markets were in full swing (I went to two!) and casually dressed folks just seemed genuinely happy to be out and about enjoying it all and each other.

I decided to drop in to some of the independently owned boutiques in the quaint small town where I just moved.  I have seen these shops on my early morning walks and have been curious about them…specifically in how they are surviving during this particularly challenging economic time.

The first shop I walked into was a women’s clothing boutique. The door was fun…painted in a bright solid color and the window was decorated to show the variety of items inside from unique jewelry and dresses to fun cards that mentioned something about being more cool than your daughter thinks you are to t-shirts sporting martini or wine glasses as the design.   I noticed a woman (who I assumed was the shop owner)  standing behind the counter chatting with whom, I assumed, was a local customer.

There were about 5 women of ALL ages (early 20s to mid 70s) in this very hip and pricey store. I saw a variety of several items that caught my attention. I lifted them off their racks/displays and walked over to the mirror to put them up to me.  I was probably in the store for 20 to 30 minutes.  The shop owner did not acknowledge me. I walked out and went inside the boutique two doors down.

If you are a business owner, manager or team member who is looking for ways to increase your customer base, I invite you to critique this shop and honestly assess your own business from your objective view of this shopping experience.
What are the messages this shop is sending?
If this were your shop, what would you have done different?
What would good customer service have looked like?

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"My husband and I started a full-time photography business eight years ago and as we were getting it going we found we have some very different ideas about how to run a business based on our two very different backgrounds in business. We also found that we were talking business with each other 24/7. We hired Lee Beaven to coach us once a week during our weekly planning meetings. Lee not only helped guide us into more effective (non-emotional) communication so that we could move forward, she also helped us compartmentalize our time for better efficiency and to make sure we had personal time together and separately. She always kept the tone upbeat and positive, while making sure we each got our time to present ideas. The ideas she helped us put in place at the beginning are still serving us well, and we have included her many times in our annual planning meetings to help us organize our thoughts into a workable plan. We highly recommend Lee Beaven as a coach for new business owners, and any that find themselves at a stall, or getting ready to move to a new level. We are at that point again and will definitely call on her for a bit of coaching as we redefine one line of our business." ~ Beth & Wolfgang Jasper, Wolfgang Jasper/Howldog Photography, Richmond, VA
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