This was the year we decided to close the garden center on Sunday’s for no other reason than it’s the day we decided on. Sure, in the past Sunday's we’re busy days, and I am sure we lose some business. Still, it gives me a chance to spend time with the people that matter, and it gives the nursery some rest time. We also set the phone answering machine to “on”, all day. If we are busy with people in the store, we will let the phone answer. “Hi, if you reached this message during our operating hours we’re out helping a customer and will return you call, just as soon as we’re done”. Now, instead of that frustrated look the in-store customer sees, they see a person who is focused on their needs.
“Hi, is the person in charge of (whatever) available to hear how we can save them money”? No, they are not. We are a retail store and our phone is for retail business, however you can e-mail us. “But, can I just have a few minutes…” At that point we hang up. In addition do not call this number again, only e-mail. If they do call back they forfeited their opportunity to sell to us.
When you a small business owner you are the sales department, marketing department, administration, etc. Oh, and we are also nurserymen, which sometimes plays second fiddle to these other needs. I believe much of the burnout and frustration we feel is we allow these other responsibilities to overtake what was the original reason we started in this business, to grow and sell plants.
What if you performed your craft so well that people made it a point to come to the store when you’re open, even if it wasn’t the most convenient time for them? What if you could be relaxed when talking to that customer, instead of stressing over the ringing phone? What if sales representatives actually didn't keep calling you back wondering why you don’t “jump on this deal”?
Just wondering what would happen if we considered our health, peace of mind, and craft as our number one priorities?