Own a shop? Be a mom.

July 24, 2015

This past week, I’ve had the job of taking care of my very ill adult daughter in another state.  She’s now feeling much better (I’m sure because Mom arrived) and we are tackling her need to downsize before she has surgery and moves next month. She admitted fully that she needed me and couldn’t have made the countless decisions necessary to move forward without me. Warms a mom’s heart, you know. It really got me thinking. If you own a shop, you need to act like a mom.

Motherly wisdom can help you when you own a shop

When you own a shop whether it’s consignment, resale, thrift or antiques, you really do need a mom to tackle all the necessary responsibilities. Moms are notorious for juggling a variety of jobs at once. A mom is responsible for the welfare of those underneath her. She keeps the physical aspects of their abode in check and if she can’t fix it herself, reaches out to someone who can. Mom knows how to economize and get the most for the money available and when money is tight, she knows the best way to save. A mom is a master negotiator, a diplomat. HELLO? Doesn’t that sound like the owner of a consignment shop?

From diplomacy to high finance, Mom’s the last word

My daughter Ruth and me in Nashville, TN

My daughter Ruth and me

In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized shop ownership is just like parenting. There’s so much negotiating that takes place in a consignment shop. Whether you’re dealing with your consignors,  customers or staff, the owner is the referee. You evaluate the situation at hand, negotiate diplomatically, haggle when necessary and then make the final decision. Don’t even mention “fairness.”

Mom (or should I say, the owner) is in charge!

When it comes to your “abode,” you know every inch of that place. Heck, you’ve been the one cleaning it so you ought to.  Too much stuff on the sales floor? Mom knows when it’s time to clear it out. Light bulbs need to be changed? Mom knows where to find them. You’re the final say on the budget too. Had a great sales quarter? Buy those extra fixtures! Not so good? Don’t come cryin’ to Momma! Just like a parent, you’re the one that everyone looks to for answers, wisdom, security and understanding.  So be encouraged today. Your customers, consignors, donors, staff and volunteers do need you and are actually thankful for you…they just may not be very good at letting you know on a regular basis…until perhaps a crisis. Unfortunately, you can’t put them in timeout either.

Deb McGonagle

I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.