Monday, March 12, 2012

March Madness

What does March Madness have to do with running your business?  Teamwork!  As you are cheering for your favorite basketball team this month, think about how you can build a winning (and more profitable) team in your business.  

Like many of you, I started my business as a sole proprietor--with the emphasis on SOLE.  I did everything myself from sewing to installation to sales to marketing to bookkeeping to...  You name it, I did it.   

The upside to this approach is that you learn all aspects of your business.  I am better at fabricating window treatments because I understand how to install them.  I can install, but I am not great at installing.  That's why Mike Haddad is on my team.  Mike has been installing for 20 years.  He is fast and efficient, polite, can troubleshoot on-site, and is willing to tackle any size window treatment my designers can dream up.

Another key member of my team is Karin Wightman.  Karin has 40+ years experience as a seamstress specializing in apparel, bridal, and alterations (and she is a huge Syracuse fan).  Her hand work is second to none and can be seen in our hand tacked Euro pleats and nearly invisible application of flat trims.

Kevin Cox cropped

The third member of my team is Kevin Cox.  Kevin is my sales representative for Lafayette Interior Fashions and tackles any questions or issues that may arise with blinds, shades, and shutters.   

I could be a Jill-of-all-trades but it is not good business.  I can make a higher profit by spending my time on what I do best -- planning and fabricating window treatments -- and paying my team members to do what they do best.   

My ideal designer client is one with a thriving business who needs a team of specialists working to exceed the expectations of the end customer.  We all have only 24 hours in a day.  Are you maximizing the hours you spend doing what you do best?  Or are you spending time getting precise window measurements, checking the specifications on cell shades, figuring the bracket projection needed for your drapery rod, ordering pillow inserts, or determining the valance long point and short point for the size of the window?  This March I encourage you to think about the skills that would enhance your team and allow you to get to the championship game and maximize your profit.   

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