Small business promotion with retail speaker Tom Shay
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With a smile on your face

Your management style

There is an ad that has appeared in many of the financial magazines. Do you remember seeing the ad with two people sitting on a bench, each reading a book? The woman is reading a book about becoming the wealthy person.  The man is reading the book titled "I am Happy".

While not remembering which of the money market firms the ad was promoting, the gist of their ad was to ask, "Which of the two groups would you like to be in?" Today, we are taking that comparison and asking you to move it into your shop and ask yourself several questions.

In trying to locate the person who is achieving, as compared to the one who is always struggling, it has been the experience of this writer that there are several obvious signs to customers as to which type of person owns the shop. It shows in the way they talk to their customers and their employees. It shows in the ways they service their customers, both in the noneventful transaction, and with the customer who is registering a complaint.

Stopping this shop manager or owner to ask questions, it is fascinating to listen to them and most enjoyable to watch them as they tell you about their business. A recent issue Entrepreneur magazine stated there are five signs that can help you tell if you or the person you are talking to is an optimistic entrepreneur. Let’s take a look at them to see how many fit for you and your business.

The first sign is that you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. If you are visiting the office of this optimist, you will probably see a list of items to be achieved. You may even see several of the items have been checked off to indicate they have been completed.

If you are talking with this person, they can enumerate what they are wanting to achieve. They are often bragging about their employees, a new product or service they now offer, or just how they are seeing progress in their efforts to achieve their goals.

Continuing with the list from Entrepreneur, if we are able to observe this person in action, we would find that our optimistic person spends more than 50% of their time working toward achieving that vision.

Perhaps we can provide an example of this second point with a definition of crisis management.  It is, “the shop owner or manager who comes to work each morning, and spends less than 80% of the work day doing the things they had planned to do”. The rest of your time is being spent solving problems and putting out fires that did not exist when you came to work that morning.

The third point from Entrepreneur would show itself when we discuss the successes and challenges the owner or manager is having in the shop.  Our optimist will take 100% of the credit for all of their successes.  This is not arrogance, but it does clearly state that the success is not due to luck.  It is due to working hard and working smart.

On the other hand, this person will also take full responsibility for any and all failures that the shop has experienced. You can also tell this owner or manager has learned from the situation and is now positioned to utilize that experience for the growth of the business.

The fourth point from the article states our shop owner or manager avoids those who are emotional vampires. These are the individuals, employees, customers, and others who are trying to take away your good feeling.  To them a success is just luck, and a failure is a “to be expected” event.

Some shop owners and managers we have met take this idea of avoiding emotional vampires one step further by surrounding themselves with other shop owners and managers who are also striving to be optimistic entrepreneurs. Often they are comparing details of their business with each other, and setting goals for themselves of which they are accountable to their fellow business owners.

The last indicator in the list of five is that this person oozes confidence and has a "can do" attitude.  This is not to say that by putting a smile on their face, a person then sets a goal of doubling their sales and expecting to see it happen the next day.

In light of the competition shops face today, with every business from one of the box stores to a guy working weekends from his garage, business requires a determination.  If the owner or manager of the business is not going to be the optimist, and "cheerleader", then why should any employee have a "can do" attitude?

Taking this five point self examination can help you to become the owner or manager of the shop that has everything going its' way.  We are confident of it.

Tom Shay is a fourth generation small business owner providing proven management and business building ideas through his Profits Plus Seminars, Profits Plus Solutions coaching, books authored, and articles written. Tom can be reached at 727-464-2182 or through his web site:

Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.
PO Box 1577
St. Petersburg, Fl 33731
(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179