Driving around after midnight I am always reminded why I’m glad to be retired. I’m referring to all the lit “OPEN” sign on business that are obviously closed. This was a particular sore spot with me and one that would bring my wrath on the store manager involved. Look, dummy, it isn’t that difficult. You, Manager, turn the sign on when you open the store, first thing. You, Manager, turn the sign off as your last act before locking the door. No delegating, your job.
Now why, WSF, do you get so worked up over something so trivial? Glad you asked.
Every business is being judged by their customers every time they pass by. Small things, signs, ragged American flags, trash blowing around the parking lot, and dirty windows tell a potential or ongoing, customer the people working at this business don’t give a shit. If they don’t care about their business, are they going to care about me? Paying attention to the “small” things may be the most important thing you do.
In my late night travels I pass an “Autoplex”, that, for two months, has a portion of the business sign lights burned out. It is a “toplex”. These are high end dealerships selling European imports. I would assume their customers are smarter than the average bear and quite possibly business owners. What message are they getting?
I don’t think an Auto Salvage Yard needs to look like a Nordstrom store. That said, the “Pull Your Parts” place I patronize has the “OPEN” sign on when they are open and off when they are closed. There is no loose trash blowing around. Port-a-Pots are conveniently placed around the inventory and the inventory is segregated by make. There is ample parking (although you might snap an axle in the ruts in the parking lot). In the business area the floors are swept and the windows clean. The message to me as a consumer is this is a well run business where I won’t be wasting time dealing with fools.
And parking! I always strived to have an unimpeded path to parking as close to the doors as possible for those coming to potentially spend money at our business. For an employee to park there was a fire able offense. Should you be coming in to sell us something, wanting us to spend our money with you and you parked in a customer spot, you were obviously too stupid and clueless to earn our business. Oh, the owner’s wife didn’t park there either.
Oh WSF, how you carry on. Here is a shining example. We had a successful used truck and utility trailer business. The owner was ambitious. One afternoon a car pulled in and parked well out of the way. The man walked a ways to come in to see the owner. This was our first contact with the Kia of America District Sales Manager. In the next four years, we opened four Kia stores and had months where we sold over three hundred new Kias.
Enough, except this. I drive past a
store to get to an O”Reillys. Guess which one has the “OPEN” sign lit 24/7. NAPA