2.08.2009

Time, Time, Time...


I was browsing blogs of retailers and ran across an interesting post. Kaari Meng, proprietress and creative director of the remarkable and remarkably successful retail store French General in Los Angeles, wrote about her take on 'hours of operation' for her business. You can read it here. It's a funny post, but it also addresses an interesting dilemma that many retailers face: conducting business in a way that you prefer and your customers respond well to. In Kaari's case, it has to do with days & hours of operation.

Her message - and the resulting comments left by readers - runs parallel to thoughts I've had lately. Thoughts about why it is that some of us in the world choose to start-open-have our own businesses, what that really entails, and how we deign to order our days-lives-kingdoms, all too often in the face of debate-defiance-complaints from others.

This all boils down to a few questions: Is it necessary to conduct business 'as usual' or 'as expected' in order to succeed? (And really, who is defining that success, anyway?) Or can a person set up their business in a way so as to provide them with a living and a fulfilled life AND happy customers? Isn't that the POINT of owning our own businesses? Where is the balance point?

If you will, check out Kaari's post and let me know how your business handles this kind of thing. I'm curious to hear things from retailer's AND consumer's points of view.
02/15: Thank you for your comments! Keep 'Em Coming.....

2 comments:

  1. a very interesting topic, i'm very curious on the comments. i personally don't have a shop, but it's always in the mind. my thoughts are i want my own shop, but the time constraints of a 9-5 shop won't work for me and i have no comparisons in this immediate area.... hilarious post by kaari, btw, she's successful, it's worked for her, and many others as a matter of fact, they're listed all over the net!

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  2. Anonymous5:16 AM

    First, you hours will never please everyone; there will always be the person who comes in and says "I've been trying to get here for ages, you're always closed!" And when you tell that that you are only closed on Mondays they say "I guess that's when I'm usually here".

    There is really no mystique about store hours, the key is create an easy to understand schedule and put it on your door, website, blog and on your phone message and stick to it. By easy to understand I mean don't go with something obscure like "Open the 3rd Saturday of every month along with every Monday-Tuesday 9-6, Wednesday 12-5, Thursday 10-5 and Sunday 9-2. No on will bother trying to figure that mess out. Set your hours, stick to them, and be consistent - this is out of respect to both your schedule and your customers. And even when you're slow, don't close up and go home - you never know who is going to drop in 10 minutes before closing time and if you set an "open at whim" tone it sends the message that business is not good and you aren't really into it. And if you're not into your store, why should your customers be?

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