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Furniture Retail Tip #50 From Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90... Tapping The Potential Of “But, No One Ever Asked Me.”

Furniture World News Desk on 9/9/2012

Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90)

As I've said before: Marriage is a business lifestyle! It is.... Honest.

ONE: You bank on one another, check up and check in regularly and expect interest.

TWO: You create trust that you can count on.

THREE: If you're blessed and pay attention you may have products that you jointly create, develop, marvel at, love and are loved in return.

FOUR: And the whole business is tax free regardless of your profits.

FIVE: Find someone you can partner, love and be loved and you'll see your interest grow day in and day out, including weekends.

SIX: If you are lucky, when you need help and attention, all you will have to do is ask.

So, you may be thinking now, “Grandpa Mike-e-e you old codger. Your metaphor only goes so far! My retail business isn’t like a relationship with my spouse or partner. When I need help, I can’t ask my employees to rub my back.”

A-n-d you would be correct... But, I am suggesting that more help is there for you than you may realize, if you only ASK! 

Yes, your employees and their families are time constrained and value their personal time, but many are willing to lend their expertise and talents when asked. People in this economy realize how precious a job with a good company is. So, if you are the owner of such a company, here are a few questions to consider.

Do you have some, “No one ever asked me employees?”

Your employees may have talents that stretch beyond the positions they presently hold. There could be administrative assistants in purchasing, also with degrees in teaching, that could devise valuable new sales education techniques. There might be a warehouse employee who can polish up beat down casegoods beyond "new" as he does for relatives and friends. Not to forget the bookkeeper who can sketch children's room layouts that she studied in a two credit design, optional, college credit course. Or, the actor who is selling bedding until he gets his BIG BREAK who might be a sure winner for putting on a customer seminar or  event.

Do you have some, “No one ever asked me spouses and partners?”

Do you think it would be too pushy to make it known that you could use the help of the spouses and partners of your employees in a business emergency, a special project or charitable effort?

Grandpa Mike-e-e is a big proponent of the, "it never hurts to ask" school of life. If it’s done in the right way, is totally voluntary and not coerced, you can't go wrong.  You may be able to form a pool of business talent that is now buried in "but, no-one-ever-asked-me" oblivion. One furniture retailer I know has a roster of the spouses, and partners of his employees who are available (and are ready to help out) on expected weekend "special sales." Amateurs? Only the first weekend and after the first walk-in.

I don't remember if all the things we can do together in retail married lives are listed in Certificates of Marriage but they certainly are part and parcel of a happy retail (buck) marriage. You do for me... and with me. And I do for you... and with you.

Think of it... there may be huge retail business talents that are waiting to be discovered. I call it “Talent Unlimited” and it might be right there in front of you.

Yes! Believe it or not! We, right here, in the furniture retail game have employees and family members with loads of talents that can stir up loads of ideas that can put them on the industry map and make them and strangers happy.

Honest! They can and want to.

Thanks, again, for listening.
Grandpa Mike-e-e at 90

Got a question? Got a comment? Great!! E-mail: grandpamike-e-e!@furninfo.com

PS. See the YouTube music video staring me, Grandpa Mike-e-e! with my granddaughter Becca in a supporting role athttp://bitly.com/qALkrX

About Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e!)

Retailer, author, columnist, lecturer, composer and lyricist.

Came to US with immigrant parents in 1924 at the age of three.

Graduated high school at 16.

Managed a small bedding retail and manufacturing company at 18 in 1939.

Hired as Assistant to the VP of Purchasing (Sweets Corp. of America... approximately 500 employees) in 1940 at 19.

Drafted into US Army Signal Corp - Communications Personnel Div., Fort Monmouth.Tested and selected for Army Specialized Training Program, Rutgers University. Qualified for O.C.S. - Officer Candidate School and graduated as Second Lieutenant, Inventory/ Personnel Division in 1944 at 23.

Married his sweetheart, Anita, and he gives thanks to the Almighty that they are still sweethearts... after 73 years.

Rejoined Sweets Corp as Director of Personnel in 1945 at 24.

Joined his suddenly widowed sister as President of a small retail/ manufacturing company in 1946. Stayed on for 46 years managing the custom designing of over 20,000 childrens rooms and master bedroom beds.

Attended Hofstra University (evening program), and graduated in 1968 at age 47. Two of his kids followed right along at two other college campuses.

Applied for 30 day temporary columnist opening offered by the Reed Business Newspapers in NC and stayed on for 27 years. His retail columns were distributed everywhere from Brooklyn to Bangladesh, to Belgium to Beijing.

Traveled the US and visited with 3rd/ 4th generation retail owners.

He was admitted to the Writers Hall of Fame for, "Conspicuous Excellence In reports and appraisals of the furniture industry."

Retired from retail management at age 70.

BOOKS: (1) At age 72: published first book "Where's The Green Pea?" vegetable character stories including his original music and CD.

Designed programs for primary and pre-K schools and presented them with his Anita. (2) At age 76: Gee! I Wish I Had A Bedroom All My Own," lectured in middle schools (teenage), with tech info for parents, teachers and students in Home

Science. (3) At age 80: Tzedakah - Caring And Sharing classic book with original music CD and illustrations for high school chorales and drama groups.

At 89 -- published Retail Life: How To Get In, Stay Alive a-n-d Love It! in online and printed version for business schools, industry, and entrepreneurs. Includes how-to educational section for "Wise Women Who Love A Challenge" and "Oldtimer Retailers Who've Missed Some Basic Goodies In Business Promotion. Also provides business professors and career students seeking everyday practical trade experiences and business thinking.

Invited to address Levitz Furniture retail salespersons, Furniture Designer Associate members,

IHFRA sales associations, High Point University students and F.I.T. retailer evening sessions. Also accepted as an ASID associate member.

At 90 plus... is a musical playwright, composer and lyricist with original music and thinking for very young and very old America.

Grandpa Mike-e-e

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