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Furniture Retail Tip #14 From Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90 - Follow Your "Knows" At The Market

Furniture World Magazine


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

I never met Warren Buffett, but I admire him.

And the other day I decided to let him know that I do. So I tried to e-mail him and wow! I ended up with a mound of printed Buffett matter telling me what he does to sweat out an honest living. But alas! no e-mail address.

Anyway, here I am hoping that someone on his staff will read this weekly column and tell Mr. Buffett what a nice guy I seem to be. How during the last seventy years I've written international business columns, books on business venture, environmental interior designs for children bedrooms, a pre-K book for 3-6 year olds and original music and lyrics that have meaning for the whole family... A to Z... plus having lived the stuff, too.

What brings me to this precipice? Mr. Buffett's decision to hand five billion bucks to the Bank of America and take the bank home. Wow-e-e! Not only that. But I have a sincere hunch he didn't ask the guys in Washington, DC or Wall Street or Federal Reserve or Congress or blogs or Tweedle Face or airwave pundits if he should dig such a powerful deal because Mr. Buffett follows his "knows" and not his nose. He "knows" his business territory.

So what am I getting all sweaty and bothered and leading up to? You. Because soon, it will be time to go to the fall and winter furniture markets where new and innovative interior designs are waiting.

And instead of going to look at these fresh creations and measuring them for their long-term value to your customers and business, you might be inclined to use only the current, sluggish business atmosphere as the gauge for this critical decision... or no decision.

You might be tempted to follow your nose. By "nose" I mean your  emotions. Yes, those depressing ones that creep over you from watching too much CNN, Fox News , or when you sneak a peek at your stock porfolio value. Instead you could be following your "knows," which have been conditioned by years of solid personal experience. Lots of up-and-down tries. Lots of truths. Lots of sweat and tears. Lots of business sensitivities that have brought you to the level of experience that is purely yours.

Blah-blah politicians surely don't "know" your territory. Pundits definitely don't "know" your customer's territory. You do. You're the expert... for better or for worse. And you're still around and still taking up the challenge of serving your customers day in, and day out.

And the old man geezer here says "Go!" because you can't make refined decisions from pictures when it comes to brushed finishes or bedding support feel or drawer construction support or not plopping down on upholstered sofas at the end of a marching, market day.

And if you're not going to market because of difficult, personal, life reasons, act pronto after the market to contact those reps you have a quality relationship with to show-up at your store to answer your sincere market questions about what's new a-n-d what's worthwhile about last year's choices that now have a selling or non-selling record.

That's enough of Grandpa!

Now go on out and solidly build "it", build your business, promote it and get your organizaition excited about selling it,  because if you do they'll come and they'll buy "it." You've done it with your successful ways for years by following your "knows."

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

PS. See the new YouTube music video staring me, Grandpa Mik-e-e-e with my granddaughter Becca in a supporting role at  http://bitly.com/qALkrX

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

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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