November '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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3 2 P R I N T W E A R N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 9 Let's start with employees. Currently, in many parts of the country, the unemploy- ment rate is considerably low. Finding great employees is amazingly difficult. Historically, many of the open jobs that a shop might have are based on a low wage for the diffi- culty of the job in comparison to other busi- nesses and industries. Having trouble finding someone to work in production? Why would someone want to work for you? You must think like a po- tential employee. Is the pay you are offering in financial alignment with other positions that they could be doing? When you are un- derpaying for a more difficult or specialized job, is it any wonder you can't find the right person? You might want to rethink what you are offering as starting pay. For customers, financial alignment is a little different. If you are offering a premium-level service, you need to demand premium-level pricing. I know it may seem strange to many shops, but there are many customers out there that not only want better service levels and products but are willing to pay for it. Many shops get locked into the mentality of the "herd", where pricing is based on what everyone else is doing. Instead of trying to compete on pricing and win the race to the bottom, what if you changed your mindset and built your business to financially align with customers that demand better service levels and have the capability to pay more? In other industries, this shows up with first-class airline seats, luxury cars, premium fashion labels, high-end dining, and box seats at sporting events. As a business, it's natural to want better customers. Do the services and products that your shop offer match the customers you crave? A shop owner told me a great response to this exact situation. He had a customer that stated after a quote, "Ooh, sor- ry, but I know a shop that can do this for less." His response was, "That's OK, I have custom- ers that will pay more." That's pushing toward financial alignment. Not everyone is meant to be your customer. It is OK to hunt for those that match better. EMOTIONAL ALIGNMENT This is about being on the same page as some- one. Now more than ever, we are searching for that human-to-human connection. We want to matter. We crave being included in a tribe or group. It's how we label ourselves. This hap- pens in many different ways. It can be the po- litical party you belong to, the band that you follow, the sports team you cheer, the food or drink you consume, and even the shared ex- periences we have attending an event or going through challenges in our lives. This is why people bond after finishing a project together. We want to know where you are from, how you grew up, what movies you like, or where you went on vacation. We are looking for that emotional alignment constantly. Which is why you need to share your story. Look at your website or social media chan- nels. Give it a critique. Are you telling your story? Is it flavored with your shop's unique perspective and viewpoint? Are you sharing your journey? People are your customers. They relate to things that matter to them and want to identify and be in emotional align- ment with the businesses around them. Be you. Share what's going on. People buy on BUILDING TEAM ALIGNMENT BUILDING ALIGNMENT BUILDING COMMUNI- CATION DO'S AND DON'TS HERE ARE A FEW BEST PRAC- TICES FOR COMMUNICATING WITH ANYONE: Smile: Be positive and warm. Just don't wear a fake one Lean in: Be interested in the other person Be open: Keep your arms at your sides, and not folded across your chest or belly Eye contact: Look people in the eye, and not down at the ground or around the room Take notes: Writing things down assures the other per- son that the words they are saying matter to you CONVERSELY, HERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO AVOID: Checking your watch or your phone: Whatever it is can wait. Be present Touching your face or head repeatedly: This is a sign of untruthfulness Picking at something: This is a sign of boredom Tapping: This indicates stress or boredom. Don't tap your fingers, hands, or feet

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