Who is “Julie, The Cruise Director” in your Small Business?

When dreaming about running your own business, you thought of fun times, profits, idyllic surroundings and waves of customers flowing through your doors as the cash register brimmed with sales. You could make your own hours, sleep in late and dictate instructions to young, eager assistants as they answer customer posts on Facebook and find ways to impress you with their smooth running of your business.

Not so, huh?

small business advice, small business marketing, leadership skills

Captain Stubing and Cruise Director Jule - Your Management Team

The reality is that it takes quite a bit of effort, great negotiating skills, internet marketing instincts and finesse to run a business and run it profitably. Remember those businesses you visited that seemed like they were perfect? What you did not know is that they had their very own “Julie”, from the 80’s TV show “The Love Boat”, in the wings making sure everything went smoothly.

Having your very own Cruise Director is achievable if you hire correctly, train, give them incentives and goals and (this is key) if you can give up some of the control. If you don’t give up some control you are just creating conflict in your store as employees will know that you are really the decision maker – the manager’s authority is downgraded to nothing more than the person who schedules shifts. Having a distinct hierarchy of authority with decisions keeps your business strong and everyone knows who is who and what is what.

Thanks, but I Can Do it Myself

But what if you love, love, love your business and would not think of hiring a manger? Bravo! That is a good decision too. The longer hours, opening and closing responsibilities, hiring, firing, purchasing, décor, dispute resolution mediator – all these items fall under your command. And that’s ok, as long as you can “switch” personalities and multi-task.

Wanted: Energetic, Multi-Tasking Cruise Director for Store

Finding a great Manager is not as difficult as you may think and it is worth every effort in your search. Many excellent managers have been downgraded in their positions and are looking for a change of pace. A corporate manager entering the retail arena is not unheard of lately. Interview many prospects to get the best fit for your business. Are they friendly? Are they slightly conceited in any way? Can they provide 5 references? (Yes, five –anyone can give you two). Do they look directly at you when responding?

If there is a Julie, that Makes you the Captain

Just remember that a Manager is there when you are not. They must treat your customers with the same excitement and attention to customer service that naturally comes from you – the Captain of the ship. When you hire a Manager and it is not working out – remember to let them go sooner rather than later. A bad store Manager can do more damage to your business than you think. When you find your very own Cruise Director – one that can juggle staff issues, scheduling, sales, make customers happy, post on Facebook, be sure to reward them with surprise Bonuses and days off for fun and be sure to say “thank you” for keeping your business safe and profitable.

Time for a Vacation?

Only after acquiring a great Manager can you dream  . . . (cue Wayne’s World Dream sequence)

When the cash register rings
and smiling customers leave your business tightly clutch their new purchases

only then are you

succeeding, flourishing

and you secretly wish

. . .  to be on a beach . . . with the warm sun and the salty air (think Corona ads)

. . .  receiving text message alerts with the amazing daily totals . . .

Aaahhhh . . . another banner sales day! (as you smile)
(the beach attendant nods, he lifts your empty beverage container and gives a questioning glance – “another?” – his expression asks)

You glance at the cruise ship in the distance, and say slowly… “ah yessss, thank you”
Eyes shut. Commence napping. . . . you drift away – thinking . . .

“thanks to my Cruise Director!” (Smiling)
This could be your reality. Good luck! Bon Voyage!

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Who is “Julie, The Cruise Director” in your Small Business? — 1 Comment

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