One of the causes of slow growth in consignment, resale and thrift shops is easy to diagnose:
Not enough hours in the day.
If you feel like you’re continually spending non-open hours in your shop playing catch-up, or if you find yourself getting impatient with shoppers or suppliers because your to-do list is getting longer by the day, it’s time to hire some help.
But hiring is scary. How can you justify adding payroll to your business overhead when you’re still not making a living yourself?
Some advice from Team Work: Staffing your Store
How to tell when you NEED a staffer
There are always warning signs that you need a staffer, or another staffer. The trick, of course, is recognizing these signs and acting on them before you start damaging your business, your income, or the morale of the other people involved in your shop.
We have been open for 6 months. The shop has been very well received. We’re still not making a profit. However, with the increase in customers we can no longer process much consignment during the day. I’m absolutely scrambling to keep up with processing. I often come in at 11pm when my kids are in bed and work until 3 or 4am. As a last resort I reverted to being closed on Mondays to catch up. I am trying to convince my husband that hiring a person will pay off in increased sales. He says my problem is that I’m not being firm enough in saying “No” to new consignment. I really disagree. Each consignment is a potential goldmine. I say my problem is not getting too much, but just figuring out how to process it quickly and sell enough of it. My husband is very reluctant to spend money on an employee. What do you think?
Do you do everything yourself, from checking the merchandise in to putting the
merchandise out? Plus take care of customers? When I started getting
overwhelmed with merchandise, I hired someone. Their responsibilities are to
wait on customers and put out merchandise. I do the sorting and processing.
They do the hanging and putting it out.
This is a great start to figuring out not only that you need help, but that it’s costing you. Working four or five hours past normal store hours? Closing a day a week? Both of those options are costing you way more money than any staffer could possibly cost you. Marriette suggests the next most important step: determining just what areas of your business you need help in. After all, how can you find someone to help the shop prosper, if you can’t define what it is you need a helper to do?
But can I AFFORD paid help?
Read more in Team Work: Staffing your Store