Monday, June 20, 2016

Post and keep your store hours

A WOMAN CAME into Second String Music Friday morning, birthday shopping for her 15 year old son. He strummed a couple of guitars and we showed him a few chords and tips, and about an hour later he walked out the proud owner of a beautiful Ibanez guitar.

The woman called before coming over and asked if we were open. When she got here, she said, "I'm glad you are open, because we went to another store and there was a sign in the window that said they were closed early today."

Owning your own small business is not easy. Sheryl and I are basically here every day and all day, Monday through Saturday, though I get to duck out once in a while for gigs or emergency golf sessions. Sheryl was a substitute teacher this past year and it was good for both us - it got her out of the store and it made me learn how to run things by myself. Or, at least make it easier to fix my screw-ups when she got back.

In the five-plus years we've been open, I think we've closed the store twice except for Sundays and holidays. Both times it was on a Saturday of New Year's Eve weekend. We are fortunate to have Steve Rees as our backup employee for the few times we do get out of town.

When you are a business, you need to post your hours both on your website and on the door. And you need to stick with them. I totally understand why a small shop run by one or two people may have to shut down for a day - death in the family, medical emergency, having a baby, etc. But customers are creatures of habit and have expectations, and when either gets disrupted, it can really hurt your business.

In our case Friday, just being open and paying attention to a customer really helped. We are open for bidness at Fifth and Maine and we are here to help you with all your musical needs, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

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