Tuesday, January 3, 2017

To The Entrepreneur

Being your own boss and becoming a business owner is a dream for most people in the world! To manage the way you see fit especially if coming from a background of managers who didn’t know what they were doing, put their energy into their favorite employees, or creating the word asshole to be a new personality trait by definition alongside hard-working, determined, or motivated. You have the opportunity to treat people how they deserve to be treated, pay is fair and reasonable (you know they can actually live life), and you love the smiles people have with good personable customer service. Growing into something and maybe even global is the goal. You’re a hard worker and want the people who work for you to embody that same trait. What most don’t realize is it’s a trickle down effect. If your employees see you behave and treat people a certain way, they will do the same. There’s certain characteristics and a level of “humble” one should have. I’ve seen a lot of the opposite. You ever happen to be out shopping or just getting some air and go past small boutiques. You look inside and the employee at the register or desk is on the phone texting or talking and there is no one shopping… Bad for business!!! Now don’t get me wrong, I live for someone doing their own thing and trying to build their brand but it won’t happen while doing the things listed above. Period. You will not get my money either, sorry. When I walk into a store, no matter where it’s located, I feel I, the paying customer, should be greeted. And not just greeted because you feel you have too but because you are welcoming my business/money and a possible return and referral. Here in Philly, I know those who are from here are familiar with the Chestnut St. and South St. stores.

Yes, the demographics change but professionalism and being a good boss should not. As the boss of the boutique or franchise, you lead by example! So I don’t blame the employees when things look sloppy, I blame the Boss/CEO, Manager or Assistant Managers of the world for that behavior. Even if it’s a “problem employee” who won’t follow the rules and do what they want, I still blame you (boss). They should have been replaced after the first conversation. The thing that bothers me is becoming friends with your employees! Like who the hell made this a “law”??? I’ve been in too many boutiques from here, Baltimore, and New York to always hear the CEO and Store Manager are besties...why? There’s no way I’m hiring my best friend or family member to help me run my business or nor will I become friends with that person. Doing COMPANY things together is one thing but having dinner and drinks regularly outside of work is a no no for me. I’ve seen far too many who take advantage of being the bestie and have one of three problems: 1.) She really has no clue to what she is doing but because the boss trusts her or that’s her friend, she has that mentality of “I can run the business how I choose when she’s not here.” 2.) She then becomes friends with the employees and let them do whatever they want. Take off work for odd reasons, not acknowledging the clients when arriving to shop, or taking her side over a customer's side when there is conflict. 3.) Has favoritism and will pick and choose who she wants to work with when she works instead of which personality fits a specific time period for clients throughout the day. Alll bad for business traits that I see too often.

Now my personal experience is the same but a little different. It lasted for about a month before I realized that I was good. It was working for a Real Estate Company and since that’s what I’m trying to get into, I felt it was an awesome opportunity and good start. Why not right? I was going to be the Office Assistant/Administrative, it was a black owned business/company and not too far from my house...perfect and finally because Plymouth meeting and King of Prussia was a hike. Everything was cool except for the pay which was a bit odd for the position. I knew how much I was going to get paid but she stated there were bonuses involved so it would be like I was making more money. I wasn’t too concerned due to being more focused on the experience. First bad thing was not having a key to the building yet and getting a text stating the Office Coordinator aka the owner's mother, was going to be 20 minutes late….after me already standing out there for 10 minutes longer than I should have in the cold. When she pulled up, her excuse nonchalantly was she wanted to try and get her phone fixed because it was acting up…. I wanted to punch her in the forehead like excuse you!?? Smh. Then she (mother) was 50 years old speaking like a 20 year old around the way chick with the lip smacking, constantly touching her hair and looking at her nails as if they were going to change colors or something!  I was confused. I don’t know anybody who wants their mother speaking or acting like that! Bye lady. Anyway the agents were lazy and not bringing in any money meaning those so called bonuses were never going to happen due to that! No one said anything until after I took the position. There was no signage, sticker in the window, email or phone anywhere on the building...in a predominately white neighborhood with the people in the area walking in asking what we were. Basically trying to figure out what the hell 5 black people were doing in an unmarked building.

The owner: supposedly had another location in Atlanta but never spoke about it, would go to the office to pray in the morning before opening, rarely interacted with us unless there was a task in mind, would change softwares every week after getting used to the previous and her children would come in after school randomly throughout the week during business hours because they were locked out the house which was 10 minutes away. Oh and I guess because I quit, she has yet to pay me. The building was nowhere near finished inside so we were working in the middle of that whenever he came to fix or do anything. It was just an annoying experience and I vowed to not work for another “start-up” again. I honestly felt she was one of those companies that use people to get where they want to be financially. Like you help her build and make money but just put “Real Estate Company” as the title. She has yet paid another guy that worked there as well and he was fired due to not doing his job “correctly”. When in that case, he was there a whole 3 months before I was...if he wasn’t doing anything correctly, it was due to whomever taught him (the job being his first real estate job) and he should have been fired. To drag it out that long made no sense. This will all bite her in the ass though. The guy she fired was doing things that only a licensed individual should have been doing and he was not with license. She could lose her business and then owe myself and him the money she owes and then some. That has me wondering how can you be so religious but treat people in this way?? I know it happens but come on. Bad for business but you live and you learn and she will find out soon.

On that note, anybody that’s a boss should always get the knowledge needed before opening a business! Just having an idea and the money is not nearly the half! It’s something so simple yet business’ close everyday due to not making enough money because of the many reasons listed above. Especially if it’s advertised properly, a business people will need or benefit from and you’re the only one listed in a particular area...bring on the money!
To privately owned business’ doing better this year!!!