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The Traveling Retailer's Tip #11: Don’t Be An Angry Bean

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by Gordon Hecht

It’s probably happened to you-You drive the same road every day, pass the same gas stations and billboards. Then one day you’re driving passed a strip center, and you see a sign and a business that you have never noticed before. If your experience is anything like mine, you may even pass that strip center and business several times before you decide to check it out.

For me, the business was a cool little coffee place I’ll call The Angry Bean. I probably drove by dozens of times before deciding to see what they are all about. Being a typical consumer in 2015, I didn’t take the easy route of parking in the lot and walking to the door. I got out my trusty iPad Mini and Googled the place. I was expecting to find a cookie-cutter joint serving fancy-schmanzy lattes for $4.00 a cup backed up by ready-made pastries selling for twice the market value.

It was a pleasant surprise to see that the The Angry Bean is locally owned (and operated!) and there are two in my home town. The website was very well done with the menu and prices available in an easy to read format. They added in some nice photos, recommendations, and a FaceBook link. Even your IT Team would be proud of it! The Angry Bean was definitely on my radar. The website showed that they were open until 8 pm, and we planned a first time visit for last Friday as a cap off of a family celebration.

As our day was winding down, I could almost taste the Flat White and Cinnamon Scone that was photographed so vividly on the Angry Bean Website. We pulled into the parking lot, saw the lit marquee, and then stopped in our tracks. Taped on the window was a hastily typed sign “Due to unforeseen employee issues, this Angry Bean location is closed until further notice-If you would like to join our team, please call us at 555-XXX-XXXX”. The sign was dated November 1, 2015. This business had not been in operation for at least 6 days, but still paying rent and overhead, due to lack of personnel!

We were disappointed, but I was more amazed at this situation. How does a business get into such a poor employee situation that they have to lose money for almost a week? Here are some of the possibilities I thought of:
  • They failed to have an ongoing recruiting program and process. Recruiting is a 364 day a year effort for all retail stores
  • They failed to properly train and compensate their employees. This led their people to leave for greener fields
  • They failed to properly staff their stores. Chances are their remaining staff was overwhelmed, overworked, or overscheduled
  • They failed to have a Plan B (B for Backup) People may not quit every day, but do get sick or have personal emergencies. A backup plan would ensure some store coverage
  • They failed to use their website to recruit people or inform patrons that the location would not be open
  • Mean Bean is surrounded by Arby’s. McDonalds, Subway, White Castle, along with a local pizza joint and Chinese Take-away. All of those businesses were open and operating. The Angry Bean failed to position itself as “The Place to Work” on the street
Chances are good that you are sitting in your store reading this, so good work on opening the doors today! But think about it, how close are you to being an Angry Bean? What if your car failed to start, or you got sick or called away, or decided to attend a market or trade convention. Is there a backup plan in place for your business? Can you imagine the effect of having your store closed for a week or more, just because no one was available to work there? Successful companies grow by having the right people in the right place and a drawer full of resumes available to call on when someone leaves the company.

Plan today to recruit and sustain your sales and operations force. Be sure that you have weighed the costs of fair payment for their work versus the cost of having to close your business. Once hired, be sure to implement plans to develop your leaders for tomorrow. And above all, be sure to have plenty of scones and coffee on hand!



Gordon Hecht is a Growth and Development Manager for National Bedding Company’s America’s Mattress stores, nearly 400 locally owned and operated bedding stores across the country selling Serta-branded and America’s Mattress-branded mattresses. He started his 30+ years experience in the Home Furnishings industry in Las Vegas, NV as a delivery helper and driver.

He has been recognized for outstanding sales and management achievement with several organizations including Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Drexel-Heritage, RB Furniture, Reliable Stores, and Sofa Express. He has served as Store Manager, Multi-unit manager and National Director of Sales. With his first-hand knowledge of our industry’s front line, Gordon has devoted his career to guiding others to exceed their goals.

Joining National Bedding Company in 2014, as part of the Serta Retail Concepts Group With over 400 stores, America’s Mattress stores is one of the fastest growing bedding retailers in the country.

Co-author of the “Better Bedding Selling Tips” featured on Furniture World Online, Gordon has been a frequent contributor to company newsletters, and contributing writer for industry magazines.

Read other articles by Gordon Hecht




Gordon Hecht is a Growth and Development Manager for National Bedding Company’s America’s Mattress stores, nearly 400 locally owned and operated bedding stores across the country selling Serta-branded and America’s Mattress-branded mattresses. He started his 30+ years experience in the Home Furnishings industry in Las Vegas, NV as a delivery helper and driver. 

He has been recognized for outstanding sales and management achievement with several organizations including Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Drexel-Heritage, RB Furniture, Reliable Stores, and Sofa Express. He has served as Store Manager, Multi-unit manager and National Director of Sales. With his first-hand knowledge of our industry’s front line, Gordon has devoted his career to guiding others to exceed their goals.

Joining National Bedding Company in 2014, as part of the Serta Retail Concepts Group With over 400 stores, America’s Mattress stores is one of the fastest growing bedding retailers in the country. 

Co-author of the “Better Bedding Selling Tips” featured on Furniture World Online, Gordon has been a frequent contributor to company newsletters, and contributing writer for industry magazines. 

Read other articles by Gordon Hecht




Gordon Hecht is a Growth and Development Manager for National Bedding Company’s America’s Mattress stores, nearly 400 locally owned and operated bedding stores across the country selling Serta-branded and America’s Mattress-branded mattresses. He started his 30+ years experience in the Home Furnishings industry in Las Vegas, NV as a delivery helper and driver. 

He has been recognized for outstanding sales and management achievement with several organizations including Ashley Furniture HomeStores, Drexel-Heritage, RB Furniture, Reliable Stores, and Sofa Express. He has served as Store Manager, Multi-unit manager and National Director of Sales. With his first-hand knowledge of our industry’s front line, Gordon has devoted his career to guiding others to exceed their goals.

Joining National Bedding Company in 2014, as part of the Serta Retail Concepts Group With over 400 stores, America’s Mattress stores is one of the fastest growing bedding retailers in the country. 

Co-author of the “Better Bedding Selling Tips” featured on Furniture World Online, Gordon has been a frequent contributor to company newsletters, and contributing writer for industry magazines. 

Read other articles by Gordon Hecht

Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.
Read other articles by Gordon Hecht