Wednesday, November 11, 2009

4TH QUARTER....

FOR US ITS THE 4TH QUARTER......meaning christmas in november, no thanksgiving, and finding out if all the stuff we bought was right or not....
we had our big openhouse and so thankful that it turned out great!!! actually up ...which is a wonder this year!!!!
a good thing....the store full of happy chaotic shoppers isnt something they can get on line...

i think we hit on a couple of really good ideas that fit our store and our customers....
GIFTS TO GO....WE HAD A BIG SELECTION AT 15$ or less...so good for the little gifts people need..
BATTERY CANDLES....these sold so well!! they are so useful....its a flickering bulb on top of a taper...no flame...and we have had one run for 4 weeks, non stop, in the store ...
LANTERNS...the big hit was our lanterns.... filled with christmas ....how does a big new idea come? well this one just popped into my head...last year we did snowmen under cloches...and this year we have these big beautiful lanterns out on the back porch, they have been pretty popular with a candle and berry ring...so the next step was easy.......just messing around i put a snowman in one ...and viola!!!! we probably have sold 1000$ of them.....the lesson...keep your mind open , putter around, try something.... i need another one!!lol...
the nice thing is the customer can take it apart and do something else for spring...

THE WORK PART.... transforming that much of the store is kind of a nightmare..or christmas in a blender ....we didnt close....we were very torn up for a week...the customers just kind of wallked thru the mess....and were nice about it...hopefully they didnt hear very many of the oh shits.... from the little elves behind the scenes...
we had a great crew working ...as always... and i think it turned out good.... we got a lot of compliments...we arent professional florists or decorators....but we try...

i know some stores held back for christmas this year but we didnt and it seems to have been a good decision...

MONEY TALK.... ITs TIME TO DO THE MATH... to me that means looking at the year end and seeing if you are ok...its not so much about doing the accounting different...its about
looking at finances with a cold eye.. did this year work out ? ..is it going up or down? .. are we ok?....or is it getting worse and worse? did we make the money we need to make? ....my feeling is that we made it another year..but omg...its harder and harder...
its hard times for sure....but thats the times we are in.... i want to be realistic and make it work in these times, not sink slowly while im waiting for better times.........
i want to do the math and face the music and keep on doing this!!! thats where coming up with a better plan that fits the new reality comes in.... the hard part...
maybe i could be sloppier a couple of years ago and still make it...now every penny seems to count more...

7 comments:

mountainhomestore said...

Congratulations on your Open House being a great success! Loved the pics of your lanterns.

homestead123 said...

Congrats on the open house, OUrs is this weekend. So glad to hear things were up for you.
Ok, where did you see the lantern picture, and Ann, where did you get the lanterns from? Thanks!

Sandy and Joe/rhubarb reign said...

Hi Annie! So glad the open house went well -- hope your year end numbers turn out to be a happy surprise, too! We were at Kane, otherwise, we would have come to the party, too! xo

Brenda @Just a Bed of Roses said...

Great thoughts on this subject of 4th quarter...yes, its been a year to sharpen the saw to survive and I think working our butts off helped alot. I had to go on tv! Would never have done that trick...may have to keep going on.

Glad you found some things that worked for you...that's always the pleasant suprise to see what your customers really take to.

Now...you and your crew take a little breather, the holidays are still 6 weeks away...can you believe!

The Whistle Stop said...

So glad to hear your open house was successful! Mine was the same weekend as yours here in NE. It was good, could of been a little better, but because I cut spending some I could see a few people by Saturday searching for something to buy. Especially in the $20.00 and under range. I only have 12 shopping days for the Holiday season!!! I'm open with a three day open house, an event in December called Twinkle Night and every Saturday and the Friday after Thanksgiving. So, I was very careful on the market ordering. We are making a lot and doing a lot of small furniture. But, now I'm scrambling to fill in a few market smalls and they just isn't anything in stock! Lesson learned!
I understand not being able to be a little sloppy with the bookkeeping. That is the biggest challenge for me as I am shop keeper, crafter, displayer, advertising designer, antique hunter and more...plus I work full time! My DH helps tremendously with the antiques and making furniture and around the house and cooking. There is still too much for me to do and the book work seems to be the thing that piles up and I procrastinate on.
Anne, do you do your own or do you have an accountant do them? As I've said before you are on a much, much larger scale than I am. If you do them do you use Quick Books or some program and does it help to keep on top of things?

Thanks, always enjoy and find your blog helpful!
Laurie :)

ann at greenoak said...

hey laurie!!! dh does all the books...then a cpa...i cant do that stuff...
i hear you on the out of stock....i missed out on a lot if i had just known what would sell out....
hang in there!!! ann

ann at greenoak said...

homestead...I THOUGHT THE LANTERNS UP MYSELF!!!! BUT IM SURe OTHERS HAVE had a similar idea........the lanterns are available from lots of big import companies.... and garden companies.......we got ours from tching...