After more than a dozen years of writing feature articles on successful businesses in the window coverings industry, there are two common ingredients that clearly stand out: people and planning. It takes the right mix of people working toward a shared goal, and to keep that goal in sight takes planning. This month’s cover story, Window Products Management, Inc. (see page 20), seems to have hit it right on both counts. John Edwards, Jeff Erbeck and Donna Buice brought their individual strengths and personalities into a company that began with a $10,000 initial investment in 2002 and created a management company running two retail outlets that likely will see sales hit $5 million dollars this year. Each has his and her own role in the company and each supports the others in their responsibilities. They describe themselves as great students, diverse in talents and interest, but sharing personal standards of ethics and honesty.
Yet it takes more than personality, and even more than that lots
of hard work, to achieve success of this magnitude in three years.
It takes a plan. The team at Window Products Management will tell
you they run their little business as if it were a big business.
And it’s all written down: a business plan, a marketing plan,
an operations manual and an employee handbook. And just as important,
they also track and measure the results and make changes to improve
business as necessary.
Of course, even the best business plan wouldn’t mean a thing if nothing in it ever gets done. The next step has to be to do it. Kitty Stein once wrote in these pages, “You must plan your work, and work your plan.”