It used to be that September was known as Back-to-School Month. These days, in more and more communities across the United States that honor now falls to August. Regardless, Labor Day still is considered the last official holiday of the summer and September becomes the month when schedules for “normal” workdays are set for the rest of the year—and by “rest of the year” we mean from now until May or June when we switch back to “Summer Hours.”
For the window coverings industry, this time of year usually signals
the start of the busy season. Autumn begins the run-up to The Holidays—you
know, the big ones: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year—when
it seems every client has something they want (or really need) to
have done by. With a little bit of planning you are prepared for
If your summer was slow you’ve had time to take a good look
at your showroom. There were displays that needed updating, fabric
and product samples that needed rearranging, new products and colors
that needed to be emphasized. You’ve created new vignettes
and surrounded them with all the accessories needed to complete
the look. Perhaps you’ve moved things around (once inside
the door, customers tend to turn to the right and move counterclockwise
around a store).
You might have taken the time to go over your client lists. Who
have been your consistently best customers? When was the last time
they purchased from you? Are they “due” for a change?
Is there a project you talked about the last time you met that you
and they are now ready to take on?
On the other hand, maybe your business doesn’t follow this
pattern. Summer is new home construction season in many regions
and you could have had your hands full with new homeowners needing
to cover their windows immediately. Second home and vacation home
buying has been strong in recent years, so you might have been busy
all summer helping these clients make their new surroundings cozy
In that case, September could be Back-to-School Month once again.
Are there sales and training techniques that can help you boost
business? No doubt there are. Are there new window treatment styles
or products you’d like to offer with higher margins? Now is
the time to find them. Can your employees benefit from learning
faster, more efficient fabrication techniques? Certainly.
It hasn’t always been the case, but this industry offers many
opportunities to learn new things, and this might be the best time
of year to take advantage of it (one such educational opportunity
is featured on this month’s cover). One thing you can be sure
of: the time, effort and investment you make in education will be
well worth it.