That's a weighty responsibility, and one that needs to be approached in a professional manner. In her column this month Stein covers education, business credentials, personal presentation, equipment and tools, and even personal character. Last month she laid the groundwork for establishing quality standards and included 35 guidelines workrooms should follow.
Readers who aren't workroom owners or operators are urged to read Stein's columns. Her expertise may be in drapery workrooms, but her background has required her to learn (sometimes the hard way) what's necessary for running a successful business and much of what she has learned can apply to running a successful window treatment retail business as well.
Professionalism, quality products and service are recognizable characteristics of the successful retailers and design professionals we feature as cover stories each month. Regardless of the size of business, when customers come to a window coverings retailer, usually they are looking for more professional service and information than what can be found elsewhere-services such as decorating consultation, product knowledge, in-home measuring, delivery, expert installation and follow-up.
These services are just a part of what it takes to "roll up your sleeves" and "take the job seriously," and they do not come cheap. They require time and effort and their costs should be part of your pricing structure. Doing so is bound to put you above the discount stores, the warehouse chains and the toll-free order outlets. But as Stein would say, your expertise and skills are worth more.