I’VE BEEN WORKIN’ ON THE RAILROAD

 

As the owner of three wonderful stores, LTD 7, LTD 7.2 and Grandma’s Bait, I am often not seen or heard from as much as I used to be. A customer in Grandma’s Bait may hope to ask me a question, or catch up with me, while another gal, all the way across town, is wondering where I am so she can show me something she hopes to create. Yet another customer at the Rowe store is interested in telling me about a friend of a friend who may make a perfect vendor or want to contact me. And, I am hearing that customers have wondered…”Where’s Lynne, I never see her anymore?”

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I am often not there, because I have just left that particular store and I am traveling to the other store. It might also be that I am not in the store, because I am in meetings with potential reps or vendors about the store. And sometimes it is because I need to concentrate on one particular thing at one particular store, in order that everything flow, flawlessly. And, much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I am “putting out fires;” still other times, I am behind the scenes discussing our next sale or in meetings with my managers or tending to the mounds of business paperwork that seems to grow a new stalk every time I step away from the phone. And speaking of phones, I am on mine…a lot!

in 9

My goal when I started this venture in Staunton, was to grow LTD 7 to such a point that I could obtain and open another store. I did that. Then my goal grew to include a third store, Grandma’s Bait, as the timing was right. But what all this growing meant was that I was going to have to redefine my job description(s) and take more of an “ownership” role. It was time, with three beautiful stores up and running, that I confidently turn the everyday operations over to my Dream Team. That task has been done.

Where does that leave me, you might be wondering. What I am working on is all three stores, every single minute of every single day.

I may not be IN the stores but I am working ON the stores.

I am a retail owner. What that means is that I have ten arms and twenty legs and can be in five different places, all at the same time. No, not really. But my office is at home, online, in the store, on the road, in hotel rooms on buying trips and wherever else I find myself. I am in close contact with my managers, not to mention communicating with buying reps, lawyers, accountants, charities, and city officials. For quite a long time now I have been the face of LTD 7 and the spokesperson for the stores.

Baton passing between relay runners

It is time to hand over the reins. We have planned that this would happen when the time was right. We have in place trained and highly skilled managers in each store and they are charged with a myriad of responsibilities that culminate in the successful daily operation of our businesses. If I was to somehow try to be in all three stores, behind the cash register, or stocking the stores, or making a window display, I would be ignoring the fundamental responsibility I have to grow the stores, to market the stores, and to dream and plan for all of the store’s (plural) future growth and success.

I guess the word is “delegate.” I have come to learn that I have to delegate certain responsibilities to others and trust they love the business(es) as much as I do and see my vision for the growth of LTD 7.  I am so blessed to have these wonderful individuals in place now and I couldn’t be happier.

I will still mentor and train the staff. I will still have meeting with our managers and they will meet with their staff for ongoing training. I will still attend events, and occasionally, you might see me in one or all of my stores. My daily job duties include reviewing and analyzing sales and financials, and comparing them to our goals in the short-term and in the long term, Buyer for 3 stores, full time marketing, advertising, management of two shopping websites, Facebook sales, and a new app is almost ready to launch.  To put it another way:  I am responsible for the growth, stability, direction and overall operation and marketing of the three stores. In today’s world we have to do anything and everything to stand out in the very crowded retail field. I must network, near and far, and…occasionally…just every now and then… I have to eat and I have to sleep. zzzz . I am the backbone of the stores and as such, I must move on to the next step in operations.

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So while I am in not always IN the stores, I am always working ON the stores. “We rise by lifting one another,” and I am so pleased to be making this big step into an ownership role, growing the very businesses you and I have come to love.

rochester-woman-railroad-workers-c1917

In essence, I’ve been workin’ on the railroad, all the live long day! And that work will not stop. Thanks for letting me take the time to explain my strategies for being powerfully connected to you and for letting me detail how I hope to be connected to you, even as I am not in the store all the time. I may not see you as often, or as much as we would both like to, but I am in every store, in heart, spirit and mind. You can count on that!

 Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 8.50.28 PM ~ May-29

Thank you all for your unwavering support of LTD 7, LTD 7.2 and Grandma’s Bait. Without you, none of this would be possible! You are the key to our success. 

Have a wonderful week everyone. Happy Memorial Day!

Living the Dream,

 

Lynne

 

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