This has been a busy week. New prints, new canvases, new clients……..
So, what’s been keeping me busy?
- 3 new paintings to reproduce for Allison Smith. Proofs were finished the other day and we need to get together to see what she thinks of the proofs. Once approved I’ll be printing the largest reproduction I ever have for Allison. Big one!
- A new print maker, Robert, popped by yesterday with a large format image. We’ll be getting it imaged today and then I’ll run proofs for him as well.
- Finished my friend’s canvas for his brother’s rememberance.
- Web work off and on all week for one set of web clients.
- Re-print of my Coyote Buttes Sunrise. Yeah, I printed that one last week and sold it already over the weekend. That’s a really good sign. Ran another canvas yesterday, gotta wrap it this morning and get it hung.
- Running a proof for another regular, Barbara.
- Scanning for a new client today. 3 more medium format positives.
- Oh, and interruptions like you wouldn’t believe.
The last point about business leaves me with a question for readers. When do you “cut it off?”
Here’s the issue, and it’s one about being a good business owner while getting your work done. Let’s take yesterday as an example…….
Interruptions happen when you have a store front. Boy do they happen. And when you’re working on something you get distracted.
First thing in the morning, before the store was officially opened I had a person come in the door. Just about 9:00 a.m., we open at 10. I was working on one of my web client’s sites. I stopped work and started talking with the gentleman who popped by. A bronze artist who used to sell with my business partner. He was wondering about interest in selling his work again. Okay, totally work oriented.
He dropped his information off, and then began to look for reassurance from me that I would indeed relay the message to Ian. All written down in my book, phone number taken, and some information on the pieces. Yeah, that’ll get to Ian. Well, we spent another 45 minutes with him hanging out, rechecking with me, and chattering randomly about how they knew each other. Finally, he asked how the front end of the shop was doing. I told him that Ian does masonry as well, and the bulk of my work was on the printing side. Additionally I’ve taken a limited number of web clients to supplement income, and that’s what I was trying to work on. So, about an hour for a 10 minute conversation before I was allowed to get back to work. Right after……a vendor came in and ate some time too trying to sell me stuff……..eeeeeeeeek!
I started back on my web client’s site, and 20 minutes in had another person wander through. Another regular visitor who likes popping in, looking around, chatting, and not buying. We have a lot of visitors who come in for conversation during the week. 30 minutes into the visit two customers popped in, and that conversation got cut short. Hoorah for customers.
Moments after the room emptied my web client called to check in. Ahhhhhh, frustrations! I let the client know I had been working on his site for the morning but kept getting interrupted. I bet he’s reading this right now and having a chuckle. Let’s see if he leaves a comment today…… 🙂
Getting off the phone with him I got back to his site and actually got an hour in. Then folks started popping in again. Finally, I gave up.
Several more regulars popped by, and it was back to back with people for a while. My hopes for a few hours on the web site hit the garbage. And that was good timing. I met another blogger who has wanted to see my stuff in person. We chatted for a bit, and I wasn’t stressed about it as I had already decided to give up a little while before. Nice meeting you Lloyd. Sorry if I seemed a little distracted, I’d had a “morning.” 🙂
So, here’s the dilemma gang….When folks walk into a store front you do have to pay attention. Customer service first and foremost. But if folks are coming by to chat, sell you things, etc., when is it okay to get back to work? And how do you do it nicely?
Back in my wireless days it was easy to work on a project. I’d walk to my office, I’d tell my admin that for the next few hours I’d be tied up, and then the door would get closed. You can’t do that in this type of business.
Of course, I want to be polite. And I do like visiting with folks walking into the shop. But when I’ve got a ton to do, there’s no buying going on, etc, I sometimes feel like the local bar tender that everyone wants to come by and visit with for a while. Sure, it makes me feel popular, but then again, I don’t want my web clients coming after me with a stick…….. 🙂