Back to School Lessons
Why is it that retailers have back-to-school sales starting in August? They know that clothing purchases are made in the 3-4 weeks immediately before the first day of school. (They also know that few customers will purchase clothing a mere day or two beforehand.) Stores make their buying decisions months in advance. Manufacterers make their products even earlier.
After the school selling season is done - maybe a week or two after school starts - the retailer will stock the next season's apparel and the "old" stock is often sold at a loss.
Surprisingly, there is a lot that we can learn from retailers. For example:
- There is a shelf-life for opportunity. If the window of opportunity is missed, then it cannot be resurrected.
- Just as a retailer's purchases may not sell well, there is a certain risk that our training might not meet the market requirements - but this isn't an excuse not to prepare ourselves for the next stage of our careers.
- Learn from our mistakes. Just because we weren't the right "merchandise" for a particular opportunity, doesn't mean that there aren't other ones where we are just what the customer wants.
- Like the retailer's different buying seasons, there are career and work-life balance activities that should happen at different times of the year - and can be calendarized.
This week's action item: Not everyone thinks like a retailer - or feels comfortable drawing lessons from them. But it is a great example of how we can learn from just about every business - or person - we come in contact with. This week, choose an organization - or a person - and write down their lessons for you. Back-to-school doesn't just mean great sales, but also great lessons.
Randall Craig is an expert on Career Development, Work-Life Balance, and Networking; to find out how his workshops, webinars, and keynotes can help your team or add to your event, contact him through www.PersonalBalanceSheet.com, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Copyright © 2008 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: Aug 19, 2008
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