All the Wrinkles

policies & procedures the consignment consultant Mar 19, 2021
Angie Houloose, The Consignment Consultant: Seeing your consignment resale store clearly can help you develop and implement structured policies

Are you frazzled?  Are you worn out?  Are you overwhelmed?

As an entrepreneur, I know we all can say yes to those questions at most any given moment.  I’ll be honest.  Right now I sure am.  I know I should get more sleep.  I know I should exercise more.  I know I should eat better.  But I don’t.  And you know why?  Because my “to-do” list is more of a “too-long” list. 

I put the pressure on myself to do all the things and if I’m even more honest, I just spent the last 15 minutes crying my eyes out after trying to hold them in for the previous 3 hours.  I don’t think it is a bad thing though.  I think it feels pretty darn AHmazing. The pent-up emotions have been lifted off my shoulders and I am ready to rock and roll again. 

We all go through these time periods where we just can’t see past that silly list of all the things.  We get caught up in messiness we aren’t seeing clearly.  I know I have had moments where I have that clarity and what I see isn’t pretty. 

Kinda reminds me of my mom.  She turned 90 in January and pre-2020, had a much better social life than I did, so it’s safe to say she can be a little feisty at times.  A few years ago, she had cataract surgery in both of her eyes and was excited to not have to wear glasses anymore.  Great, right?  One night after Sunday dinner at my sister’s house, we were in the kitchen doing dishes when she walked up to me and looked me in the eyes like she was going to spout some genius-y words of wisdom.  Instead she proceeded to tell me she hated that she had the surgery.  My sister and I were both stunned by her revelation because it just didn’t make sense.  Her reason?  “because now I can see all the wrinkles on your face”.  Yep, she actually said it – OUT LOUD!  We busted up laughing partly because we couldn’t believe that just came out of her mouth and even worse, because it was true!

I’ll admit in the beginning I was a little bit hurt by the statement, but now it’s just funny.  And boy is there truth in that statement about life.  Sometimes when the cloudiness goes away, all that’s staring at you are the cold, hard facts and a reality you never really noticed.

If you’re asking yourself “what does that have to do with running a consignment store?”, hang tight.

It’s so easy to just brush over the little things, not notice the dust bunnies in the corner, discount that $2.37 the cash drawer was off or ignore the ugly sweater that was accepted at intake.  It isn’t worth the energy.  But what happens when those “little things” start blurring the lines?  I can tell you that each day it becomes a little fuzzier and when you decide to really take notice, what you see isn’t pretty.

So what’s a consignment store owner to do about it?  Easy.  Create transparency.  So many times when I’m asked about “what would I do” in an employee situation, my first thought is “what does the policy say”?  Interesting enough, there’s rarely a policy or procedure that gives any kind of guidance.   The absence of a policy doesn’t let someone off the hook, but it sure gives an employee a big advantage and leaves a large margin for error. 

Researching, developing and then actually implementing (and training) on a set of standardized practices for your staff can give you, as the owner, a little more breathing room, so to speak.  Taking a really clear look at what’s happening in your business will show you the wrinkles, but then it also gives you the chance to iron them out (unlike my face, but I keep trying all the creams).