Monday, October 28, 2013

Five Things You Should Know about Selling Houses and Tomatoes

Before we made a sharp turn in 2009 to start Daisy Mae's Market and enter the fresh produce business, my husband and I spent 24 years in the building and remodeling business. We suddenly went from selling $450,000 homes to selling $.75 tomatoes and managed to survive. Looking back at the last five years, I wonder how in the world we did it. Then I realize that much of our success in making the transition stems from what we've learned along the way.
Whether you're selling houses or tomatoes, these are my five bits of wisdom that I think apply to any small business:
1. Know your product. Know everything you can about it. Read, read, and read some more. Google can be your best friend. Learning never stops.
2. Know people. Remember names. Get to know your customers, suppliers, and your competition. Sincerely ask how people are doing. Care. (Remember the names of kids and you'll get bonus points.)
3. Know your limits. You will never finish everything you want to finish in one day. You will never have all the money you think you need. The sooner you realize that everything needs to be broken down into manageable parts, the happier you'll be.
4. Know what has happened in the past. Keep a paper trail, or in today's world, a digital trail. Get organized. Don't reinvent the wheel. Whether you are completing a credit application or doing your taxes, scribbled notes on Post-Its don't cut it.
5. Know that someone is always watching. Think before you speak or act. In today's world, everything is shared. Make sure what's shared about your business is something that makes you proud.

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