This past December when I turned 45, I started to reflect on my past and dream about what the future might bring. After much deep thought and introspection, one critical question kept crossing my mind. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I haven’t been able to sleep over this much lately either. I just don’t know what I am going to do. Are you ready for this? Please sit down and prepare yourself….
How much longer am I going to be blogging for?
I have not been able to come up with an answer yet, but I do know that I need some more angles at a minimum. I mean, I have the free sewing machine thing, the yenta, the macher, bit’s n’ pieces, the made up stories and a handful of other concepts. I am going to need some more, for sure, even if I just decide to blog until I am 50. So without further ado, I am going to introduce my newest idea which is called, Scott Hop. This is a play off a shop hop (duh!), but this is going to be my moniker to write about some of quilt shops that I visit during the year.
With that, let me tell you about a trip that I took just last week. I drove nearly 3 hours from my house to Colchester Mill Fabrics at 120 Lebanon Avenue in Colchester, Connecticut to work with owner Cheryl Dolloff and her associate Liz. As I often like to do, I dazzled them with an array of products, but especially the newest January 2018 lines from Studioe, Blank, Stof, Oasis and Ellie’s Quiltplace. You will be happy to know that Colchester will have several fabric lines from the Jaftex Companies soon. Please make sure to visit and check them out.
This was no ordinary quilt shop compared to most that I have visited in the past. It really was more like a full blown craft stores. To be honest, I was shocked to see how impressive the operation was in organization, product offerings and scale. I could go on and on about how amazing the shop was and all the great aspects of it, but you really need to experience this for yourself…if you haven’t already. So instead of raving about all the great attributes of Colchester Fabric Mills, I wanted to focus on something else that truly impressed me and had to do with Cheryl’s excellent business acumen.
After perusing all the products that I had to offer, Cheryl and her husband, Joseph took me to lunch at a local sandwich shop. Joseph and I had the chili which was pretty freakin’ yum. I digress. I always enjoy small talk and
learning about customers and their businesses. As we got deep in to discussion, Cheryl explained that the store was in the process of a major transformation. No, not a paint job or new shelves or anything like that. Rather, after much analysis, Cheryl determined that her business model had shifted and many things that sold well in the past are not selling as well now i.e. home dec. fabrics. In other words, she needed to adjust her business model to keep up with the times. That means less home dec fabric and more of what is selling like quilting fabric. With that, Cheryl decided to kick in to high gear and trust the extensive data in an effort to make her business that much better for the long term…..or at least until things noticeably change again sometime down the road. This is a bold move that I absolutely admire because it takes a lot of guts to go through a makeover.
By now you should know that I love this sort of business: using numbers, statistics and data to make big and smart long-term business decisions. This should be a lesson to anyone who isn’t following the numbers. Don’t forget this important fact ever: THE NUMBERS DO NOT LIE! In order to compete in this extremely technological and sophisticated world, you need to do your homework and act quickly when your homework is telling you to change things up. If you don’t act fast enough, you will be left for dead and nobody wants that. If you haven’t done so already, make sure to invest in a useful inventory system right now and turn over a new leaf for 2018.
I hope this post resonates with all the business owners out there and you all take the time to do your own analyses and homework in order to keep your business running at its best for the long haul. Thank you Cheryl, Liz & Joseph for your hospitality and for confirming to me that change is good….in spite of it being difficult and scary to conquer at times.
Have a great week!
This is Scott Hop Fortunoff signing off.
P.S. Have you been able to stick to the no complaining New Year’s Resolution?
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