My name is Jo Soard, and I am excited to be a part of Learn One Thing.
Mary's right. It's all about learning something new every day so you can get more traffic to your store and keep your customers so happy they keep coming back for more.BACKGROUND:
I was born and raised in Indianapolis area. My family moved a lot and I attended 17 schools before I graduated from high school! I have been on the east coast for almost 20 years.
I have done the routine office work and have been everything from clerk to Office Manager. I did a retail stint in a major department store. I was a "floater" and had more fun. Every day was different and I learned a lot about the department store business. I have also spent time in Customer Service working with people across the US.
I studied art & photography in Indy. I had a photography studio there and had a ball. I was able to work with people, be creative and be my own boss. I worked with kids, pets, sports groups, bride and grooms, corporate clients and just anyone that needed my services. After five years, my husband and children were transferred east. I love photography but decided to go another direction after the move.
I have owned three businesses. A clothing party plan business, a photography studio and a chocolate shoppe. In each one I had to "sell" myself along with my business. Business is a job of relationships. People feel comfortable doing business with you after the relationship has been built. People will refer you when they know you, like you and know your business ethics meet their expectations. At one time I was referred to as the Queen of Networking. Networking can be a full time job too! However, if you are in your own business this is a very important part of it.
While working for an architectual firm, I decided to spoil them a bit and made chocolates for the holidays. Well folks, if you have a hobby, you could be in trouble. One thing led to another, and I left the architects and started a chocolate business out of my home. When my husband and I moved from one town to the next, I was forced into going into a retail location. Every time I was told "I could not do something," I proved them wrong. It was not an easy task, but worth all the effort. I guess the German in me just would not hear "You canít do that."
Starting and running these businesses was not something that just happened. It took a lot of research. Some information came from the Business and Continuing Education courses I took, but then again things are always easier on paper.
An answer to one thing would bring up questions about another. Then, once the businesses were up and running, there is always more to learn. In any business you have to continue to "keep up" with your industry. That is not always as easy as it sounds. Starting out, I would get some information but not all the information I needed. I never have a problem sharing information with someone trying to start their own business or have questions on an area I have knowledge in. A lot of what I needed to know was learned in books, but the "school of hard knocks" or "trial and error" (whatever you want to call it) is the best experience. What I hope to do is help you avoid the time consuming process of "figuring it all out." In many cases, I did not have someone to get good information from but we all have good information to give.
We hope you sign on and see how you can Learn One Thing -- through our email newsletter, rss feed and blog -- to make your day one step easier. I have been told all my life you should learn something new each day. I still try to accomplish this each and every day too!
Best to you all,