Job Title: Retail Manager
Type of Company: I work at a retail lighting showroom that sells lighting for residential and commercial applications.
Education: BS, Bentley
Previous Experience: I was in banking for eight years before rejoining our family business.
Job Tasks: I am a retail lighting showroom manager for a family business. My job consists of helping in most aspects of the business. I not only am a salesperson on the showroom floor, but I also am responsible for placing all customer orders, refreshing the display merchandise in the showroom and deal with vendors regarding purchasing discounts and freight claims.
Another important part of my job is advertising. Every month I work with sales reps from magazines and newspapers and create ads that will bring customers into our store. And I am constantly dealing with employee issues and schedules.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing our customers satisfaction at the help we've given them with the lighting for their new home or remodeling project.
Some clients find lighting overwhelming and we have over 75 years experience total between our employees and we can help the customer determine what finish and style is the right fit for them.
Job Tips: My first tip is to make sure you have taken all the courses offered by the American Lighting Association. These courses can help you understand all aspects of the lighting field. It's not just about style; you have to take into account brightness, foot candles, and energy savings.
Additional Thoughts: You also have to make sure you attend at least one lighting convention per year. This will keep you up-to-date on all lighting trends and give you credibility with your vendors. When the vendors can meet you in person, it makes it much easier to deal with them once you have gone back to the showroom. They have now put a face beside your name and that is crucial, I've found, in running your business successfully. You can talk on the phone or email all you want, but you have to talk in person with business managers and vendors. It gives your business an identity. This is very important.
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