Why Retail Job Experience is So Important

Photo by: Sarah Pflug

I’ve had this conversation with so many different people from different walks of life. Because of this I thought it would be worth mentioning.

I highly recommending working in the restaurant, retail, or customer service industries at some point in your life.

I’ve worked in a lot of industries that revolved around customer service, and as much as I hated some of those jobs, each one has taught me a lot. Whether it’s a new skill or something about myself, I’ve learned so much from working in customer service jobs.

I learned how to be more patient.

I learned to break out of my shyness. (I used to be really shy as a kid)

I learned that a simple smile can go a long way.

I learned how to sell a product without being pushy.

I learned how to multitask.

I learned that I have worth and deserve respect.

Thanks to working in industries such as food and clothing I met some really great people. A lot of my coworkers turned into friends! I’ve met some great friends thanks to working in these jobs. Friends that helped make work more tolerable and more fun!

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but working in these industries was such a big part of my life. Yes, it wasn’t great all the time but it made such a big impact on me. When you’re on the receiving end and you’re a customer you definitely have a different perspective compared to when you don’t.

If you’re in college, between jobs, or just want something more interesting I highly recommend something revolving around customer service. I can tell you one thing, you’ll definitely get something out of it aside from just a paycheck. You’ll probably learn something about yourself that you didn’t know before.


Please like & share:

The Los Angeles Food Scene Part 2 – Social Media

So let me lay the land for you a little bit, set the landscape of what it was like in Los Angeles 10 years ago. 2008 was quite the transitional time where the Information Age was really just beginning to be for everyone. The first iPhone was released a year before, cell phones started becoming more than just devices to call people with, and cell phone data plans were starting to become part of the norm. Friendster and Myspace were the talk of the town and Facebook was coming onto the scene as the next big thing.
Ninong’s in 2008
When Ninong’s first opened its doors in 2008 we didn’t know how much social media would effect our culture. Short version of the story – it did, big time. Back then when we talked about our marketing plan (which was very little) we always talked about “traditional” forms of advertising like print ads and word of mouth. Print advertising costed a fortune and word of mouth was working but not fast enough. We opened in a very scary time in our economy, we didn’t realize it at the time. We were panicking, running out of operating funds, and didn’t know what to do.
Out of sheer panic I decided to put Ninong’s online. We had a website, but we needed more. I put us on Yahoo Maps, Google Maps, Foursquare, Yelp, pretty much anywhere I could list our business for free. Almost immediately, we saw a slight spike in traffic. We were all amazed! People were using the internet to find our business and people outside of our friends circle were coming to our place. It was obvious that internet marketing was where we needed to be. It’s where all businesses needed to be. After all, internet marketing was free and “free” was more our language lol!
LA has changed a lot over the last 10 years
When I think about examples of how social media has effected the Los Angeles food scene I immediately think of Kogi truck. They were the first food truck of its kind, setting themselves apart from the trucks we were used to that sold breakfast burritos (not knocking on those trucks, they were good too!). They would utilize the power of Twitter and tell their audience where the truck would park next. People were eating it up, literally and figuratively! People were signing up for Twitter accounts just to find out where they would be next. When you got to their truck the line would be wrapping around blocks. The rest is LA Food Scene History!
Kogi’s success, our business’s success, and so many others is living proof of how social media has effected and changed the Los Angeles food culture. Without social media our business would not be where it is today. You don’t need a ballin’ budget to pay for advertising like you did back then (though it obviously doesn’t hurt). Being true to yourself, creating a brand, and cultivating your tribe is what holds true. Small businesses, us small time entrepreneurs, and passionate people have a chance to be seen now. The places we endearingly call “mom and pop shops” are the new thing. We have an opportunity to grow like never before.
Please like & share:

A Positive Corporate Culture is so Important

I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my day. Wow, that made me sound (and feel) really old lol! But I have. I’ve worked in a restaurant, at a dance studio, an engineering company, a hospital, a retail store. I’ve owned a restaurant, an online store, a media company, an event planning company, a graphic design business, and have a real estate business. Just to name a few. So it’s fair to say that I’ve had experience in my fair share of different industries. I’ve worked as a solopreneur, in a small business, as well as for large corporations, all of them having different work cultures.
Photo by: Brodie Vissers
In each job, what kept me there was the people and the mission of the business. When my bosses and coworkers became my friends and individuals I come to respect. I know pay is an obvious factor, but quite honestly, I’d rather get paid a little less and love the people I work with. Not only that but the team’s belief in their work and the company’s mission had a huge effect on my perspective as well. Did I believe in my boss’s commitment to the company’s mission? Did they care? Or was it just a possible bonus that kept them in line with the goals? This leads me to my point – a positive corporate culture is so important! Let me explain.
Entrepreneur.com defines corporate culture as a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals, and myths all companies develop over time. It effects almost every aspect of the business – the business’s goals, strategies, even approaches to labor. As a business owner that has grown a team, implementing a corporate culture is something I’ve had to learn about. In the past, I’ve just been a subject of my job’s corporate culture. But as a business owner my job is to enforce what I believe is the most beneficial corporate culture for my business.
One thing that I emphasize in our corporate culture is leadership. Being someone’s boss is a huge responsibility and a privilege. Not only is it a boss’s job to inspire their employees to do a good job but they also set the tone for the work environment. And I firmly believe that corporate culture starts with management. I believe there as to be a can-do atmosphere that enforces positivity but is also balanced with goal oriented milestones. A business is still a job, and though you want your team to enjoy where they work there also has to be structure and expectation. Once the leadership knows how to balance these 2 things I believe that’s when your management, team, and company thrives!
Please like & share: