Saturday, November 05, 2005

Vast Projects: Thinking Aloud

"Don't start vast projects with half-vast ideas."

I don't know who gets credit for that fitting play on words, but I know I've used it enough to feel like I owe royalties for it. For the last three years or so, I've been wanting to do a relatively small re-modeling project here at Flying Colors. New carpet, some new fixtures to go with a revised layout. I even paid the contractor a down payment (last year!) to get the job rolling, but it's all been bogged down by me. The bucks may go there, but they sure as heck stop right here!

Turns out it very difficult to re-model a store and keep it open at the same time. Sure, we could do the bulk of work late nights and early mornings---and that seems to be my only viable option. But clearing the calendar and, more importantly, being sure of the precise changes I want to make, have slowed my "project" for the last year. Other things have gotten in the way, too, but enough with the excuses!

Part of remodleing is asking some tough questions:
• What will the comic book business look like in five years?
• What will the back issue part of the business look like in a few years?
• How long do I want to keep running Flying Colors? (Answer: I still LOVE my job!)
• How much is wise to invest in the project?
• Could those funds be better used elsewhere?

Some of the seemingly minor things we've been doing around here lately are leading up the bigger changes, though. Those include re-organizing our inventory of trade paperbacks and back issues, donating some books to local libraries, etc. And really crystalizing my vision for what I want this store to look like and feel like when the whole process is done. (My retailer friends reading this are doubled over laughing now. No store project is EVER "done"!) As always, I'm interested in any feedback you might be willing to give me (but I do remember most free advice is worth what we pay for it).

Too late to finish it in time for holiday shopping here, so my goal now is to make it happen in earnest in early in '06.

Keep me on my toes, will ya?

Health & Happiness!

FlyCoJoe
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