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Shop Flip - 5 Tips for Tackling the Big Jobs

February 9, 2019

Our annual shop flip/Spring cleaning break is upon us.

We take this time to deep clean, repair, paint and attack new projects and shop additions.

We close up for about 2 weeks to accomplish these tasks with as much focus & time as possible.

I am often asked "How do you get SO much done?!!" and "How do you decide when to close, isn't that scary?!"

I have 5 tips to share to answer these questions and to help you tackle your Spring cleaning jobs or big projects with clarity, focus and enthusiasm! 

 

Tip #1- LISTS & OUTLINES

Whether you are a small business owner, home owner, (or looking to just clean up your closets!) this tip is by far the most important, and if you only follow one of these tips...this one is it!! 

Start ORGANIZED! The month or so before I start any big project- I get organized. I determine and define the mission, why it is important, who I may need help from and a realistic timeline. Then I create an outline. For our shop flip I list all the areas that need attention as my main categories, then list the individual tasks under each area. 

example: 

                  Carriage House:

                       ___ paint walls

                       ___ build new shelving/display systems

                       ___ add power strips for lighting 

                       ___ weather strip outer doors

                       ___ install built in columns

                       ___ move in new display cabinets

                       ___ fill, style and design new space

 

I create these lists for each area and list all jobs & tasks, large and small. After I compile this listing, I go back and add names of people or professionals I may need to get this job or task done and any "get list" items we'll need to accomplish each job. 

 

                  Carriage House:

                       ___ paint walls (A- paint sprayer)

                       ___ build new shelving/display systems (wood)

                       ___ add power strips for lighting (T- electrician)

                       ___ weather strip outer doors

                       ___ install built in columns

                       ___ move in new display cabinets (moving help)

                       ___ fill, style and design new space

 

These lists are so valuable both prior (to get everything ready) and during (to stay on task). With these lists at the ready I know exactly what I'm needing to focus on (no squirreling into rando tasks) and as helpers stop by they can simply refer to the list for jobs that need to be done. 

 

Tip #2 - SCHEDULING

So this covers both scheduling for the clean up and during the clean up. 

Let's talk about the scheduling FOR our clean up first. I look at our entire year, I research our busiest times and our seasonally slower times. Weather concerns, helpers availability and vendor sensibilities. 

For us, February is typically a slower month, with less foot traffic and daily sales. We can also get our worst weather in February (we're in the PNW), which also leads to slower days (if not complete town shut downs). 

I explain to all my vendors as they join el&em that we do an annual 2 week closure (it is mentioned in our vendor contracts). I do not prorate or change our agreement during this time frame. It is an annual event we all prepare for, and actually, look forward to every year! My vendors know that we are doing this to benefit the shop. I, as an owner, am investing time, money and sweat equity into building and creating a better environment and business for us all. Most vendors are eager to help and contribute what they can to our annual Spring Cleaning! 

Financially, we all prepare & schedule payments/bills  accordingly. I pay extra on all the shop overhead bills and save a little extra in the 'project fund account' prior to our annual closure/clean up. Vendors plan ahead also, budgeting wisely and saving & gathering fresh goods and releases for our Spring re-opening. 

During the clean up- I create a schedule and post it about 2 weeks prior asking vendors, friends and family that have offered to help to please sign up on the list. With this list in hand, I know who to expect and what I can plan to get done, assigning fitting jobs to the helpers I have coming in on any given day. We also create a group chat to schedule specific times to show up, gather supplies that may need to be picked up, etc. 

 

Tip #3 - FOCUS & FUN

Being prepared (with the lists and schedules above) most definitely helps. I also work on my WHY & WHAT for each day. I share this with my helpers and staff on hand. I post a daily focus to our group chat so everyone is on the same page and shows up ready to roll!! 

It's also important for me to make it FUN! I am SO appreciative of the amazing community I have around me so it's paramount that I keep things light and joyful. 

Example- here's a group post shared on painting day: "Hi team!! who's ready for some paint wars!? We're breaking out the brushes and paint cans today, wear your grubbies and hats and be prepared to see who can paint the fastest wall- Aimee holds the standing record- who's ready to dethrone the painting queen!!?" By sharing this the morning of paint day, my team and helpers know what to expect, come prepared and can have a little fun with it too!

 

Tip #4 - PROGRESS & ENTHUSIASM

"little by little, a little becomes a lot." 

Nothing is better than seeing the end results of all our hard work! I take progress photos throughout the entire process of any big job or project. I make sure to include photos of actual work being done by our amazing staff & community. I share these on our social media and in our group messaging to keep everyone in the game and excited about the progress being made. We create fun challenges, sing goofy songs and do enthusiastic cheers everyday, as we progress towards our end goals. 

 

Tip #5 - GRATITUDE & CELEBRATION

I couldn't do any of this without my awesome tribe!! 

I have a full and grateful heart due to the community support, tribe love and family/friends who eagerly show up to help keep the cottage thriving and alive. 

I share our progress (as mentioned above) and make sure everyone knows how much they are valued and appreciated during the process. 

Our much anticipated 'before & after' posts are always a big hit and our amazing, dedicated tribe are always the main stars!

And last, but not least- CELEBRATE!!!! 

It's SO important to celebrate your wins, successes and deeds well done. After any big job or project I treat everyone to a big dinner out, a special team building outing or I write individual thank you notes w/small gifts or tokens of my appreciation. 

I employ these tactics for just about every job or project I tackle. Just a little pre-organizing, scheduling, thought and clarity goes along way and certainly makes any job more fun & enjoyable!! 

I hope these tips help you with your next BIG project (or small ones even!)

-Denise 

 

 

 

 

 

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