Ahh October! Crisp weather, changing leaves, apples and cider, pumpkins and pumpkin spice latte...wait, I'm in Florida....how about 80 degrees in the afternoon and wearing orange t-shirts and flipflops? Oh well, as a former resident Yankee, I still remember the beauty of this time of year. And I'm adding pumpkin pie spice to my morning coffee...yum! But the cooler temperatures mean something else in the Penvose house: let's go to the Flea Market! Yes, the weather is bearable enough to go early on the weekend and check out the fleas. My husband LOVES the Flea Market, so our trips are more to make him a happy camper and I muster up my best supportive wife mojo and go along. However, this past weekend was more fruitful for me as we ventured to our nearby market. I found a very cool plant, Pink Powder Puff, that I'm hoping I do justice to, and 3 great books at a used book stall...and even got a teacher discount...I'm a fan!
Like the Flea Market, I like to promote promote my Media Center as having "something for everyone". And when I get there I wonder why I shop anywhere else (well, almost!). Books? Produce? Clothes? Plants? Sunglasses? Antiques? E-cigarettes (seem to be the popular item at the moment)? Eye-glass cleaner? Fishing equipment? Ad infinitum... So while I'm thinking, can I compare to such a broad offering for my customers, I'm also looking at how my Media Center merchandise, I mean books and computers and such, are featured and priced. On that front, my Media Center is ahead of the flea market. Nothing is more frustrating when shopping for stuff than not knowing the price, looking over tons of stuff on shelves that haven't been "weeded" since I was there 2 years ago, or not having the booth owner available for questions. And so as I make my way through the mess of all of the things that I know I need, I'm frustrated at not finding it very easily.
So is your Media Center from the Flea Market style of marketing, or is it well marked, up to date, and is the "owner" available if the customers have questions? It's something I think we need to be continually evaluating and reviewing. We may get our customers in the doors of our "markets" with our rich and appealing collections and activities, but how many can find their ways around, find Biscuit or Magic Tree House books on their own, know what computers to use, etc. Take a look around your space this week and see what you can do to make it more user friendly. We want our customers to leave happy with something they really want, not just "fleas".
I hope you have a great week, in whatever part of the country you are! Send me your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have some Pumpkin Spice coffee and Stay Grounded, friends!