Thread: Weird stringer
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:25 PM   #47
zapvor
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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As far as obligations to do a good job for good players -- while you already acknowledge that lower level players are still important, from a professionalism standpoint, you need to give an equal amount of care to each racquet. If you got Federer's racquet in the shop, you shouldn't HAVE to do anything different just because it's Fed. Little Joe walking into the shop should expect the same level of service if they're paying the same amount. It's a slippery slope when you start making qualifications on a player. On the extreme end of the spectrum you get attitudes like the one(s) that are dictating the direction of your shop, after all...

you are absolutely right. I was just making a point so exagerrated a little.

Disconnect with management:
With all the new information, I have to caution you to talk to the management directly until you have a more complete offering to give them. There are many options for you from what it sounds like. Just be aware that none of those options might actually pan out.

Approach to create a store policy:
The 'other' stringer "doesn't do" bumperguards and tubing. It sounds like it's not an official service that your shop offers. Is he wrong? NO. This is the entire reason you need a policy. People operating on their own volition are just going to end up causing friction. He says he doesn't do it, you say you do, he's going to get ****ed if people start asking for you specifically. While it's great people want you to do work for them, you don't need to go out of your way to **** someone off. If you are going to provide unofficial services, you need to let your customers know that the service isn't standard policy. He's not actually being 'plain ridiculous' if you think about it from the big picture. His 'job description' in his mind does not include these value-add services, and that's actually OK. It sucks from our perspective, but don't let it ruffle your feathers.

So regarding policy, this is something I will look into. You are right on all your points. But look at it my way. Hes going out of his way to tell people we dont provide such services when they are needed, and tries to undermine me by going to management about it and telling me no. hes not in charge of me. My boss is. I think its downright....'wrong' of someone to do that. How would you like it if I went to your boss and said “let's tell DD he cant do X because I dont want to have to do the same work he is”??? honestly I am not sure if hes plain lazy or what....and yes its not his job description, but again: He just wants money,on the other hand I care about giving the best to my customer.

Offerings: If your facility is already the number one destination for talented juniors in the area, you can use this as an obvious selling point. "We already offer the best junior program within a X mile radius, so our market is pretty secure. We can increase revenue with a minimal initial investment." Of course, a 'real' approach would include market surveys -- even an informal survey to customers with whether or not they'd be interested in service XYZ would give you hard data to provide to management IF you get that far.

Bottom line: don't even try to talk to management without a business plan. It's wonderful if management is willing to talk with you as it is. Suggesting major changes to their business plan without a FULL understanding of risks/rewards/how much work is involved is going to be like talking to a tree stump. Sure, they may listen to your suggestions with a smile on your face, but they're not going to take it seriously.

Agree. I will slowly build up a proposal and then present it. But like you say, time. I will learn more and then make the right moves at the right time. Thank you. Now to be certain: management has been SUPERB. I honestly can say I am happy working for them. They are good people, with good intentions and everything. They are just occupied with bigger things, so to speak then a $30 stringjob.

String selection/sponsors: I doubt your string selection has anything to do with sponsors. It is likely as simple as: We will offer what is popular because we know we won't have idle product sitting on the shelf. Every unsold set of string is overhead and it is truly and literally negative profit and/or debt from a management standpoint. If you have to spend $2000 up front to fully stock your pro-shop, but only the 4 popular strings that you've always had are selling, EVERYTHING on that shelf is a loss from a records-keeping standpoint. Be aware of this. If you are going to expand your selection(s), you need to do it slowly unless you're getting a blind budget investment.

True to a degree. I wont go into this more as its not big on my agenda right now.
Build up grip: It's not an official service -- make it one or buy your own tools.
Same here.
Tools/being the best you can be: Same as above -- If you want to provide that service, you need to provide it yourself. You need to also clear it, as this can actually turn into a liability from a management standpoint. What if you build a grip up and you do it wrong? What if the build up sleeve was provided by the customer? Are you going to return their money out of pocket? There's risk involved with offering unsupported services. Again, implement policy.

Yea bought my own tools. More on the way. And I didnt even get paid yet


Tone and communications: 'So yea.' Stop that. If this is the way you're talking with other people, especially in real life, you need to start paying attention to how you come across. Seriously. If you're adding 'so yeah' to your discussions with people who are 'higher up' than you, basically you're saying "yeah I don't have a point." If you want to be taken seriously, take yourself seriously. This is a soft skill, and it will likely be ignored, but doing simple things like this will make peoples' perception of you turn more serious. Even if everyone your age is speaking informally, this will only set you apart more in a subconscious way.

Haha sorry. Here on Talk Tennis its pretty much comedy for me. You know this betetr than us as you see the crazy posts everywhere. And I contriibute to it myself, no doub.t but in real life I am pretty professional. Or I try to be anyways. I definitely dont say 'so yea' and that kind of thing. But yes you are right. Thanks for reminding me.


Junior abuse -- looks like there's not much left to say there.

Smartazz guy - If you're 'just a kid,' you need to choose your words wisely. If/when you have a store policy to fall back on, all you need to say is: "I'm willing to try stringing this frame, but I need you to be aware of the store policy. Since this is a liability, we do not guarantee work on any frames with exposed graphite or graphite damage." There's not much to argue there, and with some solid ground to stand on, there's not much risk of being called a 'smartazz.'

this was one incident. Over and done.
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Last edited by zapvor : 02-21-2013 at 08:36 PM.
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