Skill Sets of Sale Organizers

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

It won't be long and we sale organizers will be back at it. Sale planning will begin in about a month for the Fall sale season. I get a lot of questions about the type of skill sets you need to be a sale organizer, so I thought today would be a good day to look at that.

To be a sale organizer, you need to have a Type A personality, tons of self confidence and the following skill sets:
1. Highly organized
2. Basic computer knowledge and skills (websites, email, databases, etc)
3. Ability to communicate effectively with others
4. Ability to say no
5. Ability to enforce the rules you create
6. Work well with others
7. Give clear and concise instructions
8. Ability to build a good team
9. Good judgment
10. Able to keep to a deadline
11. Good listening skills
12. Good follow through action
13. Calm
14. Supportive
15. Good with money/budgets
16. Able to keep organized records
17. Ability to hustle
18. Able to think outside the box
19. Critical thinker
20. Creative brain stormer

Physical traits:
1. Little to no health issues
2. Ability to stand for long periods of time
3. Able to work 80-100 hours during the actual sale week

These are a few of the traits a sale organizer needs to have. We don't say Retail is for Sissies for nothing. It's hard work to be involved in a consignment sale if you don't have the right skill sets and traits. Before you think about starting a consignment sale, think about if you have the drive to be an entrepreneur. And when I say drive... I mean drive. Do you have a burning passion to do this? If you think you want to do this because, in the words of my friend and former sale organizer buddy Amy... you're going to "do a little shopping, make a little money"... You would be better off doing something else. Have the right heart and mind when you start any business and you'll end up winning. Having the wrong heart and mind and you'll never get anywhere with your business, no matter what type of business it is.

Traits of a Consignment Sale Organizer: Risk Taker

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

As with any entrepreneur, one trait of a consignment sale organizer is risk taking. Too many times people who are looking into starting a childrens consignment sale, want guarantees... and there are none.

When you first start your sale, there are risks that most people see...

  • are you willing to risk your start up funding?
  • are you willing to risk spending your time to make this work?
  • are you willing to risk failure if it doesn't succeed?
  • If your first sale doesn't go as well as hoped for, are you willing to risk doing it again?

But I prefer to look at things a little differently. In my mind, the things I risk are only a failure if I allow them to be, if I don't work hard, know my market and my customers. But I prefer to look at risks like this...

  • are you willing to risk becoming a success?
  • are you willing to risk helping your community?
  • are you willing to risk becoming an impact on local ministries and charities?

As a future sale organizer, you must be willing to take risks. Starting a consignment sale in an area where there are none, is a huge risk... will people know what they are? It's up to you to educate them! Will you be able to start a sale on your budget? It's up to make it work. For every risk, you must have a plan. But planning alone is not enough. As with any new business start-up, there is always a risk. As you evaluate your strengths for hosting a seasonal consignment sale, be sure to factor in this trait.

Traits of a Consignment Sale Organizer: Determination

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

One of the most important traits a sale organizer must have is determination. You must be willing to do what it takes to succeed. Too many new sale organizers have a pre-conceived notion as to what it takes to host a sale, and when they don't have instant success, they get frustrated and want to quit.

Not only must you be able to think outside the box, but you must be willing to follow through with those plans as well. I'll never forget my first sale. I had a pre-conceived notion as to what "proper advertising" should entail. My banner alone should get them from the busy street all the way up the hill to a location nobody knew existed. Thankfully my mentors had other plans. They went down to the street wearing Superman capes and waiving signs, to get people up to my location. Thinking outside the box, and then following through. Determination to do what it takes.

Another area of make or break for a consignment sale is location. You must be determined to find one. It sounds simple enough, but locations are hard to come by. Too many times a sale fails when the sale organizer gives up trying to find a space. You must be determined to pull out all the stops.

You must be determined to spend time outside of your sale, focused on growth and advertising. If you aren't determined to grow your sale, why are you hosting a sale? This is particularly important in the early days of your business.

I have been particularly impressed with some of the upcoming sales that I am mentoring. Their determination and willingness to do whatever it takes to introduce their business to their community is impressive. They are setting up workshops, informing their communities and working very diligently and methodically to ensure their success this Spring.

Determination is a key trait of a successful sale organizer. You must have it if you want to succeed with a seasonal consignment sale.

Traits of a Consignment Sale Organizer: Flexibility

Written by Jenifer Gifford on .

Today I was working with someone who is very rigid. She wanted everything laid out in such way and there was no room for flexibility. The problem was that a situation has arisen and an alternate game plan had to be made. That made for one very unhappy person.

Which brings me to this blog post. A sale organizer must be flexible. Unlike most businesses, a seasonal consignment sale is a beast of a different nature. Because you run your business in a relatively short time span you must be flexible because things NEVER run as planned. Volunteers run late, don't show up, or forgot to tell you they are pregnant and should be on light duty. You have to be flexible enough to adjust.

When your sale isn't going as planned, you have to be flexible enough to re-direct your advertising and promoting. Too many times I see sale organizers with a preconceived notion that if they don't have perfect or professional signs, they won't put anything up... be flexible enough to do whatever it takes to attract customers!

When you run short on volunteers, be flexible enough to stay late and get caught up. Don't come in the next morning with a huge amount of work to do. Your sale should be ready for the public as it is each day you arrive.

If my sale has taught me anything, it has taught me to be flexible. I am a pretty straight laced, by the book, kind of gal. I didn't always have a flexible attitude. But if you want to have a successful consignment sale, you are going to have to learn to adapt and be flexible.

Copyright Jenifer Gifford 2012. All Rights Reserved.