A lesson learned sometime around the time Shakespeare was writing is that specialization is the way forward. William, for example, stuck to what he was good at and look at him now.

Look at Bait & Switch. Their strength is creating big stores selling bait to fishing addicts, and that’s what their focus should be. Right? Right. But they try to be all things to all anglers. Not only do the stores carry the cheapest bulk bait at wafer-thin margins, they also have high-end product for Richie Rich, that most desirable customer. We can serve both ends of the spectrum.

Except we can’t. Management require behavior that the Big Man expects when he’s spending a lot of money. That means spending time talking and hovering, cajoling and validating. However, they only staff and arrange the workload such that we floor people can only effectively stock, sign, tidy and deal with Mr Pickuptruck; he’s only interested in price.

We have two masters, which doesn’t work for either one. If you want to serve high-end folks, then set up an appropriately functioning store. If you you want to serve the dollar-conscious, likewise. Either way it’s mugs like me who get squished in the middle…all for no money. Blech.