A business owner told me the title to this post a few days ago when I was in his business. He was in the sports equipment marketing business and was having a “fire sale” on a wide variety of used types of sporting equipment! I asked why he had such a “blowout” special on all of his equipment. He stated that the equipment was used, consignment equipment and the owners wanted their money out of it. He also said that the store owner did not want to remain in the used equipment consignment business any longer.
When I asked what had happened, here is what he said. Individuals who had consigned their equipment agreed to sign a consignment form. Everyone did that. However, when either the equipment was sold, or the owner can back to claim it, there was always an argument over whether the price was right, all of the guards, covers, etc were included, etc. The bottom line was that the business owner had a challenge every time he took in a piece of consignment equipment– to the point where he recognized that it was more productive NOT to participate in that marketing line.
As I thought about the comments of the business owner, I realized that perhaps the “rules of engagement” were not clearly defined, some misunderstandings were developed or the folks who were consigning the equipment did not have a clear understanding of how the process worked. In any case, it seemed like instead of a “Win-Win” situation, this particular matter turned out to a “Loose-Loose” situation for all involved.
No matter what kind of a deal you might think about, make sure that all involved parties clearly understand all of the nuances and circumstances of any particular program. We recommend that everything be clearly in writing, with simple, but detailed examples, addressing any thing that could possibly be misunderstood. Simple picture charts, with numbers are best for matters such as these. Although you may think that this is 3rd grade stuff, it is amazing how much 3rd grade material is actually very real and valuable!
Always try to find the “Win-Win” situation in any business engagement. It is there– sometimes, however, you have to search long and hard to find it! However, in a “Win-Win” environment, both parties should leave feeling satisfied and happy with whatever business transaction they elect to engage in.
In case of our business owner here, he told me that everyone walked away unhappy and frustrated. Not a good deal for anyone!