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OVERVIEW:    V&J- Working Person’s Store

Working Person’s Store  is in business to serve the working person with quality American-made  footwear and workwear.   Our original planning document follows:

Denmar Enterprises Purchases V&J Shoes

Denmar Enterprises purchased V&J Shoe Sales & Repair from Virgil and Joann Waltz on July 1, 1995.  The expansion goal was fueled by the desire to achieve shared leadership & overhead control as well as cross-sell between the other Lakeville-based Demar businesses (Mary’s Resale, Mary’s Furniture Stripping etc.).

The  Waltz footwear inventory was moved from it’s location in the South Bend Broadmore Shopping Center to the Lakeville site in early July.  Lakeville building renovation took a month to complete and  the new V&J footcare business opened on August 1, 1995.


“To provide for men and women within the working environment (farmers, ranchers, construction, industrial, manufacturing) with quality footwear and clothing products which provide to them comfort, safety and economy.”

V&J places major emphasis on providing it’s customers with quality, American-made factory first and factory second footwear at attractive prices. Customers and markets are clustered by sector based upon our retail store locations. From these locations we serve both factory and store walk-in customers within at least a 35 mile radius from the Lakeville retail store.

V&J is rapidly developing a reputation for carrying a complete line of specialty footwear (work/home/hunting) and clothing (Carhartt Clothing and Dickies workwear, rain gear and hunting wear). The company ultimately wants to carry within each V&J retail store an overwhelming supply of inventory  complete with the required styles, colors and sizes. We believe this is an especially important part of our strategy since even the large competitors do not presently carry the work footwear and clothing selection we offer. They are also not interested in placing special customer orders.

Once a strong foothold has been attained in the men and women’s footwear and clothing lines we intend to expand into the uniform business.

Business Purpose

Although profit is an important goal, we believe it is important to continually stress to our team and customers alike that the primary  purpose for any business is “to create new customers and  keep existing ones.”

Shoe Repair Service

V&J  believes its shoe repair service differentiates it from large competitors. As a result, shoe repair will be treated as a strategic issue during at least the upcoming two year period.

Organizational Structure

Although transparent to our customers, V&J is actually three separate operations:

  1. V&J Shoe Sales, Repair and Clothing Shoppe – Lakeville, IN.
  2. V&J Work Boots and Clothing Company – Osceola, IN
  3. V&J Outside Footwear and Clothing Sales Company

Marketplace Potential

Each V&J business represents excellent growth potential.  This is futher demonstrated by the large numbers of factories located within our marketing area. In addition, every employees working in our targeted markets need and wear work footwear and clothing.  We know the need exists and we want to fill it!  V&J also spends a considerable amount of time deliberating how to serve customers in ways the competition either won’t do, don’t know to do or don’t know how to do.

The largest potential is found in the V&J Outside Footwear and Clothing Sales Company.  Within this business unit sales are controlled through scheduled customer site-visits which is far improved over waiting for customers to shop as happens within the retail business.  The outside sales market also offers the potential for large sales within a small time period . This of course translates into lower overhead expenses and thus enhanced gross profits.

The V&J Outside Sales Company 

In past years, factory on-site footwear sales were dominated by the large, out-of-state footwear manufacturer distributors using shoe mobile units.

Despite this market penetration , V&J believes the on-site customer sales initiative is actually in its infancy stage with plenty of room for the tried and proven local market leader. In fact, the real market need is for a local retailer with the ability to deliver a service component which the out-of-state provider cannot effectively provide. As a result of this belief, V&J continues to move forward with the following benefits it believes a local vendor is best able to accomplish:

  • A large,available selection of comfortable American-made safety/work footwear styles, sizes and widths
  • A large,available selection of American-made work clothing
  • Discounted prices to the ultimate consumer (the factory worker)

A company developed employee payroll deduction program which allows the employee to acquire quality  footwear without suffering the cash flow crunch this type of purchase can initially  create for them. On the other hand, we know that in the long-run the product will hold up far superior to the product acquired from the competition. In fact, we have determined the average worker spends almost double the yearly amount for foreign product than they do for our products. They have continued to suffer this financial loss because of the smaller cash requirement related to frequent footwear replacement.

This outside sales market will continue to enlarge as more and more companies become concerned about employee safety, OSHA regulations and as a result implement footwear safety programs.

Due to the extremely large potential the outside sales market represents, Denmar  continues to think about involving successful, profressional, local business people as V&J Outside Sales Company minority owners.  It is believed that either through added levels of ownership and/or effective alliances with other local footwear/clothing retailers the business will be better able to flourish and prosper.

V&J – Lakeville

V&J presently derives a uniqueness and differentiation from its Lakeville, Indiana store’s large size & layout, location on a busy highway, image and pricing. It also prides itself on being easy to do business with, having professional/technical competence and providing personalized, friendly service.

We believe customers receive value-added benefits through the following:

  • Good Product Style Selection, Sizes and Widths
  • Great Pricing on Factory First and Factory Second Products
  • Personalized Service
  • Quality, American-made products
  • Product delivery via the shoe mobile
  • Prompt defective product repair or replacement program

It is our desire to provide for our Lakeville male and female working people (farmers, ranchers, construction, industrial, manufacturing) with attractively priced, comfortable, quality footwear and clothing products. We are developing a reputation for  carrying a complete line of work/hunting footwear and clothing. We believe the combination of footwear and clothing for workers, hunters, etc. is appreciated and will  continue to reflect high (but perhaps seasonal) customer loyalty.

Our sense is that as customers receive benefit from V&J, they in turn may want to offer the same to their own company’s customers.


Our pricing is based on the “every day low price” concept. V&J conducts quarterly scheduled competitor pricing.

Our reputation as a provider of unique, quality, attractive products at affordable prices continues to increase.


Due to our low price theme we do not offer advertised sales and/or promotions.  Experience has shown that the best advertisement we have going for us is satisfied word of mouth promotion.  We do utilize a direct mail campaign which is carefully targeted at both new and existing customers. One particularly attractive prospect for us are the union halls which send their members in exchange for a discount when showing  a union card.

In terms of merchandising (the presentation of a product in the immediate vicinity of its point of sale in such a manner that it attracts attention) we are weak in most of the V&J operations. A particular weakness is product pricing via tags, signs, etc.


We believe a business cannot serve customers well nor manage its workforce without first developing those who ultimately deliver the service. Equally important today is that a great deal of importance within the marketplace is being placed on the information, knowledge and creativity contained within the business. The upshot of this is to understand and act in ways which support the reality that the only way any business gains access to these valuable commodities is through the employees within the business and in whom those resources reside. As a result, people development is believed to be an integral part of  V&J’s strategic business objectives.


The Difference

When all is said and done, the V&J difference stems from a unique market niche entry, a professional approach to the business, our life/work purpose and lastly, but most importantly, our people.

We believe our greatest future competitive strength will come from having brought together an effective leadership/management team. From this nucleus of aggressive, educated team players will come significant depth and strength.

V&J therefore is a commitment to people. And, it is this commitment that requires leadership to operate in ways which compliment the company’s vision, pupose and prescribed operating practices.

In simple everday terms it means an intense understanding and focus on the differences of people, showing dignity and respect for peole, recognizing the strengths of others, allowing employees to exercise creativity, to take inititive in their daily work and to trust them with our company purpose. After all, it is the person closest to the customer who develops the relationship.  

Personnel Requisition Form

Personnel Request Form

Personnel Requisition Form

Job Title:  ____________________________________________
Department:  ________________________________________
Reporting To:  _________________________________________
Pay Grade:  __________________________________________
Date Required:  ______________________________________
Full-Time  ________________   Part-Time  ________________

Major Job Responsibilities?

Minimum Qualifications?

Special Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Are Required?

If Seasonal/Temporary, what timeframe needs to be filled?

Hours/Days Needed:

New Position?  YES  _____  NO _____  If yes, approved?  _____________

Replacement?  YES  ______  NO  ______    NAME ____________________

Position Budgeted For?  YES  _____  NO _____  AMOUNT?  _________Outside Agency Used?  YES  _____  NO _____  NAME?  ______________

Outside Recruitment Budget of  $  ____________________

Requested By:  _______________________________  Date  ___________

Approved By:  _________________________________  Date ___________

Associate’s Name:  ________________________________________

Working Person’s Store : Core Values

Working Person’s Store : Our Core Values

1.  Develop People

  • Honesty
  • Education
  • Self Responsibility & Discipline
  • Community Citizenship

2.  Excel Through Service

  • Follow The Golden Rule
  • Quality Is A Necessity
  • Ease & Speed
  • Educate

3.  Grow Profitably

  • Stewardship
  • Improve and Innovate
  • Integrity
  • Meet Commitments

Successful Companies


  • Leadership by example
  • The belief that business is about people and relationships – not products and service availability
  • The ability to overcome obstacles
  • An ability to see the big picture
  • An ability to adapt to ever-changing business and market conditions
  • A clear focus day-in and day-out
  • Working hard, working smart
  • Continually listening to the market
  • Identifying under served markets
  • Developing internal efficiencies
  • An attention to detail
  • Providing high-quality products and services
  • A high degree of integrity and follow-up
  • A continuous communication of job expectations
  • Continual result tracking and measurement
  • An open-door policy actually being practiced
  • Clear company direction and goals
  • A successful business plan
  • The ability to think outside the box
  • Persistence
  • A long-term strategic approach to the business
  • Creation of the right market niche
  • Right place, right time, right market
  • Envisioning new products and new ways to do things, new ways to increase market share
  • Doing things right the first time
  • Avoiding the tendency to diversify too quickly
  • Constantly trying new ideas


  • A commitment to customer satisfaction
  • Results and satisfaction guaranteed policies
  • A continual focus on customer service
  • Developing creative solutions to customer problems
  • Excellent after-purchase service
  • Under commitment and over delivery service focus
  • Maintaining 95% of the customer base on an annual basic


  • The retention of motivated employees
  • Dedicated, hardworking employees
  • Employees who feel empowered

Corporate Image

Corporate Image

Corporate Image

The Working Person’s Store corporate image will play a key part in your sales and marketing campaign.

    1. The corporate logo

A key part of our corporate image is our corporate logo.

Everything from the stationary in the Business Centers, our external signs and our image advertising carries the Working Person’s Store corporate logo.

We insist that this logo is consistently applied. The distinctive name, colors and its indicate to our customers that they are working with the best.

By being consistent in applying our corporate image we ensure potential and existing clients receive a consistent message that Working Person’s Store is a prestigious brand.

There are some clear guidelines you need to carefully apply in using the Working Person’s Store corporate logo.

Using the Working Person’s Store corporate logo

  • Do not allow local designers to “replicate” our corporate logo.
  • Only use the genuine logo provided through the marketing department.
  • Always check if you are unsure.

Our corporate image

Our corporate image is more than just the logo.   It is everything we project from the way we answer the phones to the way we look when people see  our Working Person’s Store team in our facilities or in public.

Effective Retail Performance Appraisals

Effective Retail Performance Appraisals


Clear objectives and careful monitoring along with coaching and feedback over the course of the year will raise employee productivity and address subpar performers.

“How can we assist our employees success and let them accomplish more?”

MBO – Management By Objective:

Set measurable objectives/goals that are realistic

  • Establish categories to be monitored
  • Set goals
  • Observe and monitor performance
  • Share observations with employees
  • Evaluate and initiate a plan to develop employee skills
    • Set new objectives Accurate/fair measuring tool
    • Legally defendable

Five steps

1.  Set goals that reflect company mission

  • Use quantitative objectives
  • Have the employee “buy into” the goal by using dialogue between the manager and the employee.
  • Clarify expectations
  • Start the process at the start of the year

2.  Observe and monitor performance

  • Address short coming early before it’s to late
  • Praise positive accomplishments to achieve an even greater level of success

3.  Share observations

  • Re-state agreed upon expectations
  • Set a plan to get back on track
  • Re-educate
  • Give the employee a time frame
  • Schedule follow meeting

4.  Evaluate performance/monitor

  • Evaluate regularly
    • Daily, every other day, weekly

5.  Set new objectives

  • Get the employee back on track to assist in their success


Identify key results

  • Means to measure
    • Define end results in clear terms
    • Set time table
    • Needs to be measurable
    • Select goals/objectives that support corporate strategy
    • Must include “stretch”
    • Be realistic and feasible

Set goals and performance factors

  1. Developmental goals
  2. Outside education
  3. Performance factors
  4. Corporate values/conduct
  5. Word objectives effectivelyMeet and get the “buy-in”
    1. involve your team
    2. Possible to set independently, compare and agree
  6. Limit goals to 5 – 8
  7. Keep focused


Keys to success

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time sensitive

Getting together

Discuss and agree on the employees performance quality

  1. Identify Strengths
  2. Identify areas for improvement
  3. Create an employee development plan if improvement is needed
  4. Agree on expectations by the follow meeting

Your team needs to understand the process is not to condemn, but to improve future performance.

Put your coaching CAP on!

Who Are We

Who are We?

Working Person’s Store is a work clothing and footwear product and service company.  In the communities we  serve, core services include: retail work footwear and clothing as well as expert shoe repair.  In fact, the list of services we offer continues to grow.

V&J is unique in that its focus is on the working person.  In many of the communities we serve, people do not have easy access to economically priced,  American-made, footwear and clothing.  Since these products are not locally available, they must drive long distances to acquire them.

What do we do?

Working Person’s Store seeks to enhance the quality of life for customers and to impact their lives for the better. The quality of our work footwear and clothing makes makes a direct impact on their quality of life. Whether it is an individual shopping at our retail location or working in one of the manufacturing/industrial companies we serve, customers can be assured of prompt, friendly service.  They will find our team to be professional and technically competent.

Perhaps most importantly, they will come to expect courteous treatment from people who care about other people. This experience requires of us to faithfully deliver the following four elements:

  1. To feel welcome.  Action: Extend a warm welcome to a all customers with a smile and a cheerful greeting.
  2. To be understood.  Action: Show patience.  Listen carefully to each customer.
  3. To  feel important.  Action: Tell each customer how much their shopping with us.  And, as they leave invite them to return.
  4. To feel comfortable.  Action: Respond to customer needs quickly, courteously and to their satisfaction. Let them know we are in business to specifically serve working men and women. Show an understanding with holes in socks, sweaty feet, etc.

Doing the above means we treating customers with dignity and respect. We want them to sense the value we feel from their having shopped with us.  We try hard to understand each customers needs.  The result for them is to acquire products that are in their best economic, quality and  comfort interests. In short, we want to be partners with our customers, working with them to attain an improved quality of life.

Who do we serve ?

We serve people. Whether serving customers at their work site or in our retail store, we are there to make their interaction with us as pleasant as possible. All the people we serve deserve our highest level of respect and dignity, simply because they are human beings.

We serve customers. What image does the word customer bring to your mind?  Complaining, demanding and unreasonable patrons? Certainly some of our customers are difficult to deal with. But customers pay our salaries. We are there to serve them. We rearrange our schedules and priorities and work to satisfy them.  Customers are not an inconvenience, but the very reason we exist.

Our emphasis on working men and women provides us with the potential to serve a very large customer base:

  • Factory & manufacturing plants
  • Agricultural/farming families
  • Food service & restaurants
  • Health care professionals
  • Service and duty professionals

We serve people with special needs — those with difficult sizing problems, ailments or other physical limitations.  Our professional staff receives special training to enable them to give the best possible care customers with special needs may require.  But no training can instill the compassion needed to meet the needs of those we serve. If these qualities do not come naturally to you, you will need to work extra hard to cultivate them.

We serve community members and others. In the course of a day, you will meet many types of people. Vendors and salespeople will ask for your time. Customers will make demands on your time. All deserve courtesy and respect. All are part of the larger community we serve.

Commitment Authority Policy

Commitment Authority

What Is Your Commitment Authority Policy?

Commitment Authority Policy

I.          Purpose and General – this document derives its authority from the ____________________  Bylaws.

 It is intended that the approvals as stated in this policy are for transactions which occur in the normal course of business and for which the individual has direct responsibility.  Good business judgment requires that the authority limits indicated should be used prudently and should be reduced in instances where the type of expense is of an unusual, non-recurring or policy-setting type and where an employee is in a newly assigned or unusual situation.

 Delegation – the approvals may be delegated to other responsible personnel upon proper witten authority.  Delegation of a function does not remove primary responsibility from the delegator. In the event that the designated approver is not available, approvals may be made at the next higher level.

Execution – those who are authorized to approve expenditures or compensation are also authorized to execute (sign) necessary documentation.

II.        This plan authorizes approvals depending on the level of expenditure.  Designations of those levels are detailed in Exhibit A.  This plan authorizes approval from the business individual shop Key Employee and higher.

III.       The Key Employee may commit and approve expenditures for capital equipment, products, supplies and services up to designated levels when the following conditions exist:

 a.         Only  authorized vendors and/or suppliers are used.

b.         These expenditures are included in an approved program or operating budget. When actual or projected monthly or annual results are below plan, expenditures  (capital, operating or salary modification) must be re approved per the commitment authority schedules. Certain conditions may exist where spending may be curtailed  even though the budget has been met.

c.         The expenditures are made at reasonable and effective costs and conform to Company requirements for quality, serviceability, and program integrity.  Only authorized suppliers are to be used.

d.         Appropriate overall cost controls are maintained by the Key Person.  They begin with ordering  from authorized suppliers, using proper receiving procedures, the verification of quality, quantity and invoice prices as well as proper coding of expenses and promptly providing invoices to the payment entity for processing.

Charitable Giving Guidelines

Charitable Giving GuidelinesAs a socially responsible local business we receive many requests for funding each year. Our resources are focused on programs serving the north central Indiana and southwest Michigan communities. Funding is made on a community level according to the uniform guidelines explained here.The goal of our philanthropy, along with our employees’ volunteer efforts, is to make a positive difference.  Because we are unable to fund all worthy endeavors, our chosen areas of focus help us make the greatest impact while allowing us the flexibility to shift resources where the most critical needs exist.Areas of FocusSpecific areas of interest include support for crime prevention, fire and emergency medical services, and educational programs to support the training or young people in the construction trades.Donation Request Criteria

Requesting organizations should be aware of the following:

  1. Because resources available for donation are limited, a number of worthwhile requests must be turned down each year.
  2. Contributions are primarily on not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations that operate programs falling within the company’s guidelines.

The following types of organizations and requests, , although credible and worthwhile, are not included in our company’s charitable giving program:

  • Fraternal, Social or Religious organizations
  • Team sponsorships or athletic events
  • Groups, organizations or programs whose principal funding comes from federal, state or local taxes, except for certain activities of the state university system
  • The company does not fund individuals or group travel, and does not purchase corporate tickets of tables

How to Apply for a Charitable Donation

Requests must be received no later than six weeks prior to funding deadlines. Once a request is received, we will respond to your request by e-mail within 14 days.

All requests must be submitted in writing and should include:

  1. A cover letter on the organization’s stationery stating the amount requested and the intended use of the donation. Please provide name, telephone number, and the e-mail address of the contact person.
  2. A brief description of the organization’s purpose and accomplishments.
  3. Financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year, including Sources and Uses.
  4. The operating budget for the current year and proposed budget for the next year.
  5. A list of the corporations and foundations that support the organization and the most recent amounts contributed.
  6. An IRS determination letter of tax-exempt status.
  7. Names and affiliations of the Board of Directors.

Please note: Organizations may submit only one request for support during a calendar year.  Organizations may not submit separate requests during a year for fund raising events, membership fees, conferences, or other special events.

Send all requests to:

Working Person’s Store
1608 Commerce Dr.
South Bend, IN 46628

President Job Description


Position Title: President & CEO

Primary Focus:  To plan, develop and establish company policy and objectives either personally or through subordinate personnel.

Organizational Relationships:

  • Responsible to the ________ Board of Directors
  • Reporting to the CEO are:


The Chief Executive Officer possesses the authority needed to accomplish approved business objectives.  When necessary, the objectives may be delegated to others that can be better performed by them.  The CEO is however, responsible to accomplish the duties he is charged to perform.

EXECUTIVE DUTIES Continue Reading…

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