Come on in, we’re open! We really are open actually, our new store has just landed and I couldn’t be more buzzy and excited about it. It was a huge effort from the whole team to get to this stage, but particularly knackering long days so today is a day off for me and G. Next week I’ll be talking more about the whole makeover process, giving you a tour of the gorgeousness and revealing some of the behind the scenes madness! But this isn’t a design post, today is Biz Friday so I wanted to say some more about small businesses.
Even though we’re growing (the new big flagship store is evidence of this), we still definitely count as a small business. I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking we’re much bigger than we are, because we punch above our weight. I’ve had a small business for ages now, going on 12 years to be precise and do you know the one thing that has propelled my biz? It’s this – being bold and taking risks. People think taking risks is dangerous, and yes it is, but I happen to think not taking risks is more dangerous. You can’t distinguish yourself, you can’t get market share and you can’t get noticed without putting your self out there. So take risks I say. I have and it’s worked.
Here are some more tips I’ve learnt along the way:
If you have a bricks and mortar store make sure you always have cards laying around the store with website details/phone number etc. If its beautifully shot and printed even better, as it gets passed onto friends and family and the whole thing starts rolling. We change our cards a couple of times a year to reflect our latest collection.
Are your staff happy? If they’re not don’t hire them. You can train anyone to do almost anything but you can’t teach happiness or genuine passion for the business.
Are you selling the best products you can possibly find or design? If you’re lazy and only go to one or two trade shows, or do two product drops a year it’s probably time to shut up shop. A vast amount of your time has got to be spent searching out and finding amazingly cool stuff. End of.
How are you presenting your finds? Are you hiring a photographer, shooting it beautifully and keeping it on brand? Although suppliers have images if you want to make it on brand more often than not you will need to style, re-shoot and put your own twist on it to sell your brand, and your own unique vision.
Don’t be afraid of the web – embrace it. Get yourself the coolest website you possibly can, use social media well and take real pride in how you present yourself. Don’t worry about constantly evolving; tweaking and making it better we do this all the time. Here’s the lowdown on how to create a digital home for your retail brand, or any biz for that matter.