Monday, October 18, 2010

5 things I've learned opening a retail store

1. People respond in two ways when you tell them you're opening a retail store.
scenario #1 "Are you crazy in this economy? Stores have been closing left and right!"
scenario #2 "You've 'made it'! Congratulations!"
Funny thing is, I don't think scenario #1 or #2 applies to us. Here's why...

2. Opening a retail store isn't crazy, nor is it our definition of "making it". For us, it was a strategic move to continue to self-fund our expansion. The addition of retail to our existing wholesale, online and private label business has allowed us to grow our production space and crank out larger orders. It's given us a beautiful showroom and an opportunity to teach the community about the benefits of natural skincare made by hand, with local ingredients. Adding the retail component or "the icing on the cake" (as I've been referring to it) has helped pay for that expansion, without outside investors or loans.

3. I get face to face interaction with customers daily. This is invaluable. I can spend hours on twitter, facebook posts, our e-newsletter or this blog, but nothing takes the place of face to face interaction when someone is touching, smelling and experiencing your product. Conversation and feedback right at your fingertips daily-- that's priceless.

4. Everything is a learning experience. This isn't something new I've learned, but it has been a fabulous reminder (as if being an entrepreneur isn't) that there is something positive to take away from every situation. If something doesn't go as planned, I look at how, why, and what can I learn from this? Focusing on that helps frustration, disappointment or dare I say anger (I was there today :) get the better of me.

5. Multiple revenue streams are a key to success. Examining those streams and where the money is coming from help determine focus, therefore making me more productive.

I could keep going, but these are the most prominent in my mind after being open for 6 weeks. I'm sure I will continue to learn a million more things as we roll into the holiday season!

10 comments:

  1. Love this post, and great tips. I especially like how you emphasize the importance of connecting with customers, and also the amazing point about creating more than just one stream of income from your business. Great tips, Kristin! Thanks for sharing them.

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  2. Your attitude will take you far in this venture. Yes--it is all a learning experience. The space looks amazing!

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  3. I'm so happy you took the leap of retail space. You've created an environment that is fun and fabulous for your customers as well as somewhere to gain valuable feedback for you to grow your business.

    Well done gal!

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  4. Couldn't agree with you more about customer interaction. Sometimes, that's the only thing that keeps me going!

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  5. Making the most of even those frustrating and difficult moments is a huge challenge, but so important--thanks for the great reminder! Hope your retail expansion paves the way to even more growth, Kristin!

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  6. Hellow!

    I love your site, It is a pleasure to visit.

    I have added your site to my site.

    Please link my site to your site.

    Thank you!

    http://cosmelovelove.blogspot.com/

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  7. thanks for the great article and sharing your thoughts! good luck too!

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  8. thanks for the great comments and support everyone!

    Lisa, thanks for being such an awesome and supportive partner at PersonalCareTruth.com while I've been figuring this retail thing out! You're a rockin' partner!

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  9. Kristen you are amazing and your products speak for themselves! Keep up the great work and leading the charge in awesome healthy skincare! Luv Ya!!

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