7 easy steps to a thriving business!
1. Get the paper work DONE!
Chasing paper is a chore but rule #1 is to make sure you have all the necessary documentation:
1) Your business structure has to be discussed and blueprinted by a certified public accountant familiar with retail businesses. Your accountant will help you pick the right business structure, but the most common are sole proprietorships and limited liability companies.
2) Don’t forget to get business liability insurance. It’s a very important step & without it your business may be liable for accidents/injuries on site which could prove to be very costly.
3) You also need to get a business license at your city or county clerk’s office.
4) Finally, contact your state department of revenue for a sales tax license.
2. Location, Location, Location!
1) Is your building easily reached via main roads?
2) Is there enough parking nearby?
3) Do you have a nice display window that can be seen from a distance?
4) Is your location kid friendly—i.e. lots of children in the area?
5) Are there other similar businesses nearby?
6) Do you have a nice sign that is visible and eye-catching?
7) Can a customer easily tell you’re a children’s store before they even walk in the door?
If any answers to the above are “NO” you may need to make changes or even consider a better location.
3. The competition game
Make a list of your store competition. Visit all of these stores and observe each store’s product lines, general layout and staff friendliness. While you are there identify good children’s clothing that’s not sold in these stores; those represent a potentially profitable opportunity. Also look for bestsellers and brands that every store has. Those can become your milking cows!
4. Displays, displays, displays!
Your display windows are the most important part of you store. You have to make sure you have the best displays possible. Do you include store display as a necessary part of your monthly budget? If not, what are you waiting for?! Buy display fixtures and mannequins, clothing racks, hangers etc. Add several child size mannequins on which you can display your bestselling children’s fashions. We suggest you also print large posters of children wearing the clothes. We live in a very visual world and parents may fall in love with the picture and want the same look!
5. You can’t be everything to everybody!
As a new business owner you may be tempted to buy all the kids clothing brands you can find to please each and every customer entering your store. However, over time you will see what lines sell for you and what lines don’t. If you’ve tried selling a brand for a couple of seasons but it doesn’t seem to be popular among your clients, it may be wiser to drop it and introduce something new (like Frilly Frocks ! Asking your clients what brands they’re missing at your store may also be a good idea. You also have to be very careful on size selection . If you’re a store that does mostly registries for newborn babies, you probably don’t need many size 10 dresses. Or if you only sell girls clothes, don’t spend on boys’ outfits.
Once you’ve made your clothing selections it’s time to think about accessories. Shoes and headbands are a must to have and most parents will thank you for being a one stop shop. Also consider unique gifts such as jewelry & girls’ purses.
6. Do you rate 5 stars?
Not only does your staff have to be very friendly, polite and outgoing, as the owner you also must be at your store and know your customers. Make your customers feel loved: remember their names and the birthdays of their kids. Have a child-oriented event from time to time. Pictures with Santa, storytelling nights and other social events bring attention to your store and increase awareness & sales. Do you gift wrap the purchases made at your store? Do you have your shopping bags personalized with your store name? Do you make sure your customer finds what she is looking for? You’ll make your customer want to come back again and again when you make them feel special & showered with attention. It’s called superior customer service—and it’s the key to retail success.
7. Be a social butterfly
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube… Get active on social media as this is where your customer spends a lot of her time. Of course being on all platforms and staying active everywhere is very hard and may be overwhelming. Pick two or three that work best for you and concentrate your attention on them. Stay very active and get your customers to participate in contests and giveaways. Posting customer’s pictures wearing an outfit they bought at your store is a very good marketing tool.
Make sure your customer can very easily contact you via email or text as young moms don’t make very many calls these days.
Create your website and include crucial information: your address, hours, phone number, email address, & brands offered.
The easier the access to information about your store, the more likely your store is to be found on Google and local boards.
Thank you for taking your time to read this little article. We are here to help you grow. Feel free to contact Haute Baby corporate office if you need help with anything. Our haute line is 713-334-9006.