Lately I've been doing these chats on "Hey Chalk" and the more I chat with my social media girl gang the more I find out that people actually read and enjoy my blog posts as much as I enjoy writing them, I always did like my essay homework but that being said I hate typing and I hate proof reading even more. I'm pretty sure that is the perfect modern definition of a "TYPO"!
With out further ado... one of the most mentioned subjects was "starting your own business" mostly boutiques. I think it's amazing that so many women have this dream and ambition. I'm a firm believer that there is business for everyone and although there is such a thing as competition, it should only benefit all parties as a driving factor to evolve and grow.
I am no where near a retail expert and still lack experience. House of Posh Tots has been open for about a year and half and I'm still learning the business each and every day. I've made some costly mistakes and at times I feel like I'm running a business in the dark but I will gladly and humbly share the little that know. Here goes...
Find your niche. If there is a shop that you love, don't imitate it. There is a reason that you love and shop it and that niche is filled. Take what you love but make it your own or expand on what you think is missing or can't find.
Start small. This applies so so many areas. Go big or go home is not a valid pep talk when starting a shop. I made and continuing make the mistake of carry a wide array of product categories. It's made things complicated and makes my shop look "all over the place." For example, start with clothing, then add accessories and shoes. It helps you predict your market. You can aim for whatever markets you crave but it's not until you put yourself out there will you know. Figure out a price point and try to stay with in this margin. My shop was and still kinda is all over the place, I used to want "Something for everyone" but that concept turns people away at times. I know this sounds ridiculous but I've learned it to be true.
Wear what you preach. It highly important to believe in your products, I never buy anything for the shop that Elle would not wear. When I started I sacrificed quality for price because I was afraid my customers would not pay those prices. I found myself not loving the pieces we carried and started to fill online shopping carts elsewhere. I immediately took a step back and reevaluated my buying patterns. This does not mean you need to carry high end merchandise because great style has no price tag but don't sell anything you wouldn't buy.
Use social media like it's you job. I don't have to stress how big social media is on our daily lives but I will stress to exploit it as much as is consumes our time. It's free and almost everyone you want to be your customer is one it. Make your pages pop with beautiful images the scream (in the chicest way possible) your image! Take time to photograph your merchandise and make it look it's a must have! Contact people that take great pictures and portray the image that represents your shop. This does not mean users with a million followers, you want great images that are genuine.
Brand yourself with your brand. Get a logo, invest in it. Make sure you love it an it's personal to you. The last thing you want is to settle only to find something you love more in the future, nothing is more confusing than changing your logo when people already recognize it. This applies to your shop name too! After you find a logo you love, put that shit everywhere. Make stickers, tags, labels and put it on all your packaging! You can't sell what you don't see.
Now I could write a encyclopedia on this subject and I'm not even an expert. There's accounting, licences, web design, the list goes on and on but these little gems spoke to my computer keys today. I'll do more segments as they come to me or as I learn. I say if it's calling you and you can't shake the dream, don't! It's not going to be easy but if you want it, it's possible. Be smart and start slow, there is no reason why I can and you can't! I wish you the best of luck and send you girl boss vibes!
You got this love!