So as I sit here during the last half hour of "Small Business Saturday" feet throbbing and "Candlelight shoppers everywhere, I am compelled to write about another success trend we have noticed with our small business owners. Since we opened 14 months ago, we've seen some turnover for various reasons - the most heartbreaking of which are the business owners who have tried very hard, but their family members, spouses mostly, were not supportive of what they were doing. On the other hand, we've seen many of our successful dealers expand, and what is one of the things they have in common???
Happy Birthday to us! September brings a close to our first year in business as "The Petite Boutiques", and wow, have we learned a lot! Had we known what an intriguing business this would turn out to be, we probably would have closed the Christmas Cottage years earlier! This mini-mall business model has proven to have more "Pros" than "Cons."
I'll attempt to explain:
After 4 months of business, we've been trying to establish a trend among the most successful dealers. By "successful" we mean those who have made or exceeded their rent continuously - some since day one! We've contemplated, compared numbers, tracked traffic flows and thought a lot about what this handful of dealers all had in common. We removed the Christmas Cottage from the equation for obvious 4th quarter reasons.
"VolunTEERs" that is! ....and as a Gator, I sure don't mean the Tennessee kind.....Okay - now that I have that out of my system, I have a somewhat butchered & pilfered joke for you: What do being a volunteer and peeing your pants in a dark suit have in common? ...Almost nobody notices what you did, but it gives you a warm feeling all over!
If you're a small business owner, think for a moment about WHY you advertise. When you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on various forms of advertising, do you do it because you are guaranteed sales? Of course not. You do it for exposure right? Just get someone in the door to see what you have, treat them nicely and hope they'll remember your products when they are ready to buy. If you're lucky, some of your advertising efforts will immediately convert to sales, but we all know that doesn't always happen.
Ahhh, the home stretch! Tomorrow at 10am Tightline Productions will be here to film the TV Commercial, and Dad & I came up with what we think is a cool idea for the café we've always wanted to have (You'll have to stop in to see it, but let's just say there's a bit of punch to the theme!) And the first draft of our new jingle had us all tapping our feet.
You can feel the frenzy in the air.... The place is really shaping up now, newsletter is designed, party is planned, TV commercial being shot next week - and we still have new dealers signing up! woooohoooooo! Wow! I'm tired. I think we need to have a massage therapist in here. Any massage therapists out there looking for a space in Downtown Melbourne? I will definitely be your first client!
I do not like it in my inbox,
I do not like it from a fox,
I do not like it in my house,
I will delete it with my mouse,
Why do I get it, angry I am,
To get this junk-mail known as “Spam?”
I never quite understood the REAL concept of "Social Media" and this "Web 2.0" buzz stuff until my honey came home from an E-mail marketing class today. Being the geek I am, I was more excited (and jealous) to hear what he learned, then to know who the latest batchelorette gave her last rose to. (Our "romantic" conversations often revolve around pixels & dpi - sad, I know, but ever so gripping for a couple of creative types!) - anyway here it is in a nutshell:
Friday evening - caught up with the Oracle work, got the video uploaded, and I needed to get away from the computer for a while, so I opted to do a little physical labor in our new "Gift Wrap & Shipping" corner. As I crossed the showroom floor I spotted my worst nightmare... Now let me back up a bit... I'm a Florida native with three cats. I can handle snakes, "gifts" of frogs and lizards in my living room, even a mole in my oven drawer, but for some reason I'll never be able to understand, I absolutely cannot deal with cockroaches...