If you run a small boutique, chances are that you’ve realized the importance of multi-tasking. So many different components go into running a profitable boutique business, and it is important to master all of them. In order to produce steady sales, you need to stand out amongst big-name brands and other local boutiques.
10 Tips to Build Your Boutique Business
1. Try New Marketing Strategies
Unfortunately, hoping that word will travel about your impressive boutique isn’t enough. Instead, invest in marketing efforts that are going to drive traffic to your boutique’s physical location and online store. Is your current marketing plan not driving the sales you had hoped for? Then it’s time to head back to the drawing board. Try out new methods, like paid Facebook advertising, or advertisements in a local newspaper. Once you’ve tested different marketing techniques, evaluate what works best for your business.
2. Participate in Local Events
Form strong relationships with the people in your community by getting involved. Run a booth at a local event, or host your own customer appreciation party. These opportunities will allow you to meet your customers face-to-face. If they feel like they know you, they’ll be more likely to become consistent customers.
3. Create a Loyalty Program
Reward returning customers by creating a loyalty program. You depend on return customers, and if they are happy, they will be more likely to tell other people about your boutique. Plus, shoppers will be more willing to stop by your store if they know they have a discount to take advantage of.
4. Get Active on Apps
Generate additional sales by creating profiles on retail-focused apps like Shoptiques, Etsy, Boutique Window and Shopify. These apps will give you another platform to advertise your inventory so that you can reach shoppers who may not have known about your boutique otherwise. Make sure that you maintain these profiles so that customers will keep checking back on your boutique’s page.
5. Location, Location, Location
Without a convenient, prominent location, you may struggle to bring in new customers. When you’re looking for a boutique location, make sure that you’re choosing a building that is visible from nearby roads and isn’t difficult to find. You’ll increase the likelihood that people see your store and decide to visit.
6. Apply for Additional Working Capital
Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money. But if your business doesn’t have extra cash on-hand to make improvements, then this will be a struggle. This is why you should consider applying for additional working capital. Many lenders provide retail businesses with small business loan options so that they can grow their operations. Once you have additional working capital, you’ll be able to afford costs such as hiring new employees, purchasing inventory or expanding your boutique location.
7. Hire the Right Employees
When patrons visit your boutique, they should receive a personal experience. This is something that many department stores and other brand-name stores can’t offer, and it will make customers take notice of your boutique. In order to provide top-notch service, you’ll need to recruit qualified retail associates. By having personable, knowledgeable employees, your customers will always feel taken care of when they visit your boutique.
In addition to in-store service, don’t forget about online sales. Hire enough employees so that someone from your boutique can manage online orders. Online customers are just as important and deserve the same quality of assistance.
8. Ask for Customer Feedback
Constructive criticism could help your boutique business flourish. Send out customer satisfaction surveys and see what customers appreciate about your business. In addition, customers might have suggestions for how you can make improvements. Maybe they want to see more of a certain type of inventory, or they’ve noticed issues when placing online orders. This feedback will help you to continually advance your business, and customers will be grateful that you’re taking their ideas into consideration.
9. Hold Big Sales
Ever notice how bigger retail businesses offer large sales that send inventory flying off the shelves? You can do that, too. Entice customers to visit your store location or website to shop your must-have deals. These sales will help you get rid of excess inventory, make extra sales and hopefully satisfy your customers’ needs.
10. Be Organized with Your Finances
If you want your boutique to grow, you should follow a strict budget. Ensure that you’re not overbuying inventory, hiring too many employees or wasting money on services that aren’t worthwhile. By reviewing your business’ spending, you’ll be able to scrap any unnecessary costs so that you can put your money to better use.
Now that you’ve learned about these 10 helpful ways to improve your boutique business, it’s time to get to work. Running a boutique business can be a challenge, but by following these tips, your boutique will thrive.
Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides working capital solutions to small businesses across the U.S. Fora Financial can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.