Do I feel that recording videos, whether livestream, Stories, or pre-recorded, is hard? You bet I do! When I acknowledge my feelings for what they are (nervousness that doesn't go away) I can then focus on what matters most.
When you're an enterprising creative, it can feel like there's an unending well of inspiration. For better, like when it helps you get past roadblocks, or for worse, like when you're too distracted to focus on work you'd rather not do.
Part of the creative entrepreneur's journey is finding that sweet spot between personal style and business style.
Do you formulate a hypothesis and test it, especially before making large investments of your time and money? I'm the first to admit that I make choices based on gut feelings. I've been know to say "Yes!" to...
An unexpected surge in retail sales is a welcomed surprise, especially if you can fulfill your orders with confidence. But what happens when you're not positioned to scale your business quickly in order to sustain the newfound momentum?
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." This African Proverb has been displayed throughout this season of interviews on the Retail Charm School video show.
We know that hindsight is 20/20. But when you need those insights now, it's no wonder that we look outside of our businesses and past experiences for teachers and new lessons.
During this fifth season of the Retail Charm School show, I've come to learn a lot about you:
When I was thinking about how to contextualize this season of interviews, I wanted to do two things:
If you want to put your passion to work, then it's important to ask the question: What else do I need to know?
In the ongoing fight against bias and racism, which is pervasive in retail customer service, it's important for small businesses, micro businesses, and solopreneurs to consider how we can use our small and mighty platforms to align passion and purpose.
When it comes to business "success", measuring, ranking, and benchmarking accomplishments are straightforward and also elusive. These practices are straightforward when the unit of measure is constant, which it no longer is.
In search for a point of reference, we often look for grounding by asking operational business questions like:
A compelling story makes us think and feel. It can speak to us in a way that webinar presentation slides and data can't. What makes storytelling powerful is its ability to connect people and help us make sense of our personal experiences in this world.
For businesses - including yours - a good story communicates your values and your beliefs to those to need to know them most.
So many businesses are pivoting left and right. They accepted the challenge to mobilize early and are thinking creatively, collaborating differently, and accumulating small successes. And yet...
There are so many businesses managing multiple survival strategies:
So what happens to those small business owners, makers, and creative entrepreneurs whose pivot is not happening as fast?
Raise your hand if you're working on your marketing strategy! Anyone that's ever developed and executed a marketing effort - of any size and any scope - will tell you it's risky business.
Whether you're a planner-at-heart like a Chief Marketing Officer or an entrepreneurial maverick who flys by the seat of her pants, if you need help with the mindset of putting yourself out there, you'll want to click play on this week's episode.
Did you know that the #1 thing you need to do before the economy bounces back is build deeper relationships? And that now is a great time to upgrade your marketing strategy?
Building a community of loyal customers plays a huge part in profitable selling.
Listen, if you want to stay nimble in an ever-changing environment, then stop scrolling and pay attention right now.
What I’m about to tell you could help you transform fizzled business plans into future business success. (I’m banking on it to help me with mine.)
Did you know that the best way to get what you want is to ask for what you want? And that the most effective way to do this for your business is with a call to action?
Asking customers to do what you want them to do plays a huge part in what you should and shouldn’t say on video.
Raise your hand if:
You and I have these challenges in common. In fact, every “non-essential” inventory-based business finds themselves in this boat.
The questions from merchants like you are coming in hot and fast so I hosted a live Q&A session created specifically for small retailers and makers.
There are as many work from home (WFH) styles as there are people. Our adult work styles are shaped over time, most commonly by:
Whether you WFM full-time or have been asked to WFH, the circumstances have changed and so should the way we craft our new WFH life.
Are you looking ahead and playing the long game? I think you are so it’s best to nurture your star players now, or you might not have the team to get you where you want to go and who you want to go with.
The business rules we typically play by are changing. Everything — EVERYTHING — is up for reinterpreting, reimagining, replanning, and refocusing, including business partnerships.
Attn: Retailers and Makers! Did you know there’s no better time to use livestream video for your inventory-based business than right now? Your customers are watching live videos and engagement only continues to grow.
According to Nielsen, U.S. adults spend about 6 hours a day watching video. And according to Forrester, users watch live video 10 to 20 times longer than on-demand content. They also found that consumers are 39% more likely to share content if it’s delivered through video.
Look, video can enable you to streamline your customer support practices and ultimately boost shopper satisfaction and loyalty, according to Ecommerce Guide.
Are you ready to discover what to do and how to do it so that you can inspire customer loyalty and improve your customer retention rate?
The conversations about how to grow sales and increase profit are taking a turn for the better as small and creative business owners search to understand the financial and non-financial implications of attracting new buyers.
When it comes to improving your small business profit, there is an almost unlimited number of resources available for retailers, small-batch manufacturers, and makers. Type a question into your search box and answer-after-answer awaits.
But do you want to know all the information about running a profitable inventory-based business that exists online?
Of course not! It’s humanly impossible.
Simplify Your Continued and Sustained Retail Growth: 5 Habits to Unlearn as a Retail Entrepreneur Part 6
The speed of retail is relentless.
If you’re juggling seasonal assortments, each on their unique journey within the merchandise lifecycle, it’s easy to keep charging ahead. To move on to the next season, to design the next collection, and to assort the next product line.
You’re a merchant who’s ready to go up but I hope you’re also ready to look back.
Rethink Your Retail Marketing and Promotions Strategy: 5 Habits to Unlearn as a Retail Entrepreneur Part 5
Managing different product lines across multiple seasons is enough to throw any new merchant off their game. That’s why a typical onboarding timeline in our industry is one whole year!
It’s takes the operational repetition of four major retail seasons — winter, spring, summer, and fall — to get the hang of what it’s like to manage the lifecycle of products.
Profit More With In-Season Retail Business Management: 5 Habits to Unlearn as a Retail Entrepreneur Part 4
My most downloaded resource for 2018 and 2019 has been a 14-point checklist on how to sell slow-moving inventory at full retail price. (If you don't have it, it's linked below.)
Inventory, styles, trends, and products come and go. Some faster than others.
Confession time: I’m a planner through and through. How about you?
Whether you like to plan like I do, prefer to keep your schedule loose and flexible, or anywhere in between, I’m sure you’ve also felt the driving need to work “on” your business more so you can take it further, faster.
Enter the practice of time blocking, which organizes your day into time slots.
This works really, really well until it doesn’t.
I'm listening! I hear that you have more work to do but not enough time to do it. I see that you work hard but feel like you don't have the results to show.
I suspect that the culprit is the expectations you set to be 100% productive 100% of the time.
You see, productivity loves your work products — any kind of work product. BUT it can’t distinguish between work that contributes to your profit and work that distracts you from achieving your goals. It just likes to see you busy.
It’s no wonder that any work-related “free” time you have gets eaten up quickly.
#1 THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
#2 HOW TO DESIGN A FOOLPROOF BRAND EXPERIENCE
#3 5 STEPS TO SELL SLOW-MOVING STOCK
#4 CREATING A COMMUNITY (AND LOYAL CUSTOMERS)
#5 LEARN WHY SHOPLIFTING HAPPENS AND HOW YOU CAN PREVENT IT
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When you do, you'll get insightful how-to resources, retail inspiration, and time-sensitive deals.