Glamdora is a girly store owned and operated by Margarita Olivares, a 30 year old mother of 4. With often furry, feathered or glittery merchandise, Olivares has figured out what girls want and how to keep her customers coming back for more. Running a few successful retail stores in Texas makes her the perfect person to turn to for startup advice.
Below are her secrets for running a smooth and successful business:
- Where you at? Choosing your location is the most important step in making your dream of owning a retail store come true. What good is it if you have a great staff and awesome merchandise but no customers? You should choose a location that has a high traffic count.
- Big brother. Mall management has a job to do, and it's to make sure stores coming into the mall or those already in the mall are following all the guidelines and policies that pertain to each individual lease. But management should help new tenants become more familiar with the mall because malls are run by a strict set of rules, and breaking one of the rules can break your pocketbook.
- Stocking your shelves. Selecting merchandise for your store can be the most time-consuming and expensive part of opening a business. This duty shouldn't be taken lightly! Before opening your store, you should visit wholesale marts to get an idea of the merchandise you'd like to carry. Decide what your mark-up will be and what's appropriate for your area.
- Keeping a theme. I maintain a theme in my store by staying true to our name: Glamdora–It's a Girl Thing. Customers know what to expect when they come into our store: They expect to see merchandise for girls–not many stop in to see what we have for boys.
- Stay current and stay true. Don't think you know it all when it comes to trends. Keep up with local as well as national trends. You might see a particular look plastered all over the TV or in fashion magazines, but know your market. Will it sell in your store? Does it fit your theme?
Hiring and Management
- Good kids. It's inevitable–you're going to have young people work for you. Hire a young person who has a desire to know more about your type of business.
- Second in command Check all management applicants' references, and require a resume. Advertise for a manager if your budget allows and only if you're prepared to offer competitive pay.
- Loss prevention. You can always expect theft–count on it and set your prices because of it. The only way to find out how much you're losing is to do inventory.
Drawing In–and Keeping–Customers
- Everything must go! Have a specific place for your sale items. Customers should be able to easily distinguish sale items from regular merchandise in the store. Placing your sales items towards the back of the store will force customers to walk by the regularly priced merchandise before coming across the sale items, thus increasing the probability for sales of regular merchandise.
- Good as gold. Customer service is key to any successful business. Any smart business owner will tell you that customers are gold and should be treated as such.
Some of this advice may seem like common knowledge but you would be surprise how many of these actions go unpracticed.
Can you add any must follow advice to help other new retail business owners become and stay successful?
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