Being A Small Business
We’ve all seen the headlines - ‘Another Local Business Closed’, ‘Small Businesses Failing in the First Year’. It’s any wonder that any of us start our own business, but we do because they are built on passion and drive.
At the Old Dairy Farm, where my boutique is located, we have a variety of small business. Most of us are sole traders, working 6 days a week and wearing the many hats that you need to run a small business. There’s no finance department to do the analysis on sales and costs, there’s no IT department to repair any tech equipment to when it goes wrong, no procurement department to arrange next season’s stock.
Mistakes are made, of course, but lessons are learnt – and learnt quickly! In the corporate world where I have worked before, there’s always someone else to blame the errors on. It’s easy to just move on from something and not really get to the bottom of why it went wrong, and more importantly, how to make sure it doesn’t happen again! In a small business, you have no-one else to blame. Plus, if you don’t learn, you will keep making costly mistakes and risk being one of the headlines!
It’s only been just over 2 months since I started trading and already I’ve learnt so much. Some of the things I’ve learnt are small, like how to boost a post on Facebook with a target audience, how to create a website, how to manage my costs. Some are more prevalent and have cost me money like purchasing the wrong stock, or stock in sizes that won’t sell. If you think how many back sizes there are, then multiply that by cup sizes (bearing in mind we stock up to a J!), and then add in bottoms, it’s a minefield! But importantly, I’m learning. I’ve ordered my Autumn/Winter stock with some science behind it! Will it be perfect? Probably not, but I’m not afraid to keep learning!
My biggest lesson is that relationships are key. I work with suppliers I can trust and who support me. As I am only a small boutique, I often place orders for my customers and I know my suppliers will be able to deliver on those orders, and quickly! That in turn improves my relationships with my customers. I want to make women feel great and give them confidence with great fitting lingerie and swimwear, and the key to that is building those relationships by allowing my customers to trust me to fit them properly, offering them a great service and great range of choices.
The other key relationships are friends and family. They offer so much support, advice and words of wisdom. At the Old Dairy Farm, we support each other and understand how tough the quiet days are! We talk about the other businesses to our customers and are often better at selling each other’s businesses than our own!
So, to my customers of any small business, thank you! Your sale means so much more to us than you realise and we hope you enjoy the personal service we offer in return! Keep supporting your local businesses, whether it’s a sale, a share on Facebook or a review online, we couldn’t keep going without you!
To find your perfect fit, pop in to see me at Sheer Delights, Old Dairy Farm, no appointment needed. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @SheerDelights1 for all the latest information, or go to www.sheerdelightslingerie.com