Friday, January 23, 2009

Tips for business owners from Mrs. Charlotte's Boutique

Please enjoy one of our weekly artcles from one of our Shop Owners -Mrs. Charlotte of Mrs Charlotte's Boutique & Mrs. Charlotte's Jewels and More. Thank You Mrs. Charlotte!


Increasing Your Bottom Line

I would like to share with you some things that I have learned over the years as a show and mall dealer and an owner of an antique mall for ten years.

When I first rented a small booth in an antique mall I really did not know much about what I was doing. I painted my booth, decorated it so it was just beautiful and set up my merchandise. Then I went home and thought I was going to sell everything quickly because it was so pretty how could they (The Customers) not buy my things.

Well I returned three weeks later to collect my monies and see what I sold.
Needless to say, I only sold $7.50. Boy was I surprised. I just could not figure out what I did wrong.

Then I started coming to the mall more often and looking at the other booths and trying to figure out who was selling and why. Well, I noticed one particular dealer who always had great sells and a lot of activity in her booth. After studying her situation I noticed she constantly moved merchandise around. When an item was sold, she would re-arrange the entire table or shelf. She completely rotated her booth at least once a week. This dealer proved to me that by constantly moving things around and changing her display her sales soared.

Ever walked the aisles of a show, a mall or a small shop and noticed something the second time through that you missed the first time around?

It was interesting to me to talk with dealers and hear a dealer say they can't understand why their sales were slow when other dealers had great sales. I was always trying to answer the question, why was one doing so well and the other one not so well?

Some of the things that I determined apply not only to show dealers, but
also to mall dealers and shop owners as well. In talking to many dealers and shop owners, several things are repeated over and over. The dealers who were constantly rearranging their merchandise and working on their displays, and adding new merchandise had better sales. The dealers, who told me they do not use books to determine their prices, always did better. They buy merchandise and mark it up to make a reasonable profit and sell it. Chances are that someone else has merchandise similar to yours. Why is someone going to buy from you and not from someone else? Make your pricing appealing to the shopper who is looking for a bargain. Ninety-five percent of shoppers are looking for something they can feel good about buying. Either it needs to be very special or at a very good price.

Once a dealer told me she could take the same merchandise to ten shows and no one knew the difference. If you have merchandise that has been to five shows and hasn't sold, why take it to five more? Something is wrong with that picture! You need to evaluate why your merchandise is not selling. Make a change!

If there is a key to continued success in this business, whether you are a show dealer, mall dealer, or own your own shop, it is new fresh merchandise and constantly moving the old merchandise around to look new and different. And getting rid of the dead weight in your inventory. Have a sale and put your money in something that "Will" sell. Rearrange your booth at a show everyday and in a mall or a shop rearrange once a week. Make a change! Be creative! Try something new! If your sales don't increase, I'll be very surprised.

So now, how do I apply these great ideas to my new on line store? I am going to be adding new merchandise often. Change my front page at least once a month if not more often. I have also added, removed and changed some of my main categories. I feel like this is the same as re-arranging a booth or shop. If merchandise has been in my store for more that two months I am going to move it out and put new merchandise in it's place. Most customers will check your online store out often and if they see the same merchandise every time they visit, they will quit coming .

Mrs. Charlotte
Mrs. Charlotte's Boutique
Mrs. Charlotte's Jewels and More


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