July means it’s time to plan the Q3 and Q4

July means it’s time to plan the Q3 and Q4

It starts with a plan, my retailer friends. 

Just last week, our Retailer’s Inner Circle sat down for a 3-hour strategic Q3 and Q4 planning session. It sounds intense, but it’s really not because a quarter is only 90 days! I meet many brick and mortar business owners who are just winging it and don’t bother to have a plan. SO let’s I’ll break down your Q3 into 5 major goals. Let’s go!

Q3 and Q4 Strategic Planning

Here’s the quick 13-minute Facebook live.

 

Need the next step in your retail business?

I’ve made a free Shop Owner’s Game Plan to help you make big moves in the areas of your business. Sign up below.

 

You are running a real business. 

You are a retailer and an entrepreneur doing all the hard work. This is not a hobby store and you aren’t just playing arts and crafts. I want to encourage you to continue to follow you passion and be successful. 

If you’re not already part of my free Facebook group: Rockstar Creatives, join us here. Every Tuesday you can ask me questions about running a brick and mortar creative shop! I’d love to see you online!

Running a retail business doesn’t have to be so hard, you’ve got this!

Thanks for popping in!

Xo, 

Wendy

For more tips to creative shop owners, make sure you get on my email list to get next week’s blog.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Promote an Event or Workshop for your Shop

How to Promote an Event or Workshop for your Shop

Let’s get this out of the way. What you are doing at your store is AWESOME But it is absolutely NOT your customers’ job to find out what events and workshops are happening when. In order to keep your shop’s events full and booked out, you have to be constantly marketing. 

But first I have a couple of questions for you:

  • Are you offering the right workshop?
  • Is this workshop for you or for your customers? Sometimes we pick a workshop subject that our customers aren’t interested in. Make sure you are covering something that they want to learn more about. 
  • Is it being offered at the right time? 
  • Are you marketing? Plain and simple, if you aren’t putting your services out there, you can’t expect people to show up. Sending one email and posting one time on social media is not enough. 

It doesn’t have to feel icky

Second, let’s change how you think about “selling”.. you are letting your customers know about cool events: open hours, demonstrations, workshops, etc. that your store is hosting. These are all value-added and life-improving events. Don’t feel guilty about selling AT ALL. Marketing 101 is just telling your customers about it. If you don’t look at your customers as dollar signs, it won’t feel yucky. You are doing them a service by informing them! 

How to Get “Bums in Seats”

To get people to attend your shop’s events, I always call it “get bums in seats.” For my best practices, hit play below on my 15-minute Facebook live (Especially If you’re a listener or multitasker)

Marketing Strategies for Workshops

  • Constantly be Promoting. It is not your customer’s job to find out when your workshops are. It is your job to let the customer know what is going on. 
  • Post pictures of mock-ups on social media. Don’t be afraid to show mistakes, people love that. 
  • Regularly post or run an ad on social media about the workshop. 
  • Print out paper fliers to put in shopping bags at check out. 
  • Include testimonials and pictures from previous workshops. 
  • Go live on Facebook and let people know how excited you are. 
  • Do a good old Press Release in the newspaper.
  • Make sure you include information in your regular emails.
  • Use free demos in-store during peak hours to promote the upcoming workshop. 
  • During your workshop, talk about the next workshop coming up. 

Remember, If you don’t ask, you won’t get it. Don’t be shy about promoting your workshops because you are providing a service to your customers. Make it exciting and fun for them and it won’t feel like selling. 

Want to take your hobby and open a brick-and-mortar shop or studio  – I have full training for you if you want it, you can find it right HERE.

 

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You are running a real business. 

You are a retailer and an entrepreneur doing all the hard work. This is not a hobby store and you aren’t just playing arts and crafts. I want to encourage you to continue to follow your passion and succeed. 

Running a retail business doesn’t have to be so hard, you’ve got this!

Thanks for popping in!

Xo, 

Wendy

More weekly tips can be found on my weekly podcast The Creative Shop Talk podcast – listen HERE.

 

Save this pin to your Pinterest board so you don’t forget!!!

How to market Workshops & Events for your creative retail shop Creative Entrepreneur by Wendy Batten

 

 

 

 

Add Revenue Streams To Your Shop

Add Revenue Streams To Your Shop

Have you considered adding a new revenue stream to your shop?

Let’s dive into extra ways to help your independent retail shop bring in extra revenue.

“How do I decide what additional revenue streams can I add to my brick-and-mortar?”

As a retail coach, I get this question a lot from my retailers:

When considering adding new revenue streams, consider the following:

  • Does it light you up?
  • Does this product or service get you excited? 
  • Is there a profit margin?

Don’t just look at our industry — learn from what online business owners in other industries and niches are doing successfully to get ideas. How can you make their revenue streams work for you?

Add Services to your Creative Shop

Some ways to add revenue streams to your shop

Online Income

  • Get your products listed on your website using an e-commerce solution or a platform like Etsy or Amazon Handmade
  • Get scalable digital products and downloads that customers can buy over and over again – like custom SVG files or “how to” tutorials and workshops

Services Income

  • Workshops
  • Custom Design Work for Clients: like furniture & cabinet painting
  • Custom Design Services to other business owners, there’s plenty of seasonal decors
  • Bring services in-house, like Upholstery, Refinishing Furniture

Affiliate Income

  • Earn commissions from products referrals (for what you don’t sell in your store)
  • Set up an Amazon Influencer shop
  • Create content: web pages or blog posts that links to affiliate products

Ad Network Income

  • Set up Google Adsense or other ad networks on your website so that you get paid per webpage view (This works so with blogging!)
  • Partner with local businesses to sell or “rent” ad space on your website
  • Rent ad space IN your shop with aligned products or services.

Subscriptions Groups

  • Create a VIP Club where members get perks and bonuses and discounts
  • Put together kits for purchase so customers can recreate things at home. 

Wholesale Income

  • Use your current shops’ creations to sell to other retailers

Private Label Income

  • Work/partner with another business to sell your own signature products

Event Income

  • Host Vendor Markets
  • Workshops
  • Private Events
  • Rent your space for photoshoots etc

There are many ways you can add revenue streams to your retail shop! Brainstorm your options!

Don’t leave money on the table.

Add Multiple Revenue Streams to your Retail Store Wendy Batten (1)

Listen to my podcast episode 56 of The Creative Shop Talk Podcast HERE. I share more tips on adding revenue streams to your retail business!

You are running a real business. You’ve got this!

You are a retailer and an entrepreneur doing all the hard work. This is not a hobby store and you aren’t just playing at retail. I want to encourage you to continue to follow your passion and be successful. 

Running a retail business doesn’t have to be so hard, you’ve got this!

Thanks for popping in!

Xo, 

Wendy

 

For more ways and tips to help your brick-and-mortar thrive, make sure you get on my email list to get next week’s blog.

And listen to the Creative Shop Talk podcasts! Learn more (click here)

Save this pin to your Pinterest board so you don’t forget!!!

 

 

 

How to rock Small Business Saturday WITHOUT having discounts!

How to rock Small Business Saturday WITHOUT having discounts!

Why do brick-and-mortar retailers think they need to discount and have big sales to get people in the door?

It’s simply not true.

We work hard for our margins. Discounting them 10%, 20% or more is not good for the bottom line and then we’re training our customers to look for sales.

I’m not a believer in discounts.

There I said it.

I see my retail clients having amazing events – without the big sales and discounts!

At my creative stores, we very rarely put our products on sale, and on Small Business Saturday retailers’ first instinct is to run a big sale.

You can still make a splash, attract customers, and have a great sales day without discounting your products.

Sales don’t mean anything if we don’t have a profit at the end of the day.

Specials or featured items can work if needed, but consider adding VALUE vs SALES

Did you know, small business Saturday is the highest sales day for many of my retail coaching clients?

Read that again. The highest sales day of the year, so do not miss out!

How to Promote Shop Small Saturday

Try some of the following (mostly) FREE strategies to have a successful Small Business Saturday:

1) Be grateful.  Remember people are coming to you to support small businesses, you don’t need door crasher specials and try to compete with big-box stores.  Be sure to acknowledge in person and online your gratitude.

2) Build up excitement for the day. Plan your social media, show behind the scenes, do FB lives, IG stories around the store, and introduce your staff. Make a fuss, and let people know about you, your values, your store’s personality, and vibe, people buy from people they know, like, and trust. Be that person they think about when they decide to shop small business.

3) Have a door prize (maybe a workshop) and maybe a hot cider pot, free coffee, cookies, etc. You don’t need to go crazy, but people will love the gesture.

4) Feature other small businesses in your area. (I like to make it places I know my customers also frequent.) Show people YOU shop and support local and introduce your customers to other local small businesses. Be sure to tag those businesses in your posts.

5) Use social media hashtags unique to your neighborhood or business area – people will find you with them.

6) Go on FB LIVE the day before and then several times early in the day.

7) Ask customers to take selfies of themselves at your store, and share a hashtag for a chance to win, this will get their friends interested too and customers LOVE it.  Also, encourage them to do location check-ins on FB and IG.

8) Have featured items in-store, do free demonstrations, showcase some of your DIY products, and highlight some special items customers are always asking about. Make it an event.

9) Invite other vendors, makers, etc to come to your shop for the day to sell, or demo their products and “meet the makers”. This works especially well if you already sell the artisan’s work in the store.

10) Collaborate with other small businesses in your neighborhood, the local deli, or bakery or wine store, or neighboring store. Have a contest, a scavenger hunt, or draw if they visit 4 of the 8, etc. Get creative with your fellow small businesses.

Add value – with experiences and fun, you can do a gift with a purchase or a door prize, but you don’t need to discount all your product.

The key is to remember people WANT to shop small businesses and have an experience. Your job is to build excitement and let them know you are there and that you appreciate them visiting. Make Small Business Saturday an experience.

 Separate yourself from the chaos and impersonal Black Friday shopping at the big box stores – stand out!

Take your brick in mortar to the next level next year!

If you’re ready to put the pedal to the metal for next year for your brick and mortar… you have to put on your CEO hat and learn the foundations of business to make your store profitable. You have to do the work.

If you want some help amplifying your retail business. Check out my instant access course – Retail Made Simple. It’s an on-demand course you can do at your own pace. Learn more HERE.

Bonus! Here are a few hashtags you can use to promote your shop’s Small Saturday event

In addition to your area’s hashtags: #shopsmall #shoplocal #smallbusiness #smallbiz #businessowner #smallbusinessowner #smallbusinessweek #smallbusinesssaturday #smallbusinessowners #smallbusinesslove #smallbizowner #smallbizlife #creativeentrepreneur #smallbizsat #lovelocal #momandpop

And a few other shopping hashtags to try #creativebiz #creativeshop #creativestudio #shopoholics #shoppingday #retailtherapy #retail #store #shopping

 

Catch my Biz Tip lives on FB @https://www.facebook.com/WendyBattenbizcoach

What do you do on Small Business Saturday to ensure a successful sales day? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you, and here’s to a fabulous Small Business Saturday for your store!

Xo, Wendy

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I’d love it if you shared my pin below on Pinterest! Find me on Pinterest @FrontPorchMercantile for more business inspiration and biz tips!

Retail coach Wendy Batten shares best practices for your best Small Business Saturday

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10 Simple CEO Habits for Creative Shop Owners

10 Simple CEO Habits for Creative Shop Owners

Do you think of yourself as the CEO of your retail business?

I work with shop owners all over the world who don’t always think of themselves in this way. Mindset is 80% of business success. I hear retailers say that the people around them, sometimes well meaning and very close family and friends, can say things like “your little shop”, or “you get to play arts and crafts all day”. Hurtful. Right? We work so hard. I know you probably entered into this world as a creative, made plans to make your store pretty, set it all up and have worked your buns off. You take care of not just the fun things, but the planning, organizing, the staff, the money, workshops schedules, product lines, the whole enchilada. YOU are the visionary and leader of your business. This is it. It’s YOUR business. YOU choose to treat it like a business, not a hobby. Whether you want to call yourself the CEO, Head Honcho, Queen Bee, whatever. You need to have a CEO Mindset. Stand tall. Get healthy business habits in place. Be the CEO of your business. Level up your mindset and your business will grow. Get great business habits in place and your business will thrive (and so will you).

I’ve put together a list of CEO habits that I’ve seen common in successful retailers and shop owners just like you. View this list by filling out the form below. 

  There is something to be said for the habits that successful entrepreneurs and business owners share across industries. Let’s apply them to YOUR role as store owner… I know you will find success!!! Thanks for popping in! Xo Wendy

How to Give a Paint Demonstration … And Get More Paint Sales

How to Give a Paint Demonstration … And Get More Paint Sales

Are you doing free demos in your store? Are you looking to get people excited about buying your products? It’s simple, show them how much YOU love it and how exciting your products are! The best way is to learn how to give a paint demonstration…

 

I grew my business originally with paint demos.

People would come, I would share, they would buy. I now live in a wee small town. Population 2300. I still have free paint demos and regularly have 10-25 show-up and sell a lot of paint after.

If you have a new product in your store, or want to show people just how stinking easy it is to use your paints, or how to prep furniture, or paint kitchen cabinets, or the crazy cool results you can get from using IOD’s, or glazes stenciling, or any other creative product in your shop you want to promote – offer a free demonstration!

Or maybe your sales in one area or with one brand are a little slower than you would like, and you want to want a little push in those sales. Offer a free demo.

But here is what I hear when I mention this to my coaching clients:

“But Wendy, I schedule and do free demos and no one shows up, or no one buys after”

If they are not showing up, you are not marketing properly. Simple as that. Posting it as an event, mentioning a couple of times on social is not enough, you shouldn’t be surprised if no one shows up.

Here are my best tips for how to give a paint demonstration by Wendy Batten, Paintpreneur

How to Build Excitement for the Paint Demonstration

  • Talk about it to customers in store.
  • Send out emails a minimum 1 week out and 1 day out reminding your customers
  • Introduce the product (or build excitement for a new one) long before the demo by talking about it, sharing info, make sure you are using it yourself. 
  • Do a FB live a few times in the week leading up and mention
  • Do a FB live as you are doing the demo
  • LOVE the product – your passion will show
  • List it as an event as many places as you can in your community
  • Share event with any local social posts you can
  • Be smart about the timing of when you offer them, when your ideal client is most likely to drop in 

How to Sell During Your Paint Demonstration

  • LOVE your paint line or product you are showing off, your passion will sell your product
  • Be sure to let them touch and feel and see
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Tell stories and address objections before they come up with great information and again, enthusiasm
  • Ask questions “have any of you tried this before?” And if some have, let them sell it for you, or “what would you use this on” and let them start thinking of where they would use the product.
  • Show them a “secret” technique, simple trick etc 
  • Leave time for questions – best way to sell
  • Mention and encourage your workshops if you have them and gently ask if anyone would like to attend
  • Consider a discount available only after the demo (I usually offer a workshop discount) as they are hooked and want more information.

 

Here are my best tips for how to give a paint demonstration by Wendy Batten, Paintpreneur

Another objection I hear from my retailers:

“But if I show them for free they won’t come to a workshop”

This is a limiting mindset. Give, give, give. You’ll get.

The more we give, the more sales we make. Build trust and confidence with your customer. There will always be people who will never take the time for a workshop. (Hello, that is ME, yet, I would go to a free demo and buy all your paint once you hook me). It’s the same with our customers.

Remember the purpose of your paint or product demonstration. You are just “introducing” at a demo, and teaching WHAT your product can do and WHY you love it, you are sharing YOUR LOVE AND PASSION for it. You are not showing everything you do in a workshop.

My demos almost always result in workshop bookings after. They definitely result in paint or product sales after.

If you share your passion for your product, and your customers know, like and trust you, they will buy from you. Simple as that.

Here are my best tips for how to give a paint demonstration by Wendy Batten, Paintpreneur

How to Give a Paint Demonstration

If you’re going to do demos… let me help. My best tips are here 👇👇

 

Have you ever done a free demo?

What are your favourite tips? Leave us a comment and let me know if you do demos or if you try it and how you make out.

I’ve also put together my favourite tips on WHAT to do for your free demo grab my top 10 tips sheet here.

Thanks for popping in!

Xo

Wendy

Ps….if you need tips on how to run a free demo you can grab my top 10 tips sheet here.

 

Here are my best tips for how to give a paint demonstration by Wendy Batten, Paintpreneur

 

 

 

 

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