It is critical to make your business different. Following trends and staying up to date is important, but being a little bit different and carving your own piece of your industry is essential.
To continue our business tips series into 2015 I’ve made a list of the things we are doing that our competitors are not… just a few ways we are trying to be different.
1) We blog about what we do. Many independent stores use social media to promote products and events, but few use the creativity of a blog to share products, ideas and even our suppliers.
2) Most businesses are now using facebook as a medium to advertise themselves. We use Facebook consistently, consistency keeps followers interested. By updating our followers at least three times every week we try our utmost to be consistently interesting!
3) Searching for new products is part of my every day. I cannot stop searching and I cannot be content with the products we have in store. I cannot for new products to come to me!
4) We are designing and making our own bespoke products and have full time carpenters to bring my brain farts to life. When I was at school (in the UK) we had to study two technology based subjects. 99% of the girls chose textiles and food technology. I however chose woodwork and graphic design… boy am I glad I did!
5) We run workshops, consultations and evening events. These are incredibly hard work, but oh so worth it. They demonstrate that The Ruby Orchard is so much more than a shop!
6) We say NO to consignment. This means we own every single product in the shop – it makes us ensure they are all quality products and forces us to work hard at selling them. They do not get forgotten in corner and left to gather dust. (More on the pros and cons of consignment later in this series).
7) We work with suppliers to design products exclusively for us. I don’t want the same products as every other shop… that’s why I ask creative’s to make ranges exclusively available to us.
8) We are connecting with, working with and becoming great friends with other local businesses – Millamae, The Farmers Daughter, Fern Hill Hotel, Valley Bakery are just a few of the local business we connect with. I hope these relationships grow in 2015.