Welcome to the final piece in this three-part series on adding retail space inside your studio. Here's where you find Part I and Part II. Your stock looks good on your display and you're ready to make your first sale. As you unveil your brand new boutique, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to get the best from your new business line.
The number one way to get sales kick-started is to get talking! Both in the studio and online, chat about your favorite items and what you love about them, give compliments when you spot clients wearing your pieces and be sure to interact with clients as they are browsing.
As often as you can, wear products from your boutique when you teach. Give your instructors serious discounts or merchandise as a bonus. Your clients are looking at their instructor for the best part of an hour during class so its a great time to show off new styles!
Use your boutique as part of your marketing efforts. Snap pictures for social media campaigns of your latest arrivals. Showcase your favorite outfit, host a trunk show or shopping event. Use your merchandise in giveaways or as prizes in challenges. Finally, adding socks or sports water bottles to a bundle of classes as a special promotion is another great way to leverage your offerings.
Don't forget to train and educate your instructors on the brands and stock you have available - make sure they know the process for completing a sale. And if it fits within your business model, consider a commission based system for instructors as a bonus incentive.
Top 5 Tips for Success
1. Keep products fresh. Update your stock frequently and buy minimum quantities. Remember - you can always restock.
2. Showcase your most popular products. When you notice a particular product flying off the shelves, put it in a prime spot and let people know it's a firm favorite.
3. If something isn’t selling - then discount it heavily. Quickly. If it still doesn’t sell then consider removing it from your offering (and donate or give away).
4. Make sure your stock and your display is easy on the eye. Remove messy or tired-looking stock.
5. Sell more of what your clients want to buy! Get feedback. Listen to what your clients say as they browse and ask them what else they would like to see.
Expanding your studio to include retail can be a fun addition to your business. Clients will enjoy hanging out after class to check out your latest offerings and you’ll find your clients interact with each other which builds on that great sense of community within your studio. A win for everyone!