I have had many requests on how to set up a retail area for embroidery when you do not have much space and I wanted to share an experience with you when I set up my retail area for embroidery when I only had a small hallway to work with.
As many of you know I set up a retail space within the embroidery shop that I had open. I have since closed that shop, but I wanted to share the experience with you of how setting up a retail area for embroidery in a very small space is totally doable. We did not have an attractive storefront to work with like many other businesses; our building was set up for office space and production. What I had to work with was little more than a hallway and one office room, but I was determined to make the most of that space and make it work.
This was a very small space, but we have a lot packed into it. You can set up a very efficient and attractive retail area for embroidery even if you only have a small space to work with. We planned out every inch of it and set up our product displays in separate areas in order to make it easy for anyone to find what they are looking for.
It took a lot of time to plan everything out and create our samples but the end result was well worth it.
To start the planning process I laid my entire plan out on a mind map. If you are not familiar with a mind map you can use a Word doc and draw it out. I do all of my planning using mind maps and it makes it so easy and organized.
- I started out by doing some keyword research to choose the name and then I purchased it.
- I decided on what products to carry based on what people had been asking for and the information that I received asking other people what they would like to see me carry.
- I planned out each area and function and what each one would need from each display area to the processes inside of the office.
- I decided on which embroidery layouts, fonts, and designs that I was going to be offering on a stock basis.
- I purchased samples and embroidered them
- I created Product Sheets on each of these items with all of the information about the item including the price
- I created a lot of embroidery samples to hang on the wall in pictures frames such as my lettering fonts and my monogram fonts.
- I embroidered jacket back sized designs of jobs that we had done in the past and hung them around the ceiling for people to see the minute that they came into the door.
- I created price lists for the different types of items and hung them on the wall or displayed them by the area where the items where. Most of these are done in picture frames to make them attractive.
- I purchased display pieces that I would need. I used a lot of items that I had around my home that I thought would work. I was trying to keep the cost down as much as possible.
- I planned out the promotion for the Grand Opening and the follow-up.
- I purchased a 4‚’ x 12‚’ banner for the front of the building.
- I ordered a Sandwich Board and made a banner on each side and set it out on the sidewalk in front of the building.
- I also planned out the Follow-up Marketing System
Planning is the key to getting it all done and on time. I set a specific date and planned out each week as to what had to be done that week in order to have the Grand Opening on a certain date.
I went to the town board and spoke with the Economic Development director to see if there was a way that we could get some type of publicity and that was a really good move. He said that I could have a ribbon-cutting ceremony and that he would arrange that part. He gave me the names and addresses of all of the town, county and state dignitaries so I sent each one of them an invitation to attend our ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Monday before the Grand Opening date, I sent out a press release to all of the local media. I ended up having 3 radio stations and 2 TV stations represented for the ceremony. It was great! I really never expected that part, but it really turned out excellent for us. One of the TV stations did a segment on us that appeared on the evening news and one of the radio stations also did an interview and it was on the radio during the afternoon.
That has brought in a fair amount of people and I did not have to pay for any of that advertising so I was very happy with the results. I did some trade advertising on one of the local radio stations and that worked out fairly well. We had several people come in and say that they heard about us on the radio.
The amazing thing was that our neighbors had all discovered that we existed and were starting to visit us. The contract part of this business had been in this building for 7 years and no one in the neighborhood even knew there was an embroidery shop there at all! There was only a tiny sign on the door and no one you could even read from the street.
I had a banner made to put on the front of the building. At least people were seeing the banner and were curious! The sandwich board with the banner on was also working.
For the Grand Opening, we embroidered coasters to give away along with a $10.00 gift certificate that they could use towards their next purchase. We also had refreshments and a drawing for a gift basket. Our grand opening lasted 3 days, we had a lot of fun doing it and as I said earlier, it was so worth it!
I wanted to share this experience with you to help you in planning out setting up your retail area for embroidery in a small area for your products. You did not have to spend a lot of money to do this, it took more planning than money!
This would work for you even if you want to set up a spot in your home to display your products, or rent a small space in a hotel or a club that you belong to. You can plan out a customer appreciation night or a couple of nights to bring people in and show them what you have to offer. What you get out of it will more than pay for the cost of putting it together. This will make people aware of what you are doing and what you have to offer.
Promotion and marketing is very important and without it, your business will not grow in the way that you want it to. To learn more about marketing and promoting your business, go to The Embroidery Training Resource Center. Check out what is offered in the Gold Plus Level.