Let’s be real here. It’s about to get busy and there’s no time for overwhelm.
When back to school season rolls around, it’s a breath of fresh air for boutique owners after the dreaded summer drought. You’ve never been so excited to hear the word ‘leggings’ in your life right?
Goodbye to low margin tanks and shorts, hello FALL FASHION, layers, investment pieces, higher margins, and consumers hungry for a closet upgrade!
There are two types of boutique owners this time of year…..those who strategically approach fall and end the year with their biggest numbers yet, and those who react to fall and just hope to leave with something in their pockets when it all shakes out.
Hmmm. Which are you?
Let’s talk fall strategy and how to take on the 4th Quarter like a BOSS.
Here are 5 tips to maximize the fall fashion season for your business, so you’re ready to post your biggest numbers of the year!
1. Optimize your time.
If you don’t already use some kind of day planner, we can’t be friends. Real talk, only plans made are played. If there’s one sure fire way to waste your precious time and leave you feeling overwhelmed, it’s trying to approach your whole to do list day after day.
Use your day planner to break your week into chunks of time for specific purposes. Inventory, Buying, Social, Staff, Photos, etc. Keep time blocks of the biggest items to tackle week after week and approach them one at a time like a boss.
2. Prioritize your to-do lists.
Are you a list maker? Rather than dealing with the mental anguish of looking at the same 50-item list day after day with little progress, break that baby up into 4 unique lists.
- Weekly tasks (time blocking on your schedule)
- Most important items this week
- Plans and tasks for 2-6 months (not this week!)
- Items to outsource
Outsource? “I can’t afford that” you might be thinking. Oh yes, you can. Read on.
3. Do the 20 that gets you 80!
There are items on your lists that are urgent but not important. There are items that are very important, but not urgent.
You need to have the foresight to choose to spend your time on things that make you money (but may be big tasks), and let go of the rest. Things like cleaning, steaming, inventory, shipping, receiving, photo editing, some social media tasks (but not all!!!), errands, some customer service and invoicing — these items can be taken off your plate and should so that you can focus on using your time to build your business.
Work ON your business, not IN your business for it to flourish!
4. Plan your fall and holiday promotions NOW.
Events and promotions should be planned 2-6 months ahead of time. Last minute ideas are great, but thinking strategically, comparing last years numbers, setting goals, finding ways to collaborate with others, planning event specific photo shoots, and building customer anticipation will lead to much greater success and customer satisfaction.
What are your plans for Shop Small Saturday? We have some ideas on that from a few years ago (an oldie but a goodie here, here and here). Do you have a night out for the guys planned before Christmas? What’s on the calendar and how are you going to market it? How can you plan your buying in collections for it?
5. The money issue.
Ok, this could be a whole topic in itself, but my dear #BoutiqueBoss, let’s make sure you’re maximizing your profit. Have you addressed your price point in the market recently? Do you have an opportunity to add 1% to your profit margin on the best margins of the year? Do you ‘clearance’ your brand to death? Are you investing in more products when you know they will sell out quickly, or are you playing it too safe?
On the other hand, are you saving anything? Are you paying yourself monthly even with a small monthly transfer to your personal bank account? While this number may start small for you, this one step that not only increases your morale as you’re working your tail off, but if you have a spouse who supports your business it’s important for him to see that process taking place. While you may be paying personal bills with your business, make sure it’s coming from an account your spouse has access too so your growth and hard work are noticed!
The bottom line is this…fall is the opportunity to make the greatest profit with the greatest margins in your business, you can either optimize the opportunity, or let it slip by. Take a minute to review your financial goals and find ways to let small changes build better margins so you end the year blowing your goals out of the water!
Are you ready for cardigans and leather jackets? It’s more than a favorite fashion season, it’s a season that can make or break your bustling business!
What are you most excited for this fall, do you have a big event planned? Let us know in our Boutique Owner Facebook group, we’re already sharing ideas on the inside!
Or maybe you’re feeling like it’s time to have someone support you one on one as you take this leap, send me a personal email, each of the tips above are a piece of our new signature program, Boutique Bootcamp!
Ashley Alderson (Founder @ The Boutique Hub)
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