Trying to sell a product when the economy is grinding to a halt, many people either losing their jobs or on furlough... you could say in hindsight that it wasn't the smartest move.
But we've survived! Not only survived but thrived.
I think we hit our niche at the exact right time. A time when everyone doesn't have as much money as they did before but also a time when everyone needs that little indulgence to pick themselves up and make them themselves feel better. To be honest there wasn't a lot else to do bar shop online!! = The branded watch they want at a price they can afford.
We've learnt (even more) the importance of customer service. With limited purchases per person it's even more so about the experience, after all that's one reason why our customers come to us rather than the huge high-street stores. We are truthful and they know that they're buying a watch from someone who has a deep engrained love for watches.
3 tips I'd give someone for starting a new business....
- It sounds obvious but put your customers first. The customer is never wrong. In this day and age a disgruntled customer (even if they are not correct) can put future customers off purchasing with you. So go out of your way to ensure they are happy, even if it means taking a small knock to your bottom line or ego!
Go with the flow. When we started we had a rigid plan of where we were going to purchase watches from, what tools we would need, where we would advertise/market, what watches we would sell etc but the biggest lesson I've learnt is you have to adapt. You have to notice when the item you thought would sell best is underperforming and the item you weren't overall confident in sells out every time! You have to be able to alter your direction and note that it doesn't equal failure, it equals sense and long term success. If you keep going after something that isn't working then it isn't going to work!
- Do something you're passionate about. There are going to be times when sales aren't what you expect/would like them to be and that is the time in which it makes a real difference if you love what you're doing or not. Being able to love your product or experience can keep you motivated and keep you in love with your company.