Sunday, November 11, 2012

business on a budget.

I'm gonna be honest. Running a business is hard. Running a business in a recession is even harder! For a retail business to stay alive there are a number of elements that need to be present like good quality stock, good customer service, an online presence etc. but these days your budget is probably quite low to take care of your business all by itself. That's when you need to get your thinking cap on. Here's a few tips I've learned:

1. Get creative. Have you seen Brown Thomas Christmas window this year? It is amazing but you gotta think about how much money they spent on it. Get creative with your displays. My current window display cost 8 euro (the cost of two polka dot umbrellas!) I did have a head start with some props I've collected over the years, and my window marker has been invaluable to nearly every window display but if you just think about what you have available to you in shops, do a bit of brainstorming and your display can be created for the price of two coffees!

2. Get busy. Always have something going on in your store. Either a sale, an event or a secret project in the pipeline! You can't just open your store and expect people to stay interested a year later. Think of ways to keep people interested. A sale every season is a good idea anyway to make room for new stock but having a sale for one day just for students, for example, is a nice treat and people appreciate it too.
 Last year, I designed a dress collection for the store called The Icon Collection (read about it HERE and peek at the Audrey dress HERE!) and that really caught peoples attention and it was an amazing project to do anyway.
 As time goes on, you need to keep your store active. It will not only help your business but you'll enjoy doing it too!

3. Get out there. Get on Facebook. Get on Twitter. Get your friends to help you hand out some flyers. Get involved in events. Get doing photoshoots. Most of these are free or cost very little and people need to be reminded of your business every so often. Just because it's on your brain all the time doesn't mean it's on theirs!

 I have learned a lot in the past 2 years my store has been opened and I have to say thinking outside the box and being a bit frugal goes a long way. And with the help and support of your family, friends and customers old and new your business can survive. Thanks for reading!


  1. You have such a great imagination for your window displays! Well done on staying open in these very hard times; I know what it's like myself with a small coffee shop in Blackpool. The very best of luck for the future :)

  2. Thanks Caroline! Had a look at your blog, its lovely! Hope the cafe is doing well xxx