Alicia Harris has run an at-home business since 2001, providing personalized decorator services and custom-made baby furniture with the help of her husband, Nicholas, who is a carpenter. The business has finally grown enough for Alicia to open an actual retail storefront.
Goodnight Moon’s current loyal customer base has been quick to spread the word, but business isn’t increasing the way Alicia had hoped. The store location is in a popular shopping strip in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Surrounded by family-friendly stores and within range of other children’s boutiques, Goodnight Moon offers a unique alternative to chain retailers by offering a personalized home decorator service. Alicia needs to find a way to promote her new business and bring in new clients.
Alicia and Nicholas decided to start their marketing strategy with custom window signs. They spent $1,500 to hire a professional photographer to create images of a custom-designed nursery and some of Goodnight Moon’s unique baby furniture. Alicia knew these pictures could be used for a variety of marketing material in the future-not just the signs. Using one of the nursery photos, Alicia created a full-window display using one-way vision material. The full-color material displays an attractive advertisement outside the store, but is see-through from the inside, allowing natural light in the store.
- Taking your business from the home to a storefront is a big move, so be prepared for a struggle at first. Marketing is going to be crucial to make your store succeed-make sure your customers can clearly see what your store sells by using effective signage.
- High-quality images of your products and services are well worth the money. You can use them on store signage, print advertisements, your website, your commercials, etc. It’s an upfront, one-time expense that will pay off over time.
- Offer a special or promotion for new customers. This lessens the "risk" involved with trying your business, and it gives you an opportunity to build a loyal client.