A business in my area opened up a few months ago. So as not to directly identify it, I'll disguise the specifics ... imagine it was a small boutique.
To show just how exclusive they were, they posted a sign on the door that said you could only come into the store with an appointment.
Even when I saw the owners inside, the door was locked.
They would occasionally put a plastic brochure-holder on the door with suction cups. The brochures often blew away in the wind and the sign fell off the front door and cracked, but they kept re-using it.
Imagine using the front door to your business as a literature rack.
Not a great idea.
A few months after they opened, they closed. Why? Here are a few reasons:
- They created physical barriers to entering their business.
- They created psychological and time barriers by requiring that you call to make an appointment.
- They were rarely in during the hours when the other businesses around them were open.
It was as if they read a book on marketing and then tried to buck the odds by doing the OPPOSITE of being a warm and welcoming place to go!
I know their barriers seem obvious, but sometimes we do the same thing without realizing it!
Websites with links that don't work, fuzzy photos, a lack of descriptive text next to your jewelry, no guarantee (or a guarantee that shows you don't have much confidence that the buyer will like your jewelry) and many other things are silent barriers that still may stop people from buying from you.
To assess whether or not you've put up barriers without realizing it, talk with customers about their buying experience with you.
Ask them what they found easy, and what they found hard.
Also, ask a good friend to look at your website, your booth, your home party setup and every other aspect of your business and give you their HONEST feedback about any possible obstacle to the customer buying from you.
If they don't find anything, that's great!
If they do, work swiftly to remove whatever it is.
Customers rarely come back to a business that wasn't warm and welcoming.
If they do come back, sometimes the business isn't there anymore.
Labels: business failure, handmade jewelry, jewelry making, marketing jewelry, small business, stop business failure