Listen up, Saffron Souk shop keepers, this is a ‘Make’ blog post is for you.
You’ve taken the plunge and started your own brand (it’s a huge step to take, so a big congrats!). You’ve tried, tested and perfected your product line, you’ve set up some social media pages, you’ve received a great response at the weekend markets and you’ve even opened your online shop front at saffronsouk.com. Excellent start! So, what’s next?
Whether you’ve been up and running for a while or are brand-spanking new, we’re here to share our top 5 tips for how you can make it happen and really get your brand out there and noticed.
Saffron Souk is all about community. Although your brand is a small one, we are strong together.
Customers who like your shop are likely to also like the things being sold by your fellow shop keepers. That being said, your fellow shop keepers are not your competition, they are part of your community. Get that souk mentality on the go and support each other.
Promoting your Saffron Souk shop front makes good business sense for you and for the Saffron Souk community as a whole.
It might sound obvious, but you need to tell everyone (and we do mean everyone!) about your business and the existence of your online shop front.
Promote your online shop as you would your attendance at a physical market.
Include your direct shop front URL everywhere (and we do mean everywhere!). Business cards, your email signature, packaging, press mentions and social media pages, just to name a few. Upload the Saffron Souk Facebook App, post product links on your social media pages, send newsletter emails out to your client list.
Get those personalised graphics from your Saffron Souk Sellers Starters Kit working for you and print flyers to hand out at the physical markets. Market goers make up a large part of your target audience (they have made a trip to the market because they like to shop at small brands, right?) so don’t miss the opportunity to let them know where they can find you between events or out of market season.
For a cash-strapped small brand, social media is an amazing marketing tool to raise awareness of your brand and product range.
Spending just a few minutes a day posting product photos, updates or offers to engage your fans and followers can make a noticeable difference to the success of your brand.
We all like to see our social stats increasing, but cash in on the opportunity and make sure you’re sending your fans and followers to your online shop front…it is where the checkout is, after all. Add your URL and let them know they can click through to your online shop and make an immediate purchase.
Apologies for the sporty analogy, but don’t loose sight of the goal – you want to convert that sale rather than score another like.
Along with being social online, get out there and be social in the real world. There are regular networking events being held throughout the Gulf. Start meeting up, sharing your experiences and swapping tips and of course, spread the word about your brand.
A change is as good as a holiday and making simple adjustments to your shop front can attract new interest and draw back your existing fan base.
Change up your banner, offer gift wrapping, free shipping, have a sale. Add new listings so your regulars have some fresh stock to buy and list the product range you have available at physical markets.
Are your product photos a true representation of your products and does the styling reflect your branding? Improve the quality of your photos, change the order of them to test the clicks a different cover image gets or trial a different photography style.
Now that your online shop front looks spectacular, ensure your customer service matches your customer’s expectations!
Everyone is busy but is your busyness effective? Are you busy doing the right things?
There’s no denying that starting and running a small business can push you to your busyness limit. It can feel like a juggling act, with family life to work around, perhaps a day job, other commitments and maybe even a social life thrown in the mix. Time management can be challenging!
When it comes to growing your business, focusing on the essentials (yes, even the bits you don’t really like to do) is key, particularly when there’s no one to delegate to.
Don’t procrastinate, don’t get bogged down in the detail. Be efficient and organised, plan ahead, write lists and set yourself targets.
Nobody said going in to business was easy and we know that it can be incredibly daunting, but that brings us back to Tip No.1 – you’re part of a creative community. Support the Saffron Souk community and it will support you.
Will your small brand be a success? We believe in you, so make it happen!