Successful is Your Business?
Dana Huval, Huval's Boot and Shoe Repair,
Is your business as
successful as you would like it to be? If not, ask
yourself these questions:
Is my work finished on
Do I have a nice
assortment of retail items?
Are the retailed items
displayed in an organized way and clearly labeled
Do I greet my customers
before they reach my counter with a, “Hello, how are
Do I clearly explain how
their shoes, boots, purses or belts will be
repaired, if they want to know?
Is my shop in a good
location, easy-to-find, good parking and in a safe
Do I have a sign that
plainly states what I do?
Have the sidewalks been
swept and dusted in front of my shop?
Have you swept, vacuumed
and cleaned your floors?
Look at what the
customer sees. Would you feel comfortable leaving
your items there?
Above all else – do I
offer good quality repairs for my customers?
If you answered NO to any of
these, you have some work to do. Start with the front of
your shop and work toward the back. If you have old
merchandise, put it on a clearance table and mark
everything $1. You have already paid for it and it is
dead merchandise. You customer will think they have a
bargain, and in reality they have just done you a favor.
Increase your retail
inventory. If you add only $25 worth with each order, it
will add up. Sell products you use in the back room.
That way you are very comfortable in explaining to your
customers how to use them.
Shoe laces are a must-have
item. How is the display for them? That could be your
first product to work on. You can either price
everything individually or make a tag with the price on
it. If you have a point of sale system, pricing the
shelf works; but if you key every thing into the
register, I would price all the items individually so
you will not undercharge.
When customer walks into
your shop, treat them like you want to be treated. Just
start with a conversation. “Can I help you seems like
the smart question”, but you have opened yourself up to
them simply saying NO! If you need to, pretend they are
one of your favorite friends, and ask them, “How they
For repairs, my shop is
pre-pay and I would not have it another way. This means
our customers fully understand what we will do to their
favorite items in order to charge the price we need for
the job. It’s amazing how much they agree to this and to
that before you ring it up, and then they sometimes will
say; “Oh, you need me to pay for that today?”
If they change their mind I
know I will never be stuck with, unpaid repair work. I
do the work I said I would do and it is ready when I
told them it will be (if we do run late, we will call
and let the customer know we need more time). We also
call our customers when the ready-work gets placed on
the shelf for pick up.
location! How easy is it to get to your shop? If
customers have a hard time, they might find a new shop
to go to. Call a real estate customer and ask them for
suggestion? If you are in a nicer area, you can raise
your prices because of it.
What does you store front
look like on the outside? Would this summer be a good
time to hire some painters? Why not change the color and
make it obvious that you have given your shop a face
Do you have a neon OPEN
sign? You can purchase one for around $100. It is worth
every penny. Clearly showing that you are open is one of
the best things you can do.
Are you hours clearly posted
in your window? If not, they need to be.
If you are planning a vacation this summer (hopefully,
in mid July to attend our SSIA convention if Baltimore),
post that sign a month in advance so your customers can
prepare for it.
What about having some
posters made advertising the products and services you
offer? This is advertising without even opening your
Now that you have enticed
people to enter your shop, what does it look like? Are
you proud to have them enter your place of business?
Think about it, the first impression your new customer
gets can never be changed.
If the shoe fits, repair it.