You're Only As Good As Your Staff
Staffing a business is one of the most important aspects of running a small enterprise. Very often the owner is the business; running a small shop this was very much my dilemma. The owner is the creative force and the personality behind the brand. However we can’t be there 24/7, 7 days a week and finding staff to help, and who bring the same passion is often a challenge. I have been very lucky in my 10 years of trading, I have been supported by a great team of individuals who have not only helped deliver the Loveone brand, but also brought their own creative talent with them. Running a small business is hugely rewarding if a little lonely at times, so having the right support around you can really help, especially during busy times like Christmas.
I have always tried to be in the shop as much as I can, especially in the early years. Now my shop feels at home on the Street, it’s been refreshing to let my colleagues take over some aspects; such as product selection, window dressing and social media. This has enabled my brand to stay relevant and dynamic. However, with challenges from the internet and out of town retail parks, customer service has never been more important; creating a great atmosphere in your shop, offering something large stores and online cannot. Our hunger for 24-hour shopping gives small businesses another headache - when to open. We have tried late night opening, and in the lead up to Christmas will be open 7 days a week. Sadly though, if there isn’t the footfall it is often not cost effective to open, and this is a real problem for many businesses.
Feedback is good; let the shop owner know what you think about their opening hours. We very much value our customers and the dialogue we have with them. This is one of the positive things about being on the Street, we really engage with the customer.
Shopping locally helps us maintain a lively small business sector that can be well staffed and open longer.