Earlier this month we shared some great retail tips from Nancy Georges, this week we are sitting down with Nancy to talk business strategy, implementation and retail do’s and don’ts!
1. Originally you started a wholesale business called Paper Magnolia and have grown into The Retail Miss Fix-It, can you tell us how this transition happened?
I started Paper Magnolia in 2004. A few years into it I realized that the retail model is no longer sustainable going forward, that technology changed how producers and retailers access each other. I had to make a decision, I only had 2 options:
1. Be the brand builder and open stores and find other suitable retailers
2. Change occupations
I chose #2 – I had started to use social media for Paper Magnolia and had retailers asking for help getting into Social Media, which invariably lead to a business development meeting…. And the rest as they say is history!!
2. What one mistake do you see retailers make frequently that they often aren’t aware of?
This is a hard one! I have to say there are 2:
1. I would say it is that they have their blinkers on and are not up to date with what is happening outside their walls.
If they aware they are not sure how to make change.
2. They don’t consider that as retailers, they are businesses as well. A retailer runs a business, not a hobby. Commercial considerations and expectations must be applied.
3. Can you explain why a retail strategy is key for a business looking to grow?
A strategy gives the business direction and clarity. A lot of thought and process are invested in creating and developing it – the ‘thinking’. Once created, then it ‘simply’ needs to be executed – the ‘doing’, assessing and measuring. The energy and resources should not be spent on thinking and doing at the same time. The strategy provides the ‘blueprint’ and instruction for the direction of the next steps.
4. What advice can you provide to retailers who are finding it tough during this transition period?
Seek the information and those who can help you. You probably don’t know what you don’t know, so begin to learn with an open mind.
Subscribe to newsletters; business, retail, product, technology, consumer media. Don’t take what you don’t know as personal criticism, the changes in the past few years were rapid and unprecedented! Start by creating your strategy!
5. What is the core message of your business?
Working with businesses to provide insights into creating a business that is inline with the current marketplace and practices, to identify the areas they need to address to create a more profitable business and to provide support and education to make the changes happen.
6. What information do you regularly share with retailers and wholesalers?
1. Definitely insights and information they didn’t know!
2. Case studies of great retail execution.
3. Retail business discussion.
4. Answers to some of their questions.
5. Help to take the next steps.