Rebecca’s 5/5 Promo You Need To Copy – Rebecca Harper

Today I’ve got a real go-getter on the show, Rebecca from Weft and Warp Fabrics. She is no stranger to challenges – she opened her store while still teaching full-time! But with the support of her husband and some creative promotions, she’s really leveling up.

I was blown away when I heard about Rebecca’s secret sale. She took Dionne’s epic clearance to the next level with bundles, mystery, and gamification. The results? Over $7k in the first hour! She crushed it. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing – she had to get real with herself about staffing as the biz grew.

What I love most is that Rebecca is always looking to improve. She’s not afraid to admit when she needs help either. Her insights will have you feeling inspired to level up your store too.

_______

Promotions and inventory management with a retailer who received a five-star review. 0:02

Opening a fabric shop, husband’s support, and personal growth. 5:06

Body image and clothing fit, with a focus on tailoring and self-expression. 10:53

Sustainable fashion, fabric sourcing, and opening a physical store. 15:48

Adapting to online retail during COVID-19 lockdown. 20:44

Challenges faced during COVID-19 pandemic and how a sewing business adapted and grew. 25:08

Business ownership and seeking help to overcome challenges. 30:29

Preparing for a warehouse clearance sale, using gamification and email marketing to attract customers. 42:28

Marketing strategies for a fabric store during a sale event. 48:31

The success of a clothing sale and the importance of changing stock to keep customers engaged. 53:16

Setting goals and overcoming slumps in business. 57:32

Marketing strategies for a small business, including email marketing, promotions, and gamification. 1:02:54

Leadership, growth, and systems for business success. 1:08:45

Hey there,
Sal here!

Ready to step up and scale your business…I’ve got you!

LISTEN NOW on The Bringing Business To Retail Podcast

Salena Knight 0:02
Hey there, and welcome to the bringing business to retail podcast. If you're looking to get more sales, more customers, master your marketing, and ultimately take control of your retail or E commerce business, then you're in the right place. I'm Celina Knight, a retail growth strategist and multi award winning store owner whose superpower is uncovering exactly what your business requires. To move to the next level, I'll provide you with the strategies, the tools and the insight you need to scale your store. All you need to do is take action, ready to get started?

Salena Knight 1:00
Hey there on today's show, I want to share with you my five gold stars that I gave to Rebecca, but it is very rare for me to give five out of five for something. But I recently was listening in with our straightaway I was listening in I was having a conversation with one of our strategic coaches, Daniel, about all of the people that we're working with. And the great thing is we have a daily team meeting and we we can talk about all of the people we're working with, and we brainstorm any issues as a team to make sure that everybody is moving fast. But anyway, he mentioned that Rebecca had a promotion. And when he told me about the promotion, I was gobsmacked. I was like, oh my goodness, I cannot believe that she thought of it. Needless to say she ran the promotion had the biggest grossing day a store had ever had. And by her own admission, She only did about half of the things that we suggest that you do in our ultimate promotion run sheet. Now, us here on this episode, she gives us four things that she did, that I had not considered when it came to running a promotion, especially when it was a promotion to get rid of old inventory. So she got four stars for those things, because I don't talk about them in my nine ways to move inventory in that program. We also have a bunch of bonuses, and we have case studies from people who have gone and ran promotions, and all the things that they did to hit these record numbers like 30,000 in a day, 60,000 in a day, $150,000 in a weekend, all those kinds of things. And people will walk in retailers are such good people. And they will tell you all of the things that they did. But I had never heard of someone putting all of these things together these four things that Rebecca is going to share with you in today's episode. So if you are thinking about having a promotion, or if you are thinking about getting rid of old imagery, you must listen to this episode. But before I go, I haven't mentioned why I'm giving her five out of five. And the fifth one comes and I don't mention these on the episode, which is why I wanted to jump back in and say it beforehand. Because I literally breast I stopped recording and I was like, Oh, I meant to be five out of five because I forgot the other thing that we had talked about. And the other thing was that when she got her team on board for this promotion, that it it changed everything in their business, she utilized her team to prepare for the big promotion. And she'll walk you through how she did that. But as a result, it created this collective atmosphere that just the the energy just pushed everyone forward. And they were so excited coming into the promotion. So Rebecca, as you're listening, here, I am saying you get five out of five because not only did you run a cracking promotion, that includes a whole bunch of stuff that I hadn't thought of and you get all the credit for this, but you get that fifth gold star for the fact that you utilize this to bring your team together. So with that said, let's jump into today's episode with Rebecca Harper of weft and warp. Hey there and welcome to today's episode of the brainy business to retail Podcast. Today I have on the show someone who has done something that I have never heard of before and I was so astounded when I heard about what Rebecca did that I decided that we had no option but to get her on the show and see if she will spill her secrets for us. So if you have been wondering how you can bring in some more customers if you can get rid of some old inventory and do something that your competitors aren't doing. Then you have to listen to today's show. Hey there,

Unknown Speaker 5:00
Rebecca. Welcome. Thanks, Elena.

Salena Knight 5:02
So tell me about how you got into retail in the first place.

Speaker 1 5:06
Well, I guess that's a story that goes a really long way back in time, probably about 10 to 12 years ago, we first looked at the idea of opening up a shop. But at the time, the numbers really didn't make sense. So we walked away from it for a while. And then fast forward to 2020 when everything turned Pu and life got very, very difficult for lots of people. I, I had just started a brand new job. I was a high school science teacher for about 15 years. And I'd started this new job at a new school. And then six weeks later was the first lockdown that happened in my local area here.

Salena Knight 5:46
Wow, crash quitter sweet was in teaching for a while it

Speaker 1 5:49
was it was because I just taken up a management position, it was actually appalling timing, because it meant that I really didn't get the opportunity to get to know people who are at the same level as me. And it actually really ruined the job, you know, on a number of levels, but it became increasingly difficult to have that kind of job when all of that was going on. And at the end of my first year in that position, it was a school holidays over Christmas when we have a really long Christmas holiday period. And I went for a walk with my husband to this look out, it's sort of seemed like, I don't know, to me, it feels like a kind of a weird and iconic place to have a bit of an epiphany. But we were having one of our semi regular, what do you want to be when you grow up conversations?

Salena Knight 6:37
And those conversations? Yeah,

Speaker 1 6:39
we have them all the time you think you think I'm 51? Now, you'd think I would have figured out what I want to be when I grow up by this stage. But now these are conversations that we seem to have reasonably brief that reasonably frequently. So it was sitting in this really iconic location that's called Red Hill. And there's this beautiful look out that's looking out over the city of Canberra, which is where we live. And we were having this conversation and he said to me, what do you want to be when you grow up? And I said, Well, you know what the answer to that question is, you know, that I've always wanted to open a fabric shop. And what he said to me really, really stuck with me. He said, Well, why don't you and it was really sweet. I just shake goosebumps right

Salena Knight 7:23
now. Yep.

Speaker 1 7:25
You know, in terms of the location for this conversation to just sort of wedge yourself in my brain is, yep, this is where this took place. I will never forget this conversation. And those words, why don't you I could not shake them. I tried very hard to go back to work at the end of January of that year. And those words would not go away. And so by it took about until about April. But that was the stage at which we'd found a place to rent. And he was very actively in the background, trying to get everything up and running for me. Because I was in I was in a contract position. So I was required to work until the end of the year. So I was kind of stuck. But we felt that if we didn't get moving, then we'd lose the momentum would perhaps lose the opportunity just to just to come in. In April,

Salena Knight 8:22
you found a location, but you have to work in your nine to five, oh, you're not talking about nine to five, not nine to five, you have to work through a full time job. But you're gonna open a bricks and mortar store. Yep. Okay. We'll come back to that. Yeah, that's okay.

Speaker 1 8:39
So this is sort of partially also because my husband had been working for himself as the consultant. And so he'd been in business to himself for a few years. And he was all about trying to help me get the sort of freedom that he was liking to have in the work that he was doing. He could see that I was working harder and harder, and not really achieving anything, certainly not having a life. And the whole pandemic thing just made that about a billion times worse. So yeah, he was he was in the background really doing all the hard work of setting stuff up. You know, he's

Salena Knight 9:17
a keeper, isn't he?

Speaker 1 9:18
I was gonna say it's like the ultimate gift of love. Really, the fans done all this stuff in the back. And I think to bring my dream to life,

Salena Knight 9:25
and I think we all need that cheerleader. I have always said My husband is my cheerleader. He's not my confidant or he's not somebody I go to necessarily for advice, because he doesn't feel comfortable giving it to me. He's just there to cheer me on when I feel like I can't do it. But it sounds like your husband not only is a cheerleader, but he's like in their boots and all making it work for you. He really

Speaker 1 9:50
was and I think what might have helped with this is when he was growing up, his mom had a similar style of shop. He was also a teacher and There was a period in the 1980s, when she could not get work as a teacher. And so she opened a craft shop where they lived. Funny, funny story, our younger sisters were friends growing up, and I've actually known him for most. Anyway, I remember his mum shop because my mum used to work there one day a week. So it's

Salena Knight 10:24
very interesting. Circle is

Speaker 1 10:26
very much full circle. So when I was when I was up to my neck in it with my day job, he was in the background, looking for suppliers and finding things. And he said that he didn't realize how much of what he'd experienced growing up really stayed with him. Because he was looking at things and going oh, yeah, I know what that is. And it was because he'd been exposed to it as a kid. Because that was what his mom did. So he's obviously made

Salena Knight 10:53
a go of it. And she made a living from it. Because for years

Speaker 1 10:57
until, until, yeah, and she did want to be teaching full time. So she, she did go back, ultimately to teaching. And there were a whole lot of things that happened in the 1980s with tariffs and things in Australia, that made the sort of work that she was doing in her shop, really not financially viable. And so she was always ultimately going to go back being a teacher anyway. But it was just interesting how he had all these things like the thread that is used for sewing clothing together. He knew exactly what he was looking for. And he said, this hasn't changed since the 1980s. So there were things like that he definitely knew what he was doing. And that was, yeah, I'm lucky to have had somebody that had that background, because he just what he wasn't starting from zero.

Salena Knight 11:42
I just think that's amazing. Like, what are the what are the chances? What are the chance? What are the chances that you've picked? When I opened my store? I sidenote, he, I don't really like kids, especially babies. And I opened a baby store, which just we I know, in hindsight, why is because I been pregnant, I had all these things I wanted, and they didn't, it was very eco focused. And this was back in the mid 2000s. And we just didn't have that. And so mine was a case of you know, I've always been ecologically ecologically focused, and we don't have these products. I just want them so I went off and got them. And it was like, Oh, well, I could sell these things. So very, very different industry a very niche. And of course, it was one of those things for me. And I guess this is a different different scenario for you. But for me, it was once Lana turned, I think about seven, I was so disconnected from babies, that, and I grown the business to the point where it had worked without me that I was just bored. Whereas you've opened a business, I'm assuming we have something that you love doing. Yeah, and that's fabric. Well,

Speaker 1 12:56
I guess it's more than fabric, I would say, a really big part of what we do is we actually help people with how they feel about their bodies. Because a lot of the time when people walk into clothing shops, they're incredibly disappointed by what they see. Because mass production of garments, yeah, my life too. Just for context, I am 150 centimeters tall, which is four foot 11 and a half in Imperial. So my whole life, I have struggled with getting clothes that fit me and not only lengthwise, but from top to bottom across three or four different sizes. So I'm actually a normal human being. And I think one of the really important conversations that I have with people is you have the body you have and there's nothing wrong with it. It's carried you through life. The issue is that the people who are manufacturing, ready to wear clothing are making them for a really narrow range of body measurements. Yeah, a very, very

Salena Knight 13:52
small portion. And then like you said, that makes us feel terrible. I'm the same my my waist is much more than my hips and I'm forever trying to get belts just to keep your pants up. And it does make us feel terrible within ourselves. So that I mean that carries through. I want to I want to find out how that carried. I've got so many questions here. I'm just gonna write. I'm gonna write that question down. Back to that one.

Unknown Speaker 14:19
Okay to you. I'm just trying to think where were we? Yes,

Salena Knight 14:22
I was you make people feel better about their bodies. I

Speaker 1 14:25
really like to, because humans have evolved to wear clothes. And it's not frivolous to say that people deserve to have clothes that fit them. It's a matter of safety. If your clothes are too big, then then you are in danger. If they're too small, then obviously you're not going to be comfortable. It's not a frivolous, it's not a frivolous things don't really make a difference.

Salena Knight 14:51
And to me, I did a style course many many years ago. And for me that was not just about color and and body shape. It was about bringing your personality out into the clothes that you wear. And it's amazing once you understand what works for you, how different clothes become, and how confident you can be when you look good, and you feel good. And the shops today don't make us feel like that.

Speaker 1 15:21
No, no. And so many people who walked through my door have that same, that same experience. And it's not just, I mean, I would say we have some very definite extremes of ages, who walked through the door here. So we have quite a few people who are at retirement age or approaching retirement age, who are finding that they've got more time on their hands and would like to either learn to sew, or to relearn how to sew, and make clothes that fit them. So that's one group. We've also got a whole lot of millennials who are super interested in minimizing their impact. That's my daughter, my

Salena Knight 15:55
daughter isn't a millennial, my daughter's pod still

Unknown Speaker 15:59
knows very well, yeah, she's

Salena Knight 16:01
a, he's just started trying to make her own clothes.

Speaker 1 16:04
So we have a lot of people who are very, very aware of trying to minimize their impact. They are conscious of the whole fast fashion cycle. And once you start making clothes for yourself, you realize exactly how long it takes. And that if you're buying a $5 T shirt somewhere, if you're not paying for it, then somebody else is

Salena Knight 16:24
somebody else's. I know. Yeah. And you just see that my daughter will actually say that when we go shopping, we do a lot of thrifting. Yeah, but she will go shopping, and she'll be like, I don't understand how they can sell it because she understands cost of goods. And she's like, by the time that the store puts on their margin, and it gets here, like, it must have cost sense. And then and that and the person who sold it is still making money on that. So how much did the person who make it made it get?

Speaker 1 16:52
So the person who's the most vulnerable in the whole chain is the one who's ultimately paying

Salena Knight 16:57
the price? Yeah, yep. And that's something that we have to change. Yeah,

Speaker 1 17:01
I look, I know, I know that what I offer here is not for everybody. I know that because I very deliberately sourced my fabrics, mostly from Europe. I'm not going to pretend for one minute that the chain of the manufacturer of fabric is squeaky clean thing, because it's far from it. But my approach is to do do a less amount of harm. So if I buy the majority of my fabrics from Europe, yes, it means that they're going to be more expensive. But it means that I can have a better idea of the environmental conditions under which it's been produced. The labor standards under which it's been produced, I can have a fair I can have a better idea of where it's come from. Whereas for some some parts of the world, I can't have that view. And I live in a part of the world where we've got lots of very smart, educated people who care about that kind of thing. So I am reflecting to a certain extent, what people who walk in my door want, they want to know where things come from, they care about that sort of thing. Can we come back to that?

Salena Knight 18:00
I just have a few questions that I want to get back to. If we can just back up to we found a store in Valerie found a shop. Yep. Yeah. But you still had a contract to teach until the? Until December. Yeah. Yeah. Tell me what happened in that time, because my brain is sitting here going. So you found the Locate? Did you open the location? I reckon everyone else, they say yes. So

Speaker 1 18:23
here's, here's, here's the crazy thing. So we, we got access to the shop on the I think it was like the first week of April, in that year in 2021. And because the consulting work was a little bit lean for my husband at that time, he just dove straight in and did all of the fit out things that needed to happen. So we went and bought some carpet tiles from a place in Sydney, and he laid them all himself and his poor old. It didn't go very well after that. But he got all of that sort of stuff sorted out in the background. And I think because we had a landlord, who is very, he's who's rich for a reason, I guess, um, he didn't cut us any ice in the deal, in terms of giving us a free period, while we're getting up and running. So we really effectively had no choice but to start trading as soon as possible, because we were paying rent. Yeah, we didn't get that rent free period. We've moved since then. And I'll get back to that later. And our new landlord is just a lovely person in terms of giving us a helping hand with that sort of thing. But at the very beginning, yet we were there and we were paying rent. And so we were very conscious of the fact that we really needed to be making some money on this space that we were hiring out. So we were approached by somebody who became our first employee because we'd started putting stuff out on Facebook and Instagram just sort of giving hints that we were going to exist because in the meantime, I think it must have been sometime in 2020 there was another fabric shop in Canberra that did exist that the business next door had a couple of The buyers, and it completely destroyed their business because it all got smoke affected, and they ultimately ended up closing down. So for a good year, before we decided to really go ahead with this, there was a whole, you know, there was no better quality fabric shops for clothing in Canberra that existed, the only other options were the big book shops like spotlight for people to go to. And, you know, we're very different from that we're not trying to be that. So I had a, I would say I had a fabric shaped hole in my heart that needed to be built, I wasn't in a position to go to Sydney or Melbourne to go and fill it with what I consider to be quality fabric. And there's something very tactile about fabric. As hard as I try to represent it online, it's really hard to do it. There's nothing like you know, the way it feels the way that it moves. And you can't be bricks and mortar retail, or giving people the ability to get that sensation. You know, if I can find some way to do it brilliantly online, I probably would go down that path. But at the moment, not nothing beats the field, you will never get a true sense of exactly what it's like until you put your hands on it. So we were very conscious of that gap in the market in Canberra. And that is also part of the reason why we wanted to move as quickly as we did. We didn't want somebody else jumping into that space, because we had no idea whether anybody else was considering the same thing. So we got to the point where we really really had to open and so we opened up on the 21st of July in 2021, which was Saturday. So that's sort of halfway through that that year that I was in, in my teaching year. And then 12 days later, was when the really really hard lockdown happened here in the ICT. So we were planning on being mostly bricks and mortar initially. And we thought, yeah, we'll have a little bit of time where we can get our online store up and running. Oh, no, no, we were we were at home for literally months, we were not allowed out of the house for anything other than groceries. And so we had to figure out a way fairly quickly that we could still try and make some money on this thing that we were paying rent on. But because we didn't when we opened have an online store, we had to do some stuff fairly quickly. Okay, so I'm just gonna stop you there

Salena Knight 22:19
for a moment. What was the plan? If we hadn't have gone into lockdown? What was the plan for you to be trading? Online trading in a bricks and mortar store yet still doing your teaching? Consulting? Yes. Yep. Pow.

Speaker 1 22:33
So help. Well, we were closed on Mondays and Tuesdays just to have a couple of days a week where nothing happened to him. I didn't have to worry about stuff. So we were open from Wednesday to Saturday, we had my husband and our first staff member working Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And then he was in the shop with me on Saturdays and Sundays. So I would teach a whole week and then I was in the shop on Saturdays and Sundays. Right. That

Salena Knight 23:01
was that was the very that was that's a very busy plan.

Speaker 1 23:05
I'm not really. Yeah. When

Salena Knight 23:08
you think back on it. Oh, yeah. The lockdown. Seems like it was maybe a blessing in disguise. Oh, gosh,

Speaker 1 23:15
I'm not sure that we could have, yes, a blessing in disguise because it kicked us up the backside. And it made us think about being online. And we hadn't really explored that up until that point. But we really had no choice. Yes, but also, it gave us time to sort stuff out. Because in the first 12 days of trading, we figured out pretty quickly stuff that we just gotten wrong. Right? ways that things were laid out, like, you know, even things like the position of our front counter, it was in a terrible position.

Salena Knight 23:48
It's amazing when you have people in a space. Yeah, I know with you, I have exactly the same thing when you said the counter. I remember we had our counter in one spot. And then a week later, I had to drag my husband to move the counter to a completely different spot.

Speaker 1 24:03
Yep. And it was purely because of the position of the sun coming in in the morning. And then in the afternoon, where it was. And we didn't know this because we hadn't had the space for long enough to really interrogate this. But we were in full afternoon sun and it was very, very unpleasant to be the head and trying to work when the sun's coming in at you like it. So we it gave us the opportunity to get our online store set up. It gave us the opportunity to try some different layouts inside the store that had its own challenges, because here in the AC t, we were working towards a certain date that we'd be reopening. And then our chief minister who's like the politician here, he brought the dates back a week. So we were still at the shop on the Friday night before everything was allowed to open back up again with paint and with all sorts of things trying to get the new counter that we'd built. Because we were like we had a week less than we thought we were going to have so we were in At the end of October, I guess by this stage, so, for me, you're right, that period of lockdown was a bit of a blessing in disguise. Because as the time went on, the conditions changed slightly and they eased off. And so we were allowed to come into the shop to provide orders. And we could provide a click and collect service for people to come and pick things up, even though they weren't physically allowed to come into the shop, we could greet them at the door and say, Here, here's your bag of whatever. Something that probably really saved us was the fact that we have an A zero size printer. A lot of modern dressmaking pattern designers don't give you a physical patent anymore, what they do is they give you Yeah, yep, it's a revolution in the way that people go about dress making these days, you don't have to go and buy a little patent envelope like you might have done back in the day. And I think the patents are a lot better. A lot of them are, they send you a PDF file, which you can then either print at home if you have a printer, or you can send it to me and I can print it off in ACI format for you. And so that the AZ or printing service was something that really, really saved our bacon, because people were doing a lot of sewing because a lot of them didn't have many other things to do. What else are you doing in

Salena Knight 26:12
lockdown? Yep. So

Speaker 1 26:13
they were buying sewing patterns. And they were getting us to print them. And even though it's a very small low value item, on a per page basis. Yeah, I think it was something that really saved our bacon

Salena Knight 26:28
actually ran running what you customers that you didn't have even bothered to look in the past, like people just would have printed them at home. And so were you finding during this period that people would do the printing and order the fabric from you as well.

Speaker 1 26:42
Or they would also buy things like thread or elastic or whatever they needed to complete the project that we're working on. Well, worldwide sales of sewing machines went berserk during COVID. Like it's the highest that they've ever been ever hold,

Salena Knight 26:57
which we can understand people had time on their hands and we wanted to keep

Speaker 1 27:01
busy. And I think you needed to keep busy. Whereas crazy people like me had a full time job that did not go away and decided to open a new business at same time. Okay, that

Salena Knight 27:11
is the perfect segue to I guess my next question, which I mean, you had some obstacles thrown at you you had locked down, you had a full time job. But once we got past that, and we opened back up again, what did you find? Were those really big, like brick walls where you just felt like you were moving through mud? Because I know that we all have them. What were yours?

Speaker 1 27:34
I still think you know, by the time we opened back up, I still had a good six or eight weeks, where I had to still be a full time teacher. And

Salena Knight 27:46
your like, contract ever gonna end?

Speaker 1 27:48
Well see. And I guess the other complication was I was in a management position. So I was also looking after a whole lot of people. Same time, you know? Why? Anyway. So I still really, I don't think I really got my head fully in the game of this, this business until the week before Christmas of that year, because that was the point at which I detached from being a teacher. And the very next day, I came and started working here full time. So from Yep, about the 20th of December, in our full time here.

Salena Knight 28:24
So I'm guessing Christmas probably like just you had a few days before the Christmas break, which is a big thing here for us, because that's our summer holidays at the same time. Yep. Did it feel like a whole bunch of realization slapped you in the face? Or were you still in the honeymoon phase over there?

Speaker 1 28:41
I don't think I was in the honeymoon phase. I think realistically, it took me I'm gonna say a good six months of being here full time to really, really get over a whole lot of things. I would say there was a fair bit of trauma associated with the previous couple of years and work and all sorts of things. And so I don't think I was particularly great at what I was doing in the first little while. I was certainly still trying to figure things out. And we were not, we weren't. We weren't that big at that stage. We were in a location where people they only knew about us if they knew about us. It wasn't in the kind of place where you would just stumble across us. It was not a stumble across

Salena Knight 29:26
us kind of being the world's best kept secret in retail is not a good thing. Not it's

Speaker 1 29:30
not a good thing. It's not a good thing. So I honestly don't remember a whole heap of that first six months. Wow. Being here. Because I was also I think stupidly trying to maintain my teacher registration because I was trying to maintain the ability to go back to teaching if I had to, and Woody in both camps. Yeah, it was your workout plan. It was my backup plan. It was my backup plan. And that required me to do a certain number of days each year of casual teaching to maintain my If registration, which meant that I had to be available to work on Mondays and Tuesdays, which was the day that the shop was closed, as well. And so I was on, I was ready to be on call from sort of 630 in the morning. And that was not a pleasant sensation either on what were my two days off of the week. And even though you've gone

Salena Knight 30:19
through Tallinn, you still weren't. So it sounds like to so that was for six more months after you went all in. You

Unknown Speaker 30:27
kind of went all in? Oh, no, no.

Salena Knight 30:30
And how do you think that affected the business? Look, I

Speaker 1 30:33
feel to a certain extent, having now reached out to get some help. I think that I'm probably only really now getting to the point where I'm getting to grips with what I need to do. And that might sound like an incredibly naive thing to say, when we're nearly three years in, but it's really taken really figure it out

Salena Knight 30:54
and get smart like that people go 10 or 15 years without having that realization.

Speaker 1 31:01
I think, you know, I've said this to Daniel, and I've said this to a few other people, I wouldn't have dreamed of stepping inside a classroom with a bunch of teenagers without having some sort of background or qualification or knowledge. What the hell made me think that I could walk into retail and know what I know what I was doing. Like, I almost feel for the amount of things that I've learned since joining your program a couple of months ago, I have learned more in the last few months than I did in the last three years. And it's eye opening to discover how much I didn't know and how much I still have to learn. And once again, back to what why was I thinking I could just common sense my way out of this because I believe in that I'm a teacher. And I'm also a scientist. So like, I could just walk in here and know what I was doing.

Salena Knight 31:54
I mean, I think the naivety, I look back and say I had a degree in business. And I'm gonna tell you it made no difference to me opening a business. I failed accounting twice. It took me three goes. And it was funny because it wasn't until I opened my retail store. And I remember sitting at the counter with an Excel spreadsheet going,

Speaker 1 32:15
Oh my God. It's funny. Yeah, all those numbers were funny.

Salena Knight 32:20
And I just wish somebody would have said that to me. And I probably wouldn't have failed the first two times. But when I realized that double journey journal, bookkeeping was just money moving from one account to another to another. It made sense. Yeah. And I'm like, Why didn't someone tell me that? So, okay, let's fast forward to you just said, when you reached out to get help, why did you reach out to get help?

Speaker 1 32:46
Yeah, look, I think that's a really good question. Because for a variety of reasons, my husband has decided to go back to paid employment. He was finding consulting, very lonely, and the peaks and troughs of the money that you make with consulting, he just wanted to do something that had some steady income. So as of January this year, he's back in a full time job. And he's also it's been pretty tumultuous for him, I would say, because he's now in the boss position, because he's both have little meltdown. Anyway. Um, yeah, so he's got a

Salena Knight 33:23
lot on his plate right now. He's certainly and I can imagine, as much as he wants to be your cheerleader, he's kind of got stuff he needs to deal with.

Speaker 1 33:30
And I need to also not be leaning as heavily on him, because I know that I have most certainly been doing that for the majority of the last three years. So the whole change of employment for him has meant that he's had to withdraw. And it's made me really see the places where he was holding things up for me. And I don't mean holding up by stopping I mean, holding up as in supporting and letting us do the things that need to happen. And so I've been learning about all of those things that he's just been doing in the background, without me really, fully appreciating what has happened. But I also look at it as a really fantastic opportunity for me to take the reins. And for me to be the one who's in charge and to make the decisions. Really, and for it to become my business. Yeah, so I do, I do think he has a really useful opportunity. But in in all of that, we are still doing all of the things and I know that that's something that we may need to move away from. It needs to be getting the kind of expert assistance in various areas. And we haven't done that yet. But I know that it's something that we need to do and it's it this is all of the things that I'm learning that I really need to reach out and ask for help. And so when I'm pretty sure it was an ad on Instagram that I saw, that made me go down the path of looking into what your your program was because I had done another online course which was about, you know, business. But what I've discovered about a lot of other business programs is they're very generic. And I think that they are much better suited to online only businesses, or to service based businesses, or maybe people that have a really narrow, narrow offering.

Salena Knight 35:18
And so nurses are so different, there are different staffing is different the way you communicate your offer, and the types of offers that you have. So very, very different.

Speaker 1 35:29
So when I saw something that was offering me really specific support, appropriate to the kind of business that I have, like, Yep, okay, let me have a look into this. And then I would say I started doing a whole lot of bench podcasting of going back in time, and listening to various because if

Salena Knight 35:50
you're going to be working with someone or the you, this is like a sound of my research. Yeah, this is the research because here's a newsflash, if you think you want to work with somebody, and you say to them, and I get some testimonials, we're only going to give you the good stuff, like, it's gatekeeping. And so all the testimonials in the world aren't going to help you in terms of making a decision. Sure, you can go off and look at reviews and see. But even reviews are really difficult, because you don't know, if that person showed up and did the work, like you don't know both sides of the story. And I think it's it becomes really, really difficult because you have to want to gel with the person and you have to understand what you need and what they can give you. And I think this is where you are obviously very, very savvy here. But I think this is where a lot of people fall down. I know that the way that I communicate. And our three core values are bold, knowledgeable and insightful. So every person in this business is picked on those three core values. Yep. And so the people who work with me are going to portray the same types of things that Yeah, same types of communication and the same values, and, of course, the same type of information, because that's what we do. Now, that's not for everyone, I know that you're not for everyone. Some people want the fluffy camaraderie. I'm part of a community and I've got all these people like to standing by my side, the cheerleaders, like your husband and my husband. Yeah. But we're like, you know, what, here are three things you need to do, go and get them done. Keep it real, lever. And that doesn't have to be for everyone. So going and doing that research, is you get all the gold stars for that because that is the only way you're going to decide whether something is aligned with what you need. And the way you want that information delivered. Yeah. So the way

Speaker 1 37:50
the way that I sort of signed up with that I had nine ways to move your stock. I mean, that was the one. So that was really where the idea for this secret sale, who we talked about

Unknown Speaker 37:59
was talking but we haven't even been buoyed, that's really

Speaker 1 38:05
where that had its genesis, I would say, because there's all of these things that sort of happened around about the same time. So this would have been sometime in April, all of this so it doesn't feel like it's very, very far in the past because it's really, really not but something I signed up for the the nine ways to move the stock. And it was just so refreshing to see different ways to move things being discussed. Because up until this point, every time when we'd had a sale, it's been a percentage off and you're always getting those people who are completely discount hunters who are not loyal to you in any way shape, or form. They only want to get a discount and they're not really the people that you want to be attracting longer term as you're

Salena Knight 38:47
looking at cutting rates or just offloading stuff that you cannot move.

Speaker 1 38:51
Yep. And they're very, they're very, very useful for that. So when when I really got into it, and I thought oh, that's really clever and at about the same time I listened or I can't remember if I found the podcast first or if it was part of the coursework for the nine ways to move your stuff but it was that iconic podcast episode of yours with Dion I've listened to that like in the week leading up to when we did our our clearance. I would have listened to that maybe three times just because I was really trying to pick up on the on the details of things that she did so I was continually adding to my little arsenal. Oh yeah, I must do that. I must do that. I must do that. But so when you when you say to me that you that you think that this is something that you've not seen before, I just felt like I was copying Dion's playbook.

Salena Knight 39:37
Oh, but you didn't you didn't you took it and you made it your own. And so you listened to the podcast, you would have had the promo raunchy and probably a debrief sheet that Daniel would have given you as well. You had all of the things but tell us what you did differently. Your secret sale is something nobody else here has done. before or not that I have heard of. So where did you get this idea from?

Speaker 1 40:04
I don't know. I just when I started thinking about it, because I thought, Oh, that's really brilliant, because there's a whole lot of stuff that for various reasons of emotional attachment and sentimentality, we've been reluctant to move on. But yes, they had to go. And so I knew that we had to move a whole lot of stuff on that. The only people who were buying it were people who were visiting from out of town, my local customers, were seeing the same thing again, and again, and again, good stuff had to go. So I knew that this had to happen. But I just had this idea, and I'm really not sure where it came from. But I thought, or, rather than telling people where we are, because I was listening to that podcast, and I thought, Okay, I'll, I'll approach my landlord, and I'll find out whether he has another, he has another empty business location that we could do our secret sale. And, you know, very similar to what Dion did with her warehouse across the road. But there was nothing. So then I started thinking, Oh, well, actually, we've got a big warehouse section out the back here. I'm very keen on not having the sale in the main part of the shop, because I think that sends very confusing messages about the value of everything else that's here. And every time we have had a sale, there's always conversations with people I will is that on sale is that on sale. And I really didn't want to have any of that kind of stuff going on, I wanted to send a very clear message about what it was that was being gotten rid of, and what wasn't. And so by physically separating that stock from my regular stock, I thought that was a good way to do that. And because I could just slip it into the back section, the warehouse part at the back of my shop, it meant that I could have it all hidden. And we didn't have to worry about transporting things to another location, it's not going to cost us anything, because we're already paying rent on the entire space out the back. And it just meant that we could manage it and stage it at our own pace, which was really, really useful. But at some point, very early on, in my thinking, I came up with this idea that maybe we could give people GPS coordinates to the back door. Because I really, really can't say it's brilliant, right. But when I actually went further down the track of trying to find that out, because there isn't a physical address for the back of our business. It turns out, I couldn't give people the actual GPS coordinate, we could just drop a pin on a Google map. So that's what I really ended up doing essentially, at our back door.

Salena Knight 42:28
This is whole speakeasy, let's just quickly recap. So so far, you've identified all of this stuff that you need to get gone. You know that having it in a location that is not the actual store is one of those key factors. Like I'll be honest, this is not something I came up with this is just something that hearing retailers conversations, being able to separate it out, has been one of those key things to driving more sales. And I think you hit the nail on the head it was it doesn't dilute the focus. It is this is what's available. Yeah, this is what you can buy not get. What You See Is What You Get, after you've identified the stock, you realize that actually you have some space you can use, you know that just getting it moving it from one side of the shop to the back of the warehouse, you can do it in your own time, the store is not busy, you can start clearing it all out. Yep. I'm going to just comment on the fact that you said something that I'm sure that most people who listened to Dion's podcast will get is you got rid of the things that had sentimental value. And that was something that she said Is she found it really difficult to walk through the store and pick things up knowing that you shouldn't be buying these It's beautiful, like I don't understand and just going you know what, you just got to get rid of it. It's been here too long, you just get rid of it. So we're going out the back, you're gonna drop a pin, and you're going to make this a secret. So this is completely gamifying the whole sales experience and I love gamification. Okay, what happens next? Ah, in terms of preparation, oh, in terms of just walk us through. Okay, so

Speaker 1 44:00
one of the things I would say is May was a pretty quiet month, I'm understanding that that's true across the board for retail. So I decided, rather than measuring and cutting fabric out the back, we would pre cut and pre package all of our pieces of fabric that we were selling. Because every time we've had a sale in the past, it's been the getting people to tell us what they want and then unrolling it and cutting it and all that kind of stuff. It really really slows the process down. So I thought, hang on. I've been to Paris a couple times. I've been to the fabric district. And the way that they sell fabric is pre cut in a lot of places. It's pre cut, pre folded, pre rolled up pre priced, you just take the bundle as it is. And with

Salena Knight 44:46
your knowledge you would go okay, if people are making a dress, they generally need x. Yep.

Speaker 1 44:51
So I know I know in Paris, they're called troop ones. I don't know why they're called coupons, but that's what they that's what they call them. A fabric coupon is somewhere between two It is in three meters. So I decided that ours can just be three meters, because there was some things where we made some purchasing decisions and bought far too much of some things. And we had quite a lot that we needed to get rid of. So in quiet periods, because I was already paying staff to be here, anytime there were no customers in the shop, they were rolling, measuring and cutting. So I wasn't having to pay any additional staff costs in order to do the preparation. And because we had the area out the back, we could just chuck it out the back and keep it quiet, quiet, you know, people didn't know that all of this was going on. And that, to me felt like a real power move, because I was already paying the money for people to be here. And they were really, really engaged in what they were doing. At that time, we could all see that we were working towards something that was going to be quite valuable and quite useful. So I had probably about three weeks worth of, of sort of time here and there where I could get my staff to do that side of things. In terms of making it consulting minority, I didn't actually send out an email until about, I think it was the eighth of May, which was like 11 days before the event. And I was pretty vague about it. I just said save the date, we're getting together with one of our suppliers to do a warehouse clearance. Now, the supplier also happens to be my husband who set up a little importing business on the side to bring in some bits and pieces that we couldn't get in Australia. And the easiest way to do it was just to him to set up another company. So is that a fabric as well? No, it's other bits and pieces that are I would say adjacent. Okay, tools and little accessories and things that help with the sewing process. But not just sewing but knitting and crocheting and quilting and a few other things as well. So by doing that it was hoping to broaden our appeal to other people at the time and

Salena Knight 46:52
bring your crafty friends.

Speaker 1 46:54
That's exactly what we said, we said save the date. By the way, we're going to be having all these other things because we're joining forces with our supplier, tell your friends. I just gave a date and a time but I said, I'm not telling you where it is at the moment, you're just going to have to stay tuned for details on that. And then the next one was a week later where I said peristyle fabric shopping comes to Canberra. Yep. And that was part of my whole cutting my fabric into the small pieces. I was very aware that I did not use email anywhere near as much as I should have. And that is because I just ran out of time. Like this was all coinciding with things being particularly tricky with my husband's work that the couple of weeks beforehand, everything was just done a bit chaotic. So I did what I could do. And it was okay. I would have liked to have done more. But what I managed was okay, so the day after that, I sent one about dressmaking mannequins, because we had some and they'd been very slow to move, they were expensive. So we said we're going to be selling them half price. And then that really attracted people. I had people coming from the south coast of New South Wales, reading up in advance just to check whether they would have any in stock, see whether it was worth their while coming to the drive. So that attracted a lot of people. I then sent one about the weather forecast. And each time I sent one because it was a cold day. It was a cold day, and we had all of our doors open. So I said you want to make sure that you're going to be nice and warm. So that was great way

Salena Knight 48:23
to bring the intrigue, and to and to tell people ever so without telling the people about the sale. I love that. Yep.

Speaker 1 48:31
And then we we certainly didn't sort of give any photos or anything until the day before, where we took a photo of a massive fabric. And that was part of it. But each time we sent an email, we did a little tiny bit of a drip feed of a bit more information about where things were, which I think it helped. But then there's always people that don't pay attention to it. Because we've got a very large format printer, we were able to print out a huge poster, which we stuck in the front window of our shop on the day. And it even had a lovely picture showing people exactly where they had to walk around the corner. Yeah, that's exactly what we did. And I was talking to one of our with their attendants upstairs from here. And one of the guys was talking to me and he said, I You do know you had all these people at your front door and they looked and they said that you're closed. I pointed them to the poster. It's amazing how some people just don't look. Oh, yes, yes. So you know, we possibly did lose sales on that day from people who came to our front door and saw that we were closed and didn't say the poster even though the poster was enormous. It was huge.

Salena Knight 49:34
Okay, so know yourself in your debrief form, hire teenage child to wave people around the corner. Not

Speaker 1 49:42
a bad idea, but I was lucky that the guy that has the business upstairs was able to do that for me. So thanks very much mate. But we also had a lot of street signs posted on to telegraph poles and things around the corner, which was where people were so we showed people where that where they could park and where they needed to come to when we showed back to that picture of the back door of the roller door at the back, we showed them, that sort of thing as well. But it was it was a drip feed. And I think what really worked well on Facebook was my husband put a post, like as an event on Facebook. And it was linking to us. And that had much more of a broader appeal to a range of non garment, sewing people. So I think sort of pooling our resources and pulling people in from that's a floater. And

Salena Knight 50:29
I don't know that we're from any. So you've got like two little tips here that I don't know that we've talked about before, which is pooling your resources, because then you get to leverage both sets of audiences, and potentially bringing somebody in who and I mean, crafty things. I'm just sitting here thinking, crafty things would be like, Oh, I'm going to take my friend Sue, who maybe wouldn't have come without me kind of thing. So you've managed to not only broaden to, to audiences, but then to take that next step out like that next point of communication and bring those people in. So on the day, it how did it go? How did you manage?

Speaker 1 51:08
Well, it was managed. In the first hour, I could hear people milling out the back, before we opened the door, you love that? Yeah, that was quite exciting. So we could hear it, we could hear the buzz going on out the back, which was really, really fun. I had, you know, as per day on Facebook, I have all these really big plans to continually do little drops on Facebook, and Instagram and email and things out that throughout the day,

Salena Knight 51:33
I didn't happen. Just too busy,

Speaker 1 51:36
I was too busy. I guess the thing about having pre prepared everything the way that we did, it meant that not only was I taking advantage of my staff prior to the event preparation purposes, but on the day, we only needed four of us here. So we had an imaginary you so

Salena Knight 51:54
more because people like you, they people weren't wasting time lining up to get fabric cut now.

Speaker 1 51:59
And we were really, really conscious of pushing people through the tills as quickly as we could. So we took, we've got two point of sale is in our main part of the shop. So after we closed on the Saturday afternoon, we moved all of those out the back. And we were just trying to think about the flows of people and how we could get them through really, really quickly. So we had one door and one door out just to try and help with the movement of people. But I was so conscious of moving super fast. So we made up scannable barcodes for all of the different costs. Because we had we had all the fabrics, pre packaged, everything was labeled with what the fabric composition was, because people people need to know about that sort of information. So they we gave them a whole heap of really useful information. And everything was between, I think it was between $5 and $40 was the most expensive piece of fabric that we had. And we had barcode setup. So if someone handed over a little bundle of fabric that was $40, I could just point my my barcode scanner and go at the 40 and go and go beep. So we had a brilliant barcode set up for everything just to make the whole process really, really efficient. I think we did seven or $8,000 worth of sales in the first hour. And we certainly we certainly that

Salena Knight 53:15
compared to a regular day in the store.

Speaker 1 53:18
Oh my god. Um, that's that that would be our biggest day ever. In one hour. Where are you really? Yeah, yeah. I'm

Salena Knight 53:28
actually got Reno.

Speaker 1 53:30
Yes, yes, yes. And we, there were people lined up out the door. Our first hour was the like the most busy. And I know that. Interestingly, we, in our naivety and inexperience have trained people to not buy things. And we've trained people to wait and to and to think that if I wait, it'll still be here in six months time. And I think there was a little bit of that behavior on display from some of our regulars on the day because people who arrived at two o'clock in the afternoon, were genuinely shocked when there was almost nothing left. Well, that's what happens. If you hang around and wait. Since won't be here. And this is what I want to try and break that training of people. Yeah.

Salena Knight 54:13
And I guess that realization for you was, How much money have we lost? Because we have kept this year I say this over and over again. But people get bored and they get complacent. And if you aren't, if you're not changing your stock out, then they're going to have this expectation. I won't buy it now. I'll wait a couple of it's still it'll still be there. Yep. Where I want to break that. Yeah. And with that, and we have to take that, you know that that key away from what big business does and big business doesn't still have jumpers in their store in the middle of winter, like we're hitting winter now. And I can guarantee in in two or three weeks we're going to see some stuff in our stores here and because they know that it takes a period of time will pay for them to move the stock. Yeah. And we all we all sit there going, why can I buy swimmers in the middle of winter? It's because they know well one it's their, you know, their ordering and their their movements to get the product in. But it's also exactly what you said it's to get the shoppers in the mindset that this stuff is not going to be here in a few weeks time. If you want it, you need to buy it now.

Speaker 1 55:22
I think people were very much of that mindset on the day. They they knew, especially people that were regulars, and especially that was pre cut. Like it was like this is it. This is all there is. There's all there is you take it now or you don't get it. Yeah. So we probably got rid of I would say about 90% Congratulation what we cut, which was really good. And I've since I haven't gotten rid of all of it yet, that's still a work in progress. But um, I know a couple of textiles teachers around place having been a teacher. So I've donated a fair bit to a couple of local schools. And my plan is for most of the rest of it to just get donated to a couple of charities around the place. But yes, it's such a weight off my shoulders, to know that I'm never going to see some of that stuff.

Salena Knight 56:08
Let's quickly talk through that. Did you did you know, coming into the sale, or coming into the evening, to working with us, because we've only been working with you for like

Unknown Speaker 56:20
a month, eight weeks?

Salena Knight 56:21
Yeah, not very long at all. And you've already I'm gonna go so far as to say you've probably nearly made your investment back just from that one sale, like gotten very close to it. Which is great. I love it when people can do that. But what I what I wanted to say here is going into that sale, and even maybe coming into working with us. Did you know that that way existed? Yeah.

Speaker 1 56:46
Yeah, I did. Danny Daniel likes to tell me that I'm a little bit refreshingly frank, in my appraisals of what I do and don't. Yes, I knew. But I think it's also to do with me, stepping up and taking on more of the leadership around here and taking, taking it off my husband, that I just have to make these decisions. And yes, we risk Yes, we did spend that money, but it's not, it's not going to come back to us, if we just continue to make it stay there in the naughty corner and continue to be here. That money is spent that money is gone. And we need to try and get at least some of it back in some form, so that we've got the ability to move forward. But in the reason we're

Salena Knight 57:31
in the process of doing that you have one made it fun for your customers to you've expanded your reach, and I'm sure you collected a whole bunch of new email subscribers, you know, followers?

Speaker 1 57:44
Well, I would say our, our current system is limiting us with that. So I, I wasn't trying to collect emails on the day. And I know that that is a particular area that one of the ones that I need to work on. So I'm not sure that we got more but more followers on Facebook and Instagram. Definitely. Okay, that just hasn't translated on into onto my email list yet.

Salena Knight 58:10
Yet. There's, I'm sure there's a plan for that. There will be okay, so you've had the sale? I'm sure both you your husband and your team are just exhilarated. What did you do afterwards?

Unknown Speaker 58:24
How did you celebrate? Did you celebrate? No, we haven't yet. It's just it's been? Yeah, I say to Daniel, I think I sort of regressed a little bit.

Speaker 1 58:38
Because I really had that thing. You know, I had that date that I was looking forward to. And I was conscious of, of locking in a date and not leaving it too long before acting on these ideas that I had. And it's helpful to tell somebody because it really kind of makes you accountable in a way. So no, we haven't really celebrated yet, because we've had a few big bills for you bits of fabric that have come through since then. So that's what we've done. Did we have takeaway for dinner that night? Yes, we absolutely did. That was probably about the limit of it. But we do have a little holiday planned in a couple of weeks time. So maybe that can be our lives calibration.

Salena Knight 59:15
Now, three times now you have mentioned something around here, and I've written it down in my notes,

Speaker 1 59:19
which was giving yourself that

Salena Knight 59:23
goal that date like that official, we are going to do this thing by this date. So you mentioned that one, when you started doing this, your team had a lot of focus, and you definitely felt the morale pick up. Yeah, because it was like we're all working towards this one thing. And this is one of the reasons just on a side note here. This is one of the things that I'm so passionate about which is putting targets in place for our team because that is a target whether it's a sales target or this goal target it's a target and you saw the difference when you went I'd let's all work towards this common goal. Oh, you said that it made you step up and stop relying on other people to kind of shoulder some other responsibility that maybe you've been avoiding. And then the, I'm gonna say the downside of that was when you hit that goal. And when you hit that, that, you know, the, when you'd actually achieve the thing, you kind of went into a slump. And I'm going to say, that's not unusual. I had a name for this, I can't remember who it was, but it was something like, like the peak Crusher. So I will try. Remember what I used to call this on it was the sub that peak hangover, and it was, so afterwards, you'd be like, so what's next, and it will kind of be like, like, everything, all of your energy, and all of your momentum went into this one thing. And then you have to go back to the boring stuff, the boring part of working and building a business. Yep. And so what's the plans

Speaker 1 1:00:59
are part of our big issue, I would say in the couple of weeks since then, has been that particular supplier of ours really led us down quite badly. And so we were waiting several months for something that good, we should have expected it back in, I'm gonna say much. And within about four or five days of the end of our warehouse clearance, we had two pallets full of fabric just arrive on the back dock. And we just had to deal with them. And these were ones that we've been waiting for. So we had to really get involved with getting all of that on floor and for sale and all that kind of stuff. And it just felt I felt as though my time was being stolen away from me, because I couldn't manage things, they hadn't sent us tracking advice. The first that I knew that this fabric was arriving at my back door was when the FedEx man knocked on the back door. So that that was I feel like this

Salena Knight 1:01:53
is an opportunity, it was like clear out the unit,

Speaker 1 1:01:57
we wouldn't have had the space to put all this new stuff had we not gotten rid of, of the old stuff. So it's been a lot of really hard grind, which is not, that's not the level that I want to be operating at. And I think that's probably why I feel a little bit disappointed in myself that I haven't been able to rise up out of that. But you know, I, I am working my way through the scaling assault stuff at the moment. And I know that I've got a lot to learn and a lot to do. And I'm just going to take it one step at a time. And I can't expect to get to the level of knowledge and understanding and experience. I can't snap my fingers and have that happen. It's going to take me some time to get to that point. And I'll have to work incrementally through things to get through this seemingly long list of things I need to do to get my business to where I'd like it to be. That's very insight, but it was a good starting point. Yeah, it

Salena Knight 1:02:54
was very insightful. And I think the fact that you even realize that is setting you up for success, because so many people want to just click their fingers and business gets better. But business growth is done in the boring stuff. It isn't the day to day looking at the inventory, looking at the numbers, checking subscriber lists, planning out marketing, it is just like business can be exciting when I always say business is exciting when you can get past the grind that is making sure the bills are paid. Once you know that you have built a business that is sustainable, and the money's coming in, then you get to do the fun stuff.

Speaker 1 1:03:33
And we're still on a tipping point with that. Well, it's only been a few weeks. I know. I mean, I feel it feels like we've been on a tipping point for maybe a year. So I really want to move to that next level, I don't want to be on that pivot point. So I know that we have to move, what what program we're using for running all of this. So at the moment, we're on square. And it was useful as a starting point. But I think we've outgrown it. And certainly the website capabilities of that are really letting us down the email marketing capabilities of that are letting us down as well. And I can see that all of our competitors are on Shopify, and they are able to do things that we can't do. So there's a whole lot of stuff in the background to help increase our sales online that we just can't do. I know our conversions aren't great, you know, there's a whole lot of stuff that I know that I need to work on. That's the next big thing. What Got You Here Won't Get You There. No, and that's exactly right. And I've said that to Daniel, in our conversations of common sense that to this point, and I don't believe in that as an approach. So we have to use some smart, useful information from this point forward to really strategically grow three things based on data based on information and based on best practice. I feel like we could finish there, but I just want to go back and say secret sale. We gamify the process we drip fed the information out to people, we put some little posters on the power poles and love that. The posts are all we did. We actually didn't do any paid advertising for this. So no Facebook event,

Salena Knight 1:05:16
put a whole bunch of mystery around it didn't go any further, had an amazingly cracking day brought in all these new people. In hindsight, you mentioned that getting emails wasn't at the top of your list. And I can understand I can understand why that is the case. Because I've been in these situations where it is so frantic, that the concept of asking someone for an email feels overwhelming. Yeah. But looking back, what would you have done differently? Or if you were to do this again, what would you do differently?

Speaker 1 1:05:48
I think I would plan because a lot of this was in my head. And it was just sort of, like do this, let's do this. Let's do this. Whereas I think, with the benefit of hindsight, I would have a really definite plan. The planning spreadsheet that Daniel gave to me was fantastic. I didn't even do a fraction of the things that were on that list because like, oh my god, I did not realize that these were all of the things that you should be doing to appropriately market this kind of event like this is how much of a newbie I am. Oh, no, no,

Salena Knight 1:06:22
no, no, you can take that away. This is not a newbie thing, though. Promo run sheet that you had, is probably the key, like a key, the key spreadsheet that will change your business because it's not as something like this, it is every promotion that you do, you should have all of those components. And this is where so many people get let down because they do a product launch, or they do a big sale or they release a new fabric or whatever that looks like. And they put a couple of posts on Instagram, and they send out an email to maybe they might run an ad and then they complain, it didn't work when actually you know all the steps and you realize that if I did all of these things, the outcome might be very different different. So you have a fraction of things that you would do differently next time. I love the bundling. Like honestly, what I've taken away from this is the gamification is key, the bundling that you did could be yes, by any type of business, if

Speaker 1 1:07:18
that was a real novelty thing and got it worked. We could never have gotten through that many sales in that first hour. Had it not been bundled like that. No way.

Salena Knight 1:07:27
That that is brilliant. And the whole Parisien like giving it a theme and, and the fact that you had this knowledge and pulling from that, I think those are game changers that we haven't discussed before. And I'm gonna give you all the credit for all of these, the theming your event gamifying it and then bundling up products, so that people don't have to think is one. And we also get caught up with the whole gamification process in, I just want it before it goes. And this is fun. And even if I don't really like it, I'll just give it to somebody else. So people are much more inclined to spend money in that scenario. Yeah, then maybe they wouldn't if they would have come into the store and it was just sitting there and they could see all the rest of the fabric. So when you added all of those things in together, you ended up with this perfect storm of selling 1000s and 1000s of dollars in the first hour. Congratulations. Thank

Speaker 1 1:08:20
you. Yeah, it was it was fun. It was frantic. And it was it had a lovely energy people were having a really good time. You know, in hindsight, I probably would have arranged to have something like a coffee cup in that show.

Salena Knight 1:08:33
That was cold. Yes.

Speaker 1 1:08:35
And it was a Sunday, which is you know, there are no cafes open around here on Sunday, which is what they would normally be Monday to Saturday. So yeah, the spirit, there are things I would have done differently. Absolutely. But the whole bundling thing, I would do that

Salena Knight 1:08:48
every day of the week. Fourth one was that you combined with somebody else? Yeah. I just read that. Both of us. Yeah. It helped both of us. That's fine. He needed to get rid of some stuff, too. That's fabulous. You deserve at least four gold stars for that. Because this is the thing is what I love about smart people like you is listening to somebody else. Sometimes the answer is not in the knowledge that you're learning. And it's the same thing. I'm not gonna give it away. But there are some bonuses in the nine ways. I think they're actually like 12. And now there's going to be like 13, because we'll add yours in. But there are things where people said, Well, I was listening to it. And then I thought about this and I'm like, Oh my God, you're brilliant. I didn't think of that.

Speaker 1 1:09:35
And you know, one of your podcasts that I listened to I get ideas of how I could do things because it's based on real life examples.

Salena Knight 1:09:41
Yeah. And but you take that, and it sparks something in your own brain of, Oh, I could make that work for me. And so I think that is the true value of knowledge is not just what you're learning, but that it sparks that curiosity and that innovativeness That is the thing that makes us entrepreneurs and great business owners. The key thing is then narrowing it back down to focus on the thing that needs to be focused on. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 1:10:10
Yep, that's right. And that's okay. Wobbly couple of weeks.

Salena Knight 1:10:15
I just have one last question before we finish up. And thank you so much for sharing all of this. But my question is around, like, what's next for your team? Like, what have you taken away from this exercise? And potentially what you've even learned in the last couple of months that you are going to put in place? If you haven't already? Yeah, well, your team as a leader,

Speaker 1 1:10:37
I think one of the things that I feel like I've been given permission to accept is that what staffing requirements I made, may have had in the past, are not necessarily a reflection of what I need moving forward. Yeah. I think I had labored under the misbelief, that I should be doing all of the work. And I know now that that is very far from true, I need to delegate all stack more. And I do currently have staff, but whether they are the people to carry the business forward, because we've had a fairly seismic shift in the last year, we've moved to a premises that is a double size of what we had, initially. And that has changed the number of people coming through the door, the amount of money that we make, you know, just everything has changed. What hasn't changed is the staffing, but maybe it needs to, and maybe I need to be thinking of different ways in which I can be getting the best out of my people. And that is definitely a challenge moving forward just to try and figure out what it is that we need to give the people who come in here the sort of service that they need, because I'm really, really passionate about that bit, too. That's another

Salena Knight 1:11:47
what got you here might not get you there. And it doesn't mean that the thing was wrong.

Speaker 1 1:11:51
It just means I need to change. Yeah, you're

Salena Knight 1:11:56
growing. And clearly you're growing as a leader to even be able to see those things. And I'm going to reflect this back to something that you said right at the beginning when you open the store with the sun coming in your eyes, which is sometimes you got to live with it for a little while to find and you put some blinds up, and then you put some blinds up, and it's the same thing. Maybe you'll find strengths in your team now that you can identify them that you didn't even know that or maybe I would agree with that. Or maybe, you know, it's time to move them on to something that they're going to enjoy more. Yeah. I mean, you never know until you until you come back as a leader and go, This is what we need. Yeah.

Speaker 1 1:12:38
Yeah. And I think I really need to delve into that well, in a way that I haven't yet. Okay.

Salena Knight 1:12:44
Do you have any last words of wisdom for people who are thinking, this lady is very, very smart, and I'm going to go and put my secret sale in place, whether it's about the sale, whether it's about leadership, whether it is about running a business, or life in general, like what's the one thing if people were listening to this, you thought, I just want you to know,

Speaker 1 1:13:04
I think you should always be willing to reach out and get some help and some expert advice, because common sense will only get you so far. And there's a point at which you really, really need to be relying on data and other systems, systems, I think, are going to be really, really key to helping you get that to get to that next level. And that's what I'm very keen to get embarked upon. I was so, so keen on getting rid of all of that stuff. But now I have to embark on the really hard work. Now that I had that little mental lobe removed of putting in place proper systems and really leveraging the data that I have to learn and to move forward. You are

Salena Knight 1:13:42
so insightful, you are living up to one of my core values, if not all of them. But that one in and of itself. If we can't be insightful of ourselves, then I think it becomes very difficult to be a good leader and to grow our businesses. So Rebecca from weft and warp, thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. And you giving us a little bit of time of your day to give people that advice, and maybe that inspiration that they need to change their businesses.

Unknown Speaker 1:14:11
Thank you.

Salena Knight 1:14:15
So that's a wrap. I'd love to hear what insight you've gotten from this episode, and how you're going to put it into action. If you're a social kind of person, follow me at the Selenite and make sure to leave a comment and let me know. And if this episode made you think a little bit differently, or gave you some inspiration, or perhaps gave you the kick that you needed to take action. Then please take a couple of minutes to leave me a review on your platform of choice. Because the more reviews the show gets, the more independent retail and E commerce stores just like yours, that we can help to scale. And when that happens, it's a win for you. A win for your community. and a win for your customers I'll see you on the next episode

 

Share this episode

Watch The Video

Ready For More?

Facebook-f Instagram Linkedin LISTEN NOW Are you working yourself to the bone for your business

Take it from someone who started a business during the GFC, I know business is

Get my proven strategies Straight To Your Inbox

Add your email to receive your business (& life) changing strategies