http://www.upstairsonbeacon.co A whole new shopping experience…
http://www.upstairsonbeacon.co A whole new shopping experience…
– by Doreen Marion Gee –
This is part of a rotating series of articles on members of Sidney Meet Up Women’s Networking Group, featuring women in business on the Saanich Peninsula.
In today’s economic climate, entrepreneurs have to think outside the box to survive. Enter the women who started ‘Upstairs on Beacon’, those visionaries in pant-suits with a revolutionary way to build their collective success. Judging by what they have achieved in just a few months, they are set to take this sleepy little town by storm.
In August, ‘Upstairs on Beacon’ energized this community with a collection of new funky, trendy shops and services. A few female game-changers joined forces to help and support each other in a business cooperative, sharing space side by side – and sharing the overhead. The high costs of doing business, mainly rent, deter many entrepreneurs from opening shops. This new ingenious cooperative initiative makes it affordable and possible for each vendor to have and grow a successful enterprise on the Peninsula. Ultimately, our community benefits from this infusion of their talent, beautiful products and valuable services.
The cooperative is the brain-child of Cheryl Young, the dynamic founder of Sidney Meet Up Network of Women in Business. “The most important thing that we do is support, help and share with one another.” The entrepreneurs offer high-quality fare and valuable community services as they benefit from this collective enterprise.
Cheryl Young runs Norma Jeans’ Closet, a Ladies Consignment Boutique with a delectable array of gently used clothes in mint condition – some new, some vintage – at reasonable prices. Exquisite jewellery, designer lamps and paintings glisten in the low light.
The talented Jo-Ann Way of Nuttycake Photography (nuttycake.com), is delighted to showcase her work at ‘Upstairs on Beacon’: “Sharing this space makes it affordable for people like me.” And it allows her the freedom to pursue her craft and an income while her work is displayed.
Another class act is Nancy’s Sew Creative (nancysewcreative.com): Nancy McMillan runs a thriving business on the Peninsula creating extraordinary slipcovers for chairs, designer cushions, bedding and drapery. She loves ‘Upstairs’: “Because I have very little overhead here, I can extend the services of a full ‘workroom’ at wholesale prices.”
The very creative Pretty Mad Hatter Lady, Beverley Bond, designs amazing Fashion Hats and Fascinators. Stephanie Solyon of Glamour Girls Vintage brings in high-end genuine vintage clothing. Oceanna Hall and her Lady ‘O’ Spiritual Counselling treats customers to a remarkable Tarot experience – unlocking their true selves and facilitating hard decisions. Lastly, Sidney Taxi proudly and reliably serves our community.
“It keeps growing!” gushes Cheryl Young about the new enterprise on 2405 Beacon. She encourages new vendors to apply for space – men included. This cutting-edge cooperative paradigm is a brilliant template for businesses trying to get off the ground. As Cheryl says, “Hear us roar!”
At a time with Fall promotions and sales are in full swing, retailers are scurrying to prepare for the holiday seasons, namely Black Friday. Topping over $1 billion in eCommerce sales last year, Black Friday increased online sales by over 26% since 2011, according to Comscore. With sales growing at such a staggering rate for this famous shopping day, store owners need to start preparing now to have a successful day of sales on Black Friday.
So how do you prepare an eCommerce store for the holidays? The key is to start planning and preparing now!
Increase inventory & verify that your platform &
server can support an increase in traffic & transactions.
Work on your content for web banners, online ads, emails, etc.
Finalize & launch your promotions.
Black Friday / December
Provide remarkable customer service for your
holiday shoppers. This will help you attract new & returning
customers every year.
Despite being an older form of marketing, emailing your customers is still important. One of the main benefits to using email is developing contact between the customer and your brand. With the emergence of smartphones, customers are able to read emails anywhere and at anytime during the day, so it is important to create email titles that attracts their attention.
Promoting your upcoming sale is your goal. Tell your customers your spectacular deal either with smooth content or compelling images. You only have their attention for a few seconds so say a lot without saying much. Remember, your goal is to promote your upcoming sale, not to sell them right then and there.
This jewelry company took a unique approach to marketing their upcoming Black Friday sale by offering new specials every Friday leading up to Black Friday:
As a gentle reminder of your sale, send out an email to your customers reminding them the Black Friday deals you are offering. Be sure to mention popular products that will be for sale.
Consider an email the morning of Black Friday as another reminder of your special sales. You could even consider adding an additional 5% off promotional code in this email to attract more customers to your site.
Creating banners for your website it a great way to build awareness and excitement for your upcoming sale. If your sale last longer than Black Friday, be sure to include the dates the sale will be active. Below are some great examples of banners that were designed to excite customers about the upcoming sale:
Spice up your list of categories to include seasonal categories such as Gifts for Men or Women, Black Friday Promotions, etc. Your Black Friday strategy needs to focus on making it as easy as possible for the customer to find a product and to purchase it. Instead of sifting through endless categories, create a new promotional category that helps customers quickly find what they are looking for.
Unsure what products to include in your category? Review your sales from Black Friday 2012 and see what types of products were purchased the most. After Black Friday, be sure to measure if this category outperformed your traditional categories. This data will help you prepare for future Black Fridays and holidays.
If you are planning on running promotional codes for your store, be sure to test them thoroughly before the big day. With online sales booming on this day, you cannot afford any errors to occur.
People love to countdown the days till the next new episode of their favorite show, Super Bowl, Christmas, etc. Why do we do this? Because it is exciting! Build excitement on your site by counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds to Black Friday. There are plenty of extensions available that you can use for this level of engagement. Checkout the free apptha Countdown or aheadWorks Countdown version.
Tip: you can use this extension for more than just counting down the time to your next sale…use it to promote an upcoming webinar, conference, or event that you are hosting or will be attending!
If you are paying Google for targeted ads in the search results (Pay-Per-Click) then be sure to use this powerful tool in your Black Friday promotion! When creating the content for your PPC ads, remember that your title and brief description need to be compelling. You only have a few characters to state your message so make sure your content is
When preparing the content in advance, keep your target audience’s gender and interest in the forefront on your mind. You can even test your ads on fellow coworkers and friends to see if they would be convinced to click the ad or not.
As a side note, make sure to remove the ads after Black Friday if the ads contain information that has expired after Black Friday.
Retargeting Ads is a very important tool to utilize if you are trying to convert returning visitors. By displaying ads on other sites about your products or services that the visitor was looking at, you will be keeping your brand’s products in their considerations. If you are not currently using this technique but would like to start, read this article on How to Budget and Forecast.
For Black Friday, consider:
Lastly, consider running ads on social media. Facebook allows you the supreme power of displaying your ad to any type of person you want: gender, interest, occupation, location, age, etc. If you have multiple markets that you are trying to target, then consider running multiple ads on Facebook and target each market specifically.
You can also promote specific post on your company page to reach more people. This can be very useful if your post are generally seen by a small number of people of your fans. By promoting your post, Facebook will display your post to more of your fan base. Here is an excellent post on tips when promoting Facebook post from Social Media Examiner.
For eCommerce sites, the key to winning on Black Friday is to start preparing now! Determine your Black Friday promotion, set your goals, then choose a strategy and technique that will meet your goals. The approaches mentioned above are powerful techniques when done correctly!
How We Get Judged by What We Wear
The way we dress does have an impact on how we are viewed and categorized in society.
Whether we are at work, school, the mall, or simply taking a stroll in the park, we are judged because of our clothing.
We are a society quick to judge because of the outside, which denies us the opportunity to get to know a person at times from the inside.
The fact of the matter is clothing plays a key role in how we live our lives in many ways.
From being judged on how we dress on certain occasions or in an atmosphere that is prim and proper to being judged by the colors of our attire. It is human nature to judge other people in all sorts of ways.
We judge by spoken accents, social position, names, the vehicle someone drives, hair styles, tattoos, piercings, and yes, clothing.
The reality is that experience tells us certain traits, mannerisms and preferences can be accurate indicators about people, telling much more than the person has any idea about.
Quite often, people are completely unaware of the statement they make through those traits. How a person dresses is one of those indicators contributing to that statement.
Since we cannot avoid human nature, we should be as good as possible at taking advantage of it.
Some would tell you it’s wrong to judge others, yet in telling you just that, they are judging you.
Personal adornment and dress can also indicate certain things.
Someone who likes to dress flamboyantly is probably an outgoing person.
Do they have the Goth look?
This person is probably broody and introspective, with tendencies toward a persecution complex.
Again, these are generalities and not every person will fit these molds.
Perhaps that woman who always wears the colorful floral prints is actually a wallflower herself.
Maybe the guy dressed in all black just likes the color.
Say a young girl is wearing heavy, loose fitting clothing in the summer.
What does that say about her? She is very body-conscious, thinks she’s overweight and wants to hide…
You Are Judged by Your Appearance
Like it or not, you are being judged by how you look, how you dress, and how you carry yourself—and, if you’re lucky, how you do your job.
I had lunch yesterday with an old friend. I’ve known him for over 30 years. In fact, he introduced me to my wife. Unfortunately, we don’t see each other very often and hadn’t sat down across the table from each other for several years.
Let me preface what I’m about to say with, “I’m comfortable with my jeans and sneakers.”
Dave is a corporate attorney. He entered the restaurant immaculately dressed, although he wasn’t wearing a tie. I was dressed as I usually am (I did wear what I thought was a nice button-up shirt—it was even tucked in). Dave hasn’t changed much since we knew each other in our early twenties, while I am decidedly more rotund, sporting gray hair and a nearly white beard. He could pass for 10 years younger than me, although he’s actually a couple of years my senior (it must be all the time he wastes at the gym).
As we left the restaurant together I made an off-handed comment about how I appreciated that he got “all dressed up” to have lunch with me. He didn’t miss a beat, “I guess I just take our friendship more seriously than you do.”
Like it or not, every day we are judged by such things. Earlier this month I read something published by Aaron Gouveia that lists seven ways your looks affect your pay. Falling short in more than one of these categories, I hope all is not lost for the frumpy, 50-something, gray-hairs who wear jeans and red sneakers to lunch meetings with old friends.