Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Retail advice from a master

Recently, I read an article in CNNMoney about Maxine Clark – the founder of Build-a-Bear.  After a successful career at Payless Maxine went out on her own and created a widly successful retail concept, Build-a-Bear.  Check out the article here if you have a chance but I loved the advice she gave at the end of the article – Enjoy!

Maxine Clark’s advice on running a retail store:

Take your employees seriously. Every six weeks we do Chief Chat at headquarters. Employees can ask any questions they want. We get good feedback and understand what matters to our associates. We also do remote conferences with people in the stores by Skype, and I go to the stores all the time.
Write the biggest business plan you can. You can always cut it back. The first purpose of the business plan is to convince yourself that it's an idea you really want to do. If you're not convinced, you'll never be able to convince anyone else.
Understand the value of partnerships. In the beginning, our vendors were willing to make a couple hundred pieces of everything. Normally they wouldn't do such a small amount. But then they benefited from our success. Always ask, What can we do together to get more than our money's worth?

Happy Monday!

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