The ‘makeover’ is courtesy of John Kavanagh of Kavanagh Consulting. Regular readers will remember John’s ‘Business Matters’ section over the last two years. If you are interested in getting a ‘makeover’ for your business as part of this feature please send John an email (address at end) with a brief background of your business and why you feel it needs a makeover. Over to John…
The background and initial meeting.
I met with Simon Crooks who has a clothing store in the centre of Ibiza town. He explained that he began selling white clothing at the markets and progressed to having a store, Just Cruizin’, selling white, and hand-painted, clothing. This had grown well over a number of years especially considering it had originally started out as a hobby. As he put more time and effort in to the store he greatly reduced the time he spent on his job hoping that the store would become his only occupation.
Four years later the store had reached a level of sales that was just covering the bills and did not seem to be progressing noticeably past this point. Simon admitted to me that I was his last roll of the dice. He was ready to pack it in and didn’t seem to be very confident that anything was salvageable. The challenge was to help him make changes, over a very short time period, to increase the profit the store was generating and to help him turn his business around.
He firstly showed me around the store followed by a chat about the business and its background. He explained how he has, reluctantly, reached the point where he is willing to seek help and take ideas and suggestions from somebody else, as his way is not giving him the results he is after.
In the initial meeting I asked him if he was open to considering, if necessary, changing the name, and other key aspects, of the business and he said he was. This, to me, was a sign that I could work well with Simon as people often want to improve their business but are unwilling to make the changes necessary.
The time-frame I had to work with was two weeks. This was very short however both Simon and I were committed to achieving as much as we could over this period.
When I spoke with Simon about this he went a little pale and gave me an answer I was not unfamiliar with. There was no budget. The budget would be gleaned from future sales. When I asked Simon about these sales he explained that, although most days he had sales, some days there were none.
Simon looked at me expecting to see a cloud of dust as I ran away, however, although it was not an ideal situation, I knew there was still a lot we could do.
The name of a business is very important however often they are chosen hastily. The name ‘Just Cruizin’’ did not clearly indicate what the store sold. Simon explained that it was a name used by a manufacturer of much of his clothing previously, however, the general public were unlikely to make this connection. After discussing the different options and criteria Simon chose the name ‘Ibiza Design’ which represented, much more accurately, what the store was all about.
A new name needed a new logo. I spoke with Simon about some ideas for a logo and, as he is creative by profession, he spoke with a graphic designer and they came up with a new logo for the business. This is more important than people often realise as many people judge you on this as much as your business name, location, size etc. Previously this had been given too little emphasis and the name, which was also the logo, almost went unnoticed.
With a new name, the outside of the shop, needed to be reviewed. The name and logo are the first steps however no one change is going to make a big enough impact on its own. To get the best result many small tweaks, and a few larger ones, needed to be made.
The outside of the store was white and the window was full of white, some of them hand-painted, clothing. To a passer-by there was very little appealing or attention grabbing about this. The building itself was looking run down which didn’t help. People don’t want to buy anything in a run down building unless they are looking to spend little or nothing. Simon explained that he was restricted by his landlord and other rules as to what changes he could make to the exterior, however, even allowing for the restrictions and rules, a freshly painted front, preferably in a different colour, was needed. With a little bit of encouragement Simon’s landlord painted the front of the building in the colour he deemed to be correct. A yellow/ beige colour. This meant that the outside of the shop was now freshly painted, in a new colour, which now made a much better frame for the window.
Meanwhile the logo, signs and business cards were being produced. ‘What about the budget?’ I hear you say. Yes, these were going to have to be paid for, however, the existing signs were being reused with a vinyl printed covering which had a very low cost.
One thing I couldn’t help noticing, and it is quite common, is that the window was filled with a mixture of the most attractive products. This made for a very cluttered window. It was with great reluctance that Simon reduced the number of items in the window thus giving the passer-by the opportunity to see in to the store and form a better opinion of what might be inside.
The store floor area was full of rails of clothing and the walls, and anywhere Simon could find to display another shirt or dress, were covered. It seems logical that if you display as many products as possible you save your potential customers from having to search however the reality is that if the store is uncluttered people can easily find the section they want and they can then search easily.
Now when a passer-by looked at the store the combination of the name, new logo, the freshly painted, non-white, exterior, the open window with a tidy store inside made it much more appealing.
Follow John & Simon’s next steps in coming weeks.
Featured business: Ibiza Design. Carrer de Miguel Caieta Soler 7, Ibiza.
Photography: Tim Reeves, Reeves Photography.
Business Consultancy/makeover: John Kavanagh, Kavanagh Consulting, 0034-671928835