In the first instalment of the business makeover for Ibiza Town clothing and music retailer Ibiza Design, John Kavanagh discussed the issues of facilitating change, business identity, and the business premises. The first part of the makeover can be found online at
In this second half John tackles the all important issues of sales and marketing.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of your business being featured in a future makeover, please contact John via the email below.
I spoke with Simon about his sales approach, the way he deals with customers, and closes the sale. He seemed confident that he had this under control and closed as many sales as anybody could. I talked through the process with him to get his answers and I also observed him with a number of clients. He had a well-developed sales patter however there is always room for improvement. I gave him some tips on how he could close more sales and he said he would give them a try. Later that day I got a message from a very happy Simon explaining that he had used one of my suggestions and it had got him a sale that otherwise he would have lost.
Although I was shattering some of Simons self-beliefs I could see he was beginning to have more confidence in the suggestions and recommendations that I was making. He did start this process with an open mind, ready to go along with whatever I suggested, however I could see it was difficult for him.
New product line.
As Simon is selling products that are made and designed in Ibiza, and as there was a lot of activity around the store during the makeover, he attracted the interest of another company with products that are also created here to stock them in his store. What might surprise you is that it was a music company. Simon now stocks hand-painted and plain shirts and dresses as well as music from Ibiza and it is all produced here. Therefore visitors to his store can now get both the authentic look and sounds of Ibiza all in one store. This will increase the number of visitors to the store and the number of items that everybody leaves with!
I agreed a date for the launch with Simon that was roughly two weeks after we had begun the transformation. This was a very tough deadline to meet however, as the season had already begun, time was money. Simon invited friends, acquaintances, business contacts, and had some music, drinks and food for his guests. He also involved his neighbours and a mini carnival atmosphere was in the street for the day. Sales were brisk and all of the feedback was very positive.
The budget didn’t allow for this so I worked with Simon and we did some (free) online marketing, which was very labour intensive. We also achieved some press coverage. Simon’s reaction to the online marketing was that it was not very effective, and in some ways he had a point, however it created a lot of awareness which resulted in greater footfall both on the launch day and the days and weeks afterwards. Simon had not been a very online person in the past however in 2014 it is an essential part of successful business in Ibiza.
Speaking with Simon, as well as many of his friends and family, the most striking difference was in Simon himself. He had a new energy and belief in himself and in his business. He was excited again and the customers in the shop were sensing this. He explained to me that one month following the launch his sales were up 20% compared to the same period last year and they continued to grow after this. He then told me that he was opening another similar business in a showroom upstairs and asked would I like to come to the launch! Simon now has two growing businesses and a lot more energy. This is compared to the man I had met a few weeks earlier who was clutching at the last straw before deciding to pack in his business, his dream, and accept failure. The other difference is that he now has a store that is very visually appealing to passers by so much so that he told me every day at least one person stops and takes a picture of the front of the building. This is a great compliment to Simon and what he has achieved. Before the ‘makeover’ had begun the building was dull and dreary on the outside. Now it is bright and vibrant and is a real example of what shopping in Ibiza looks like.
This isn’t the end of the story. Simon s has a lot of work to do. What we did achieve was to get things moving in the right direction and prove to Simon that his business has a lot of potential once the right changes are made.
A few words from Simon.
I asked Simon to give his view on how the whole experience went for him.
“I knew I had to change but how and when with minimal funds available was the problem. I had just had all my new publicity and guide adverts printed for the season (with the old name) when I met John and I was busy painting clothes and preparing for the season. There is always an excuse not to change, however I decided that what John was saying made sense, and common sense is not so common. The business has grown in a difficult trading year for Ibiza town. The numbers coming to the island are irrefutably on the increase but visitors to Ibiza Town are way down combined with the proliferation of clothing boutiques in every hotel and beach club. Commercial competition is fierce however with John’s advice I have managed to change, compete, and still retain my quirky style and produce unique garments made, and hand painted in Ibiza.”