Usually when you hear the words Soft Opening you think of limited shoppers and the time to make quick fixes to the Store. Well, we did a soft opening during Art on the Prairie. What's Art on the Prairie for those of you who are not from Perry, IA? It's an Art show with artist from all over Iowa who come and display their hand made items ranging from Paintings, Airbrush Art Work, Handmade Jewelry, Clay Pots, Copper Art, Fiber Art, and so much more. It brings thousands of people to Perry, IA and that's the weekend we chose to have our NOT so soft opening.
So now our Grand Opening is this weekend and we feel like we can take on about an situation that comes our way! After having about 1,000 people come through the store on Saturday we learned some things that we need to improve.
I know part of a blog is getting the inside track into someone's life or in this case both life and businesses, so what did we learn from the soft opening?
1. The fitting room Curtains don't side very well on a wooden dowel. When we put up the curtains I had the mind set that it would get easier to slide as we use them. Yep, not the case at all and I'm 5'4 on a good day, so jumping up to close the curtains was fabulous...NOT. So that's our first Fix by Friday for our Official Grand Opening.
2. Spreading out your Shoes throughout your store makes you look like a crazy person searching for that one pair in that one size. It looked pretty to have Shoes Sprinkled around the Store but man that was not the smartest thing I did. Keep things easy and a centralized location to stay sane for sure!
3. Make sure you have enough Shopping Bags. I was that frantic Store Owner the Day before we opened that had to run to grab more Shopping Bags because we didn't have enough. I Drove to Des Moines at 6:30a.m. because Google told me that the Retail Bag Supplier was open 24 hours a day. Definitely not the case but it was a "God Thing" that the owner was there early and saw the frantic "I need in NOW" look in my eyes and let me in to buy 2 cases of bags and get out of town within 15 minutes. I did ask the owner of the Bag Store if any store owner comes in not in a Panic and he said Honestly most store owners are just like me and are in a huge hurry. So I calmed down and made it back to Perry with 1 minute to spare for our 8:00a.m. Chamber Coffee.
4. What about Money in the Cash Drawer? Yep, should've put that on the prep list. Thankfully I grabbed my Husbands Wallet and my mother-in-law ran to the back to get extra $1s, $5s, & $10s. Praise Jesus we did because after all it was our Soft Opening and only a few customers where going to becoming through.
Friday and Saturday is our Grand Opening and now we feel like we can manage about anything. So come out and see us at the store and tell us your story so we can get to know each other! ~Em