We recently spoke to Monique Svenson, owner of kids gift shop Young Bondi, located in Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach about the inspiration behind her business, the importance of shopping local and bouncing back as retail re-opens across Australia. In case you missed it, you can read the full chat here.
Opening her doors during a global pandemic had its challenges, but also gave Mon the unique opportunity to soft launch her business before customers even set foot in the store. Mon explains “I got to open and meet our true local customers. I got to know the familiar faces while packing click and collect orders. It also gave me a chance to soft launch the business, which was a blessing in disguise. I got to iron out opening procedures, sort out shipping, learn my software and get across inventory before the doors officially opened”.
The Australian retail industry is slowly re-opening state by state, and the importance of supporting local businesses is front and centre for many shoppers heading into the Christmas season. “I think Aussies are still learning about the value of supporting small businesses. When you shop with a small business, it’s not only the one business you are supporting. You are also supporting the array of small businesses that they work with. I like to say to my customers 1 + 1 = 5. On average, by buying something from us you are supporting five other businesses at the same time”, Mon explains, “When you think about business and how much of a positive impact you can make, then you can start to see the value in shopping small. If every person in Australia spent just $100 each per year with a small business, they would channel $2.5 billion to Australian families. For me, that is the real value in shopping small - the little things can make a big difference”.
As Christmas shopping is currently in full swing, we asked Mon to share her tips on how to stay sane whilst managing a retail business at the height of the silly season.
1. Make a plan
For us, we create bundles for our customers. We want to make their shopping the easiest it can be, so we do the value finding and creating for them - all they need to do is grab and go.
2. Back yourself
Each year is different, and things always change. At the end of the day it’s your business, so if you believe in your idea, then go for it. People will respond to your passion.
3. Take notes
I have a series of note files on my computer/iPad that I use to keep tabs on everything. I note down what customers are looking for, what’s working, what’s not working and products that we need to improve.
4. Accept that not everything goes to plan
We always have great expectations, and then life happens. It is important to keep a healthy perspective, not everything you think should happen will happen. That’s perfectly ok.
5. Offer gift wrapping
Customers are stressed and time-poor, find things that add value when shopping with you. Customers value having their presents wrapped for them. When we get busy, we take customers’ numbers and call them back when their order is ready. You can do this through Square as well!
6. Find pain points
Who are your customers? What are they trying to solve? How can you help them with that?
Mon’s final piece of advice?
“I truly believe that through adversity comes great outcomes. There is always going to be good and bad days in small business, find your rhythm and stick to doing what you love.”