Opening a gift shop, and running the day-to-day affairs is one of the most rewarding experiences you can undertake. But it’s not for the faint of heart. Success is dependent on these 6 character traits.
Everyone is flush with customers during high volume seasons like Christmas, Valentines Day, or Memorial Day weekend. Demonstrating creativity during off periods is when the champions shine. Successful owners rely on milestone events like graduations, job-promotions, and housewarmings to boost sales during slow periods.
Heavy doses of self-assurance are required in the first years of business, before your investment begins to earn a profit. It’s also a quality that will see you through lean seasons, and shrug off the doubters who suggest closing up shop.
The tastes of shoppers are fickle. A unique gift like copper mermaids may sell well one season, but flop the next. Keeping your inventory up-to-date with local flavors requires hours of staring intently into a computer monitor, and scouring national and local trade shows to find the next must have item.
Having a natural inclination to always be learning will help you go far in the gift shop business. Every product has a back-story that needs to be told. Every customer that walks into your shop is a person with a unique set of needs. An inquisitive mind, who asks people thoughtful questions, will make the cash register ring up a melody.
Gift shop owners multi-task like champs. But the best recognize their limits. When it makes financial sense, bring in outside experts to help with your weak areas, whether that is bookkeeping, web designing, etc. At the very least, have a network of advisors who you can rely on in a pinch.
Pulling 70-hour weeks, and keeping the shop open 7 days a week, especially as the sole owner/employee, requires super human tenacity. Running a gift shop isn’t a hobby, it’s an obsession.
If you run a gift shop, what traits do you think contributed to your success?
Photo credit timparkinson