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Melrose International

What it Takes to Be a Successful Gift Shop Owner

Running a gift shop takes a lot of hard work and talent…but we know you’ve got this!Successful Gift Shop OwnersYes, when you run your own business you have to wear a lot of hats and be ready to do almost anything to succeed. And, when you run your own gift shop, the list of what it takes to make it can be pretty long. We’ve pulled out the top 5 traits we see in successful gift shop owners—and are sharing them with you today!

Sometimes as a gift shop owner you’ve got to try-try-again. That “amazing” POS system isn’t working? No prob, you can count change by hand. Your employee called in sick? Of course, you can run front of store for an afternoon. The awesome new location you wanted to move into fell through? The backup spot turned out even better. As a gift shop owner you’ll encounter lots of roadblocks along the way, and your ability to push past them is what can help you be successful.

Trend Spotting
You know what sells well year after year, but you’ve also got an eye for the next big thing. Your customers know they can find a great smelling candle in your store but they are also just as likely to pick up a set of new copper drinking glasses. This ability to bring the newest and best to your customers keeps your store fresh and brings them back, again and again!

Just because you have to wear a lot of hats doesn’t mean you can wear EVERY hat. As a shop owner you have to know your strengths and weaknesses so that you know when to bring in the professionals. Maybe you are amazing at running the front and back ends of the store; you kill at market and can always find the hottest new product. But when it comes to setting your store—and creating a breathtaking display—you know that a hired designer can do it better. That’s ok! Having enough self-awareness to know what you’re good at, and the humility to know when someone else can and should do it for you, is a kind of strength all its own.

A natural inclination to ask questions, dig deeper or find the secret in a product or person, goes a long way for gift shop owners. Your inquisitiveness can lead you to find out the amazing story behind your favorite product which, when shared with customers, makes it that much more relevant (and salable). And of course, by learning more about your customers you can uncover not only their likes and dislikes but the hidden motivators behind their purchases.

As a small business owner you are a part of the community. Whether it’s the community you create within your store or the community your store is in—having a sense of caring will help make your shop the epicenter of that community. So lend an ear to your customers and employees. Donate to that silent auction. Host a fundraiser night for a local person in need. By caring you are making your shop a part of something larger than just you—something your customers will remember.

So what does it take to be a successful gift shop owner? From tenacity to trend spotting, self-awareness to curiosity…we really think it comes down to caring. As a gift shop owner you are running a business within a community for people and caring about that community and those people is what makes it all worthwhile.

As a gift shop owner yourself, what do you think it takes to be successful? Do you see these 5 traits within yourself? What else makes you successful? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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