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Develop managerial skills while expanding a business

Most owners of small businesses consider expansion to be a definite indicator of their success. Better is bigger. More customers equate to higher earnings. But if it’s not done correctly with the necessary tools and resources, quick expansion might potentially destroy your small business.

“When 2021 arrives, it becomes apparent that we must accept every client. We are unable to refuse anyone. Ah, my God. We’ve started to sink. It was quite difficult. I had to let go of a few of my core staff, which was really difficult.

What a lesson! Owner of the custom apparel and tailoring business Uncommon Closet, Korri Burton-Universe, discovered this lesson the hard way. After a poor year in 2020, business began to perk up in 2021 as a result of rescheduling weddings.

I’ll be honest; a lot of people were upset by me. It was a very difficult year “explained Korri.

Korri stated: “Together, we managed it. I hired a business advisor, and we discussed our goals. We really narrowed down the types of people we needed to hire.

Burnout caused Uncommon Closet to lose a number of important employees, but an assistant manager’s departure letter contained some excellent advice, and Korri took the time to actually hear it. The hiring procedure and their business management both saw some alterations as a result.

As a small business owner, you don’t need to have all the answers to every problem. Korri has learned to reach out when problems arise and let the employees use their own experiences to help build the business.

“I’ve created a team atmosphere here. I’m very clear about, we don’t struggle alone. When there is a hard, boss-type decision, I’ll go to my head tailor and I’ll be like, ‘Hey, what do I need to do? How do I word this properly? How do I do this?’”

Yelp reviewer Yvette C. came to Uncommon Closet in need of some alterations to a wedding dress, which is arguably one of the most important dresses a person can wear, and a proper fit is essential both for looks and comfort on the big day. That pressure can be nerve-wracking, but Yvette felt welcomed and relaxed in the shop, thanks to great service and an inviting atmosphere. “Customer service is a big thing for me because I have my own business, so I know what’s going on, and I know that it shouldn’t be difficult to slap a smile on your face—even if it’s fake—and make that customer feel like they’ve gotten a quality experience. But it’s all genuine at Uncommon Closet,” said Yvette.

And their goal is truly to make anyone and everyone feel welcome as a proud LGBTQIA+ friendly business. “I like being really upfront with who we are. I would much rather be very loud and intentional, about being queer, about this is a queer space. This is a safe space. That is very important to me because it shows my clients that they can be who they wanna be when they walk in the shop,” Korri said.

“It also shows people right off the bat, if we’re not gonna get along, we ain’t gonna get along. I joke that our rainbow storefront is the vibe detector check. If you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably pretty okay.” Like most small business owners, reviews are both a joy and a curse for Korri, but they take them in stride.

“I’ve learned that you can’t make everybody happy… and sometimes, it truly is our fault, and I will own up to that. But you can’t make everybody happy. You’re not always gonna get along with everybody. And sometimes things just happen where maybe we just didn’t do something the right way.” But according to Yvette, you can’t just respond with a standard pat answer to reviews, negative or positive.

“When I write good reviews, [the response is] usually just a standard thank you. Korri actually put a little bit more in showing gratitude and appreciation, versus, ‘Thank you for your nice review. We hope that you refer someone to us.’ They took the time, and they were like, thank you for that review. It’s really gonna help us out. We can’t wait to see you. So it was nice to get a little bit more.” These strategic business lessons have contributed to the success of Uncommon Closet, and these others might help your small business as well:

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