Meet the owner:
Cadence Kidwell, Fuzzy Got
Fuzzy Goat is a boutique boutique in Thomasville, Georgia that sells artisan yarn to women manufacturers around the world. The owner left a career at the academy to build the Cadence business – and in doing so, he created a whole community.
Who will answer your question about starting and running a small business from successful business owners who have done it themselves?
This month, we’re partnering with featured business owners Grit and Greenlights: A Small Business Story with Matthew McConnell Answering questions from our social media audience – getting started, building a team, expanding the position and covering more.
Here, Cadence Kidwell – owner of the Fuzzy Got Yarn Store in Thomasville, Georgia – shares what he learned from opening and running his first retail store.
Any tips on keeping your employees motivated and happy, especially during a great resignation?
What works best for us is to keep our team engaged. We meet twice a month where we find out what our staff needs as well as share celebrations. Providing them with areas of responsibility that will help them shine helps the business grow as their own fan base also grows. Use their ideas as much as possible! And, of course, it helps to add benefits like pay off, retirement accounts and flexible schedules.
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Were there any start-up surprises that you would like someone to warn you about? Or any tips to help you prepare a new entrepreneur for the unexpected?
God, know that everything will take longer and cost more than you planned. When you work on your plan, add 30-50% more time and funds. In about a year we had some extra surprises that we couldn’t even imagine and I really needed to be committed to my store and be prepared to go downstairs to my family home if I wanted to continue. Do you love your new business enough if it happens to you? Additionally, focus on what your mission is, what sets you apart, and why people want to shop / eat with you! And be furious about that mission. Don’t try to be everything to everyone.
What are your favorite tips for turning event participants into long-term customers?
All of our events have been online in the last two years. Wow their first meeting as much as possible, going a little above and beyond! If it’s an online event, it helps to get great packaging and schedule follow-up emails that provide interesting information (not just product information) to build an online community. We’re starting to schedule our in-shop events again.
Have you found it worthwhile to work with a retail coach? Any tips you can share from that experience?
I got my coach in about a year and a half and I can’t imagine growing my business without them. They help me analyze my numbers so I know which areas need more or less inventory, when I need to put together a campaign to help cash flow, what team benefits I can afford, how to best manage my team, and so on. Their community of other clients is also invaluable for learning new ideas. When looking for a trainer, follow them on social media to see if you benefit from their content, ask existing clients for a reference, and try a “less promising” product for them before making a long deal.