Watches have been a popular accessory to humanity throughout the ages. These astronomically important devices have been around since the 15th century and have revolutionized society and business practices. In the modern day, with the advent of computers and smart phones, their usage has become somewhat diminished, but nonetheless, these items are still much sought after by collectors and those aiming to complete a professional look. Many classic watches are seen as more of a fashion statement or symbol of prosperity, and so a luxury watch business can be a profitable and sustainable idea. We put together our top tips for setting up your business, so you can feel better prepared for your new venture.
Time To Learn
First, it’s important to be sure that you know as much as possible about the watch industry and watches themselves. The chances are, you already know a fair deal about watches, but there’s no harm in learning a bit more. Ideally, especially as a smaller business, you’ll want to show you have a level of expertise to your customers. Competition is quite fierce, and this industry is growing constantly, so buyers will naturally gravitate towards watch sellers that know what they’re talking about. In that same vein, you should be learning about that competition to see which ways they run their business, and what you can offer people that they can’t. As well as understanding the industry and having a good grasp both the history and technical side of watches, you’ll need some level of experience in actually selling these items to people. Being a trader isn’t easy, especially when buying and selling items that are generally quite valuable. Make good use of online watch forums, blogs, videos on YouTube and other resources to increase your confidence of running this business.
Your Business Plan
Putting together a plan for your business requires time and effort. Be patient and thorough with this step, as mistakes can sometimes cause devastating setbacks. The whole purpose of this plan is to ensure you can provide a good run-down of your strategy both for you, your team, and potential investors in the future. It will help you to stick to schedules and avoid certain important steps being forgotten about. Before putting more money and time into your idea, figure out exactly what you need to get set up and stick to it. Identify your goals for the growth of the business, which people you’ll need to hire, which stock you’ll need to purchase, whether or not you’ll need storage for those items, and how you intend to obtain and ship that stock. A great step in the business plan is to set out where you expect to be in the next three to five years and try to use that as an overall guide for where you take the company. It’s okay to lay out tough goals and challenges as this can serve to spur you forward and prevent you from becoming complacent. Just be sure that those goals don’t end up being unreasonable, as you don’t want to risk disappointment or burnout.
Offer Something Different
Due to the fierce competition, standing out is understandably difficult in a market such as this. So now is the time to assess what you can offer which other businesses can’t, either in terms of services or products. Do you have access to unique, rare items that few others do? Or perhaps you’re interested in selling custom watches? The demand for personalized watches for use as gifts is quite high, so opting for a service like this can help to draw some traffic to your online store. Whether you’re offering engravings, or even full customization by working with your suppliers, where people can change the materials, color, or features of their watch, you’ll be providing an extra service to customers, boosting your overall appeal.
Marketing Your Products And Services
Many sellers think that customers will come to them without a need for reaching out. Sometimes this will happen, but the chances diminish over time as social media and marketing practices evolve further. Having a strong marketing plan for your business is a great way of ensuring the growth of your customer base as well as your overall company. Make good use of social media channels and create high quality digital promotional materials to boost your sales and reach. It’s also a great idea for any business to work with influencers to grow your audience. Put time and effort into marketing, especially the digital side, and you’ll be rewarded over time.
Hiring The Best
As you grow further, you’ll want to start looking at important people to hire, or certain services to outsource to external companies. Having in-house marketing and social media management is a highly recommended permanent hire. Doing all of this yourself may be possible, but it’s not entirely feasible as it’s a full-time consideration. Writing content for your website, blog posts, social media posts, designing content to accompany them, and scheduling those whilst analyzing the correct times and days to do so can be incredibly overwhelming and requires an experienced hand. As you make more and more sales, it may be worth investing in an external accountant to help you take care of your budgets and offer advice on the next steps to take. Legal guidance from solicitors is also highly recommended, as trading can bring with it certain risks. You’ll probably want to pay for the services of a law firm so they’re at hand should any issues arise.
Take Care Of Your Customers
Lastly, providing your customers with the best care possible will keep them coming back in the future. This should also help to encourage them to spread the word about your products and services, building your reputation. Mistakes are sometimes unavoidable, so be transparent and honest and do everything you can to rectify any that impact your customers. It’s important to remember that a watch can be an expensive purchase, especially luxury ones. This can make customers nervous and untrusting initially, so do everything you can to ensure they’re confident and comfortable with you and your business. Transparency, again, is important here as it can offset any concerns.