It's the start of a new year. It's the time most business people reflect back on the previous year to see what they could do differently to make their business more streamlined or run more efficiently. Last year, I started a LuLaRoe clothing business and honestly, it went great but there's a lot of things I'd do differently if I could start all over. That's why I'm writing this post. If I can just help a few people not make some of the mistakes I did last year that would be awesome.
First, let me tell you what I did right. I used my onboarding wait time to get ready to start selling out of the gate. I bought all the things I thought I'd need (you can read that post here. I update it with the best prices every month and it tells you everything you need) and I started prospecting. I followed the 72 hour game plan. I launched with a group of 1000 women, blessed a lot of people with free leggings and I made my initial investment back quickly. I felt the year was a success. Now let me tell you where I went wrong.
What I'd do differently with LuLaRoe
I'd order inventory differently
I very quickly learned that I needed to order every week but I made the mistake of listening to people. If they wanted Maxi's, I'd get them. Wrong strategy. I added too many styles and didn't go deep enough in what was selling. Now I try to carry 10 of each size in what's selling and stick to my guns. I also am no longer getting caught up in holiday capsules. I freaked out to get 4th of July (I still have some if anyone wants any) but didn't get Halloween and it made me crazy. Guess what? My business didn't suffer.
I'd take my pictures immediately
I planned to launch in person the first couple of weeks so I didn't take pictures of all my inventory. Big mistake. I was behind the eight-ball all year to get caught up so the last week of December, I went through every single piece of inventory to make sure it was photographed and accounted for. Big fat time waster. If you take your pictures immediately, you only have to take them when you get new inventory. And, you have pics of everything so you don't oversell or make mistakes.
I'd grow organically
To build my group, I ran a contest. I had my friends add people to the group (with permission of course) and the top three that added the most members won leggings. How many of those people have actually shopped with me? Not many except the ones that knew me. It's not the quantity in the group, it's the quality of shoppers. Once I kicked back and analyzed who was shopping, I realized that there was a lot of dead weight in my group. Some of those people are leaving so my number isn't growing. That's perfectly fine. Organic, natural growth is best.
I'd pass on leggings loops
A leggings loop is where people have to join every single consultant's group for a chance to win a pair of leggings from all of us. I only did one but it was very clear to me that none of those people were going to become my shoppers. They only wanted to win. And, they were probably in 30 other groups trying to win free leggings. Not the kind of client I want or need for my business.
I'd sign up for Shop the Roe
Here's the deal. I did sign up for Shop the Roe and when I got put in Facebook jail for uploading photos too fast, I dumped it and went with Roe with Me. Now, I like Roe with Me, but my customers didn't. People had a hard time finding where things were in the group as they were used to Facebook albums. And, I couldn't upload easily into a multi consultant sale. So, I switched back. The transition back was not only confusing, it wasted a lot of time I could have been selling.
I'd download Bella Charts and watch it religiously
I can tell what I need to order from Shop the Roe because I can see inventory numbers, but what I can't see is what styles are selling well or get a snapshot of my entire business. BellaCharts (formerly known as LuLa Reports) is a Google Chrome extension and it's a one time purchase. You can see everything- your inventory, sales etc. all in one place. Perfect for the person that doesn't want to bite off QuickBooks and it's simple to download all the reports.
I'd purchase supplies differently
First, I wouldn't order a double rack. It's not only hard to move, the thing has fallen on me a number of times (that's all I need is for a shopper to get crushed by my rack). Second, I'd get a Dymo printer right away. I waited thinking I'd save money. I didn't. I bought three boxes of labels ($30) and four ink cartridges ($120). That's more than my Dymo cost but I got it on sale. I spent a lot of time loading labels and pulling jammed labels out of my printer. There's a cost to that as well.
I'd mind my own business
There's lots of chatter out in the LuLaRoe world and much of it is a big time waster. I'd only pay attention to my upline groups and stop reading the rest. Takes time away from business and it makes you a little crazy. The energy is better served working on my own business.
So, there you have it. All the things I'd do differently with LuLaRoe. If you're in this business, what do you think is important for success?