Yesterday was what every business owner dreads but knows in inevitable at times. No sales for Zoe yesterday. Wednesdays (with the exception of the first day we opened) have been very quiet and yesterday was no exception. I enjoyed visiting with the people who came into the store but our visits did not translate to purchases.
I've known this would happen and had mentally prepared myself for it. Today (Thursday) is the first day I've done any significant advertising (in advance of the Grand Opening tomorrow). Janice is coming in later today to help me change over the mannequins in the display window to give it an extra pop for the Grand Opening.
Other Grand Opening activities include hanging the banner later today, receiving the flower arrangement (given to me by my mother/brother) from The Enchanted Florist tomorrow morning, preparing the free gift for distribution, and preparing the items for the discount drawing!
When I was involved in fundraising for W&M, one thing we used to say is that we had to develop Friends of the College (one of my fellow board members referred to it as "friendraising") before we could ask people for money. The more people I have the opportunity to connect with and visit the store, the more likely those contacts turn into sales.
While the ultimate goal of any business is to make money, I will say that I love the opportunity to be part of this community. Yesterday while walking to CVS before opening, a man asked me where to find the Alexandria Circuit Court. Since it was on my way, I offered to walk him there (and also warned him about the parking requirements!) We had a great chat about transportation practices in Europe as I walked him to the Courthouse. Hopefully, he will leave Alexandria with a good feeling in mind.
Another day, as I was walking to my car after closing the store, a man stopped me (he was in his car) and asked where the Bike Shop was. Well, there are 3 bike shops close by (Union Street also functions as the Mt. Vernon Bike Trail through Old Town and many people rent bikes from the shops)! I asked him which one it was and he didn't know! I gave him directions to all three!
Also as I was leaving earlier this week, I saw a couple dressed in their wedding attire getting pictures made in the middle of the cobblestone section of Prince Street. There are photo shoots regularly on that block of Prince because it is such a gorgeous setting.
Looking forward to what today will bring!