Shop Talk

Owners make key changes by offering retail, rebuilding website

Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners about a key change they’ve made to their companies. This is what they said.

▪ “We recently converted the front portion of our North Raleigh juice facility into a retail location. Along with picking up pre-ordered juice from our website, home or work delivery,and other retail locations around town, customers can now purchase last-minute juice in-house,” said Colin Fickes, owner of Humdinger Juice, a Raleigh cold-pressed juice company. “As a result, we have not only increased sales, but given our customers added convenience, while creating a hub for people to ask questions, see our process and fall in love with our juice.”

▪ “I recently decided to change our business model from all corporately owned studio locations to now offer franchise locations across North America,” said Susan Caldwell, founder and CEO of Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios in Raleigh. “This key change will allow us to expand our locations, manage our growth and continue to build our brand all at the same time without overextending ourselves, my staff or my resources.”

▪ “A key change was finding a company that was similar to mine and forming a partnership in order to work together and expand both businesses by adding new products,” said Ginny Johnson, president of Ginny’O’s Cheese Straws in Raleigh. “It improved because you have big resources/contacts/better ideas to execute the goals you both are trying to achieve by working as one.”

▪ “Even though we are a brick and mortar local service business, we know the importance of online visibility for generating new leads, particularly with the increased shift toward mobile device usage,” said Jennifer Reynolds, owner and operator of Ace Rug Cleaning. “As a result, we rebuilt our website in the last year with an emphasis on mobile-friendly design. (We) have seen total online traffic nearly double, with mobile now being over half of that traffic while yielding a 20 percent increase in requests for estimates.”

▪ “Dedicating one of my most talented staff designers to work with brides exclusively, providing a laser focus on the events arm of my business,” said Janice Cutler, owner of North Raleigh Florist. “This re-structuring has significantly increased event sales and allowed us to serve more brides.”