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Thinking about launching your own product line? You’re in the right place. Join me for a conversation with Jacqueline Snyder, a seasoned retail expert with over 20 years of diverse product experience, from fashion design to startup consulting.
As the CEO and founder of The Product Boss and The Product Boss Podcast, Jacqueline has empowered tens of thousands of small business owners to create life-changing product businesses through her top 10 ranked podcast, masterminds, and educational programs like Multi-Stream Machine.
Jacqueline dishes out valuable advice on how retailers can increase their revenue through pricing for profitability. Her stories go beyond inspiration, serving up practical lessons for retailers. Plus, she sheds light on how to create a stronger connection with customers and set bigger goals for business growth.
Whether you’ve been thinking about creating your own product line or you’re looking to increase your profits, this episode is for you. This conversation will have you going “aha” and thinking about business in a whole new way!
[05:07] How Jacqueline got started in the world of product-based businesses
[07:49] The most common challenges Jacqueline sees among retailers and how they overcome them to achieve success
[10:54] Why do retailers often make this common mistake with their pricing?
[13:46] Jacqueline’s best advice for retailers who are struggling to increase their prices
[17:02] What are some of the first steps independent retailers should take to create their own product line?
[21:25] Jacqueline’s 5-Day Bestseller Secrets Challenge for independent retailers
[23:53] The coffee retailer who transformed her profit margins
[28:19] What steps would Jacqueline give to the retailers who are ready to make this their most profitable year yet?
[32:23] Why Jacqueline believes this year is a time when anything is possible
[34:03] Jacqueline’s resilience round
Mentioned in the Episode
- Connect with Jacqueline at The Product Boss
- Listen to The Product Boss podcast
- Sign for the free Bestseller Secrets Challenge
- Listen to Jacqueline interview Eileen, the founder of Old Millhouse Coffee on The Product Boss Podcast
- Read Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings on Amazon
- EVOLVE 2024 in Denver, CO - Crystal Media
- Social Media Hooks & Hacks - Crystal Media
- Crystal Media Insiders
- Follow Crystal Media on Instagram
- Follow Crystal Vilkaitis on Instagram
- Crystal Media on YouTube
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Crystal Vilkaitis: It’s time for a listener. Shout out, big shout out to Jeannie of Sassy Lassie, who says, although I am just the social media person and not the business owner, crystals podcasts are so very helpful and motivational. I am feeling defeated and confused at the moment, but these podcasts are giving me the directional posts I need so badly.
Jeannie, thank you for your honesty. I bet so many of us have been there. There’s somebody listening to this right now who feels frustrated, who feels defeated, who just needs help. I mean, You say that you’re just the social media person. That’s big. That’s not just just that’s big. That could be heavy and life is a lot to deal with.
So thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your review. A lot of us can feel that and resonate with that. And I’m just so grateful that you’re here on Rooted in Retail listening. My goal to support everybody involved in the retail process, business owners, social media managers. Sales team, everybody that’s involved.
So thank you for your review. If you listener are loving this show, please leave a review. It really helps the show and you might get featured too. Thanks for listening.
If you want to make more money, like not just revenue profits, more money, honey, than this episode is for you. I am so excited to welcome Jacqueline Snyder of The Product Boss to Rooted in Retail. Jacqueline is super Rooted in Retail. She has extensive retail experience. And if you have been thinking about creating your own product line or you’re looking to make more money, like I said, this episode is for you.
Jacqueline even talks about one of her students that went from crying at her CPA meeting to crying happy tears of finally making the most money that she’s made. Just breaking through and seeing success. It’s a very inspiring story. And I know you’re going to learn so much from this episode.
I loved chatting with Jacqueline. She also shares about the importance of being known for something and I could not agree with this more. I think this is really powerful. I think you really need to listen to what Jacqueline is saying, and analyze, and look at your own store and your business.
I think there’s a massive opportunity for that one idea from this podcast. And just going back to having your own product line, I see a lot of opportunity in that. I know that it might not be for everybody, but even if you’ve been like, “No, that’s not for me. I don’t want to do that.” Listen to the advice. And I think that there could be some curiosity around that if it really could be something, a great addition to your business.
I mean, the power of evolving, which you know I’m a big fan of. I have a whole conference around it. So I think that again, even if you are like, I never want to have my own product line, listen to this episode. Because it might give you some aha’s or some tips or some other ways of thinking.
Jacqueline Snyder is the CEO and founder of The Product Boss and The Product Boss Podcast. And an entrepreneur with 20+ years of product experience, ranging from fashion design to startup consulting.
Through the top 10 ranked Product Boss Podcast, masterminds, and educational programs like Multi-Stream Machine, Jacqueline has empowered tens of thousands of small business owners to build a life changing product businesses as a proud daughter of immigrants who inherited her entrepreneur mother’s creativity and hustle.
Jacqueline’s mission is to help women break their own glass ceilings and achieve financial independence. And man, she has. You’re going to love Jacqueline. Speaking of the Multi-Stream Machine, we mentioned this. It’s coming up as this episode is coming out in January of 2024. So depending on when you’re listening to this, but if you’re listening to it in January, beginning of February, go to the productboss.com/rooted and be a part of this free training. I’m going, it sounds epic. I can’t wait to attend. And Jacqueline will talk a little bit more about it on this episode. All right, let’s dive in.
Welcome to Rooted in Retail, the show that’s dedicated to helping independent retailers thrive in today’s ever evolving retail landscape. I’m your host, Crystal Vilkaitis, and I’m thrilled to have you join me weekly as we explore topics that are vital to the success of your store.
From marketing to mindset, money to merchandising, sales to leadership, we’ll cover it all. Each episode features interviews with industry experts and accomplished retailers who share their real life insights and actionable advice. Get ready for a great conversation on how to build your dream business with Rooted in Retail.
Jacqueline, welcome to Rooted in Retail. I am thrilled you’re here.
Jacqueline Snyder: Hey, Crystal. Thanks for having me.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah. So Jacqueline and I met at a Don Miller’s writer workshop, which I’ve been very vocal about this workshop. It was so awesome. I love Don Miller. He’s speaking at our conference. And I was standing in this little area listening to some women next to me talk.
And this voice was so familiar. I turn over and I’m like, “Hi, I’m Crystal.” And then Jacqueline, you’re like, “Hey, I’m Jacqueline, The Product Boss.” I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I listened to your podcast. It’s so cool to meet you in person,” so I’m really excited to have you on the show.
Jacqueline Snyder: Thank you. I know that was such a great event. Don is amazing. So smart. So I’m so excited for your event and to have him. And for your book, cause your book is genius, but yeah, I’m so excited to introduce myself to your community and the retailers out there.
I’m the founder and I’m the host of The Product Boss. And I’ve been 20 years in the industry, more from the manufacturing side of, being a fashion designer, having my own product. And there’s so few people out there speaking to people who sell physical products.
And so I love what Rooted In Retail does and The Product Boss. And I think coming together, we’re just going to be amazing for both of our communities.
Crystal Vilkaitis: I so agree. So let’s dive in, you are super Rooted in Retail. Like you just said, over 20 years of experience. I feel like we could talk for hours on your experience because it’s pretty detailed, and deep, and impressive. But can you take a couple of minutes for those of my listeners who haven’t heard of you yet? How did you get into the world of helping product businesses?
How did Jacqueline first dive into the world of helping product businesses?
Jacqueline Snyder: Yeah, great question. So I’m a fashion designer by trade and I’ve worked for clothing lines. I’ve been hired by several big ones. I ran a celebrity line, where it was really ran as if it was my own business. So I had a lot of experience. I think I’ve been really lucky, that when I graduated fashion school, some of my friends went to Gap and Nike.
When you work at these big corporate companies, they handle just a tiny, tiny part of the business. But I was hired by a mom and pop business. And even though it was a $25 million company, I still had this amazing experience that I was integrated into everything.
So I was working the trade shows. I’d be in the booth at Magic trying to sell our stuff to retailers, even though I was the designer. Setting up at Miami swim show, putting on runway shows to promote the collection. Going and working with the buyers at shops.
And so a lot of really big buyers here in L.A., back in the early 2000s, that were very celebrity focused. So I think I was lucky early on to have this experience that typically I would have had if I went corporate. And then I transitioned from that to a consulting business, which is called Designer Consulting Co-op, where I’ve helped launch over 2000 fashion lines from their conception.
So if you think like about an idea through selling that’s something I did. And then about, and then I started my own line. So I had an accessories company called Cuffs Couture sold to 60 different countries around the world. Celebrities were wearing my stuff, like Kim Kardashian and Carrie Underwood.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Fun.
Jacqueline Snyder: And I evolved that business. As I was actually trying to get rid of that business, I had two kids. I was running the consulting business. I was like, ” I’m done with the accessories.” It just wasn’t working anymore for me. I had met my, I called her my biz bestie, but we actually founded The Product Boss together.
We’ve since gone our own separate ways, but we founded it together because what we saw was that there was this need in the market of podcasts and education for physical product-based business owners, like how I kicked off. And so I had this experience from traditional manufacturing, working with retailers, direct to consumer, all of that.
And then also the kind of newer world of what we did with the flash deal sites and selling on Amazon and all the things. And so really combine that knowledge and then launch The Product Boss Podcast. And we have helped serve 70, 000 students at this point around the world.
And so I’m just really proud because we’ve been able to support small, physical product-based business owners, which also includes retailers. And I think, especially in the last few years, they’ve needed our support the most.
Crystal Vilkaitis: They really have. 70,000, I got chills when you said that. That’s so incredible, congrats. And I’m just so grateful for you supporting these businesses because there aren’t a lot of resources out there and they need that support.
The most common challenges Jacqueline sees among retailers and how they’ve overcome those to achieve success
Crystal Vilkaitis: Now, 70,000, you’ve worked with retailers and product based businesses from startup all the way to multimillion dollars. So I’m sure you’ve seen some common challenges amongst them. What are some of those challenges and how have they overcome those to achieve success?
Jacqueline Snyder: Yeah, you’re right. I mean, I’ve done startups. I’ve had really big companies come hire me to take over and refigure out their companies. One of my students right now, she just informed us that she’s making 25 million a year now in her biz, which is bonkers. So we’ll go zero to 25 mil. I’ll just go with that.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Love it. That’s awesome. Oh my gosh.
Jacqueline Snyder: I know, so proud of her too. I think one of the things is that a lot of times, we want to serve everybody. And so we look and we’re like, ah, they need this and they need that. Or someone comes in and they should all over you. So they’re like, “You should carry this,” or “You should sell this,” or, “It’d be great.”
It’s like that advice that you didn’t even ask for, and you didn’t know you needed or wanted, which you don’t. So I think the thing is that a lot of times we think, how can I solve all of the problems? And we do that at our own costs and at our own demise. And so what that means is that I want retailers, I want product based business owners to be known for something.
So there’s someone recently, she’s a student of ours and she has a store in Canada. I’m like, “So, what do you sell?” She’s like, “Well, we’re a gift store. We sell home stuff. We also have some clothes and denim,” and she just keeps going. It was like, you are literally not a department store or Walmart, right?
To have all of these things is really costly, especially as retailers. Cause they’re buying product, you’re sitting on it, you’re hoping that it sells. If If any of us think about the stores we love the most, they’re known for something.
We’re going there to buy something specific. And so a gift shop is a gift shop, but it still has a curated feel to it, right? Like you would walk in and you’d be like, this gift shop is for me, or it’s not for me. And I think people don’t do that. Whether you’re selling a singular product online, or you have a Shopify store, or you have a retail shop. When you try to be everything for everyone, you’re nothing for no one.
I think that’s the biggest kind of mistake I see a lot of times, that I feel like we could clean up very fast, is identifying what you can be known for and then leaning into that.
Crystal Vilkaitis: So good. I think there’s just so much competition now. So if you aren’t known for something, how does your community and how do your customers describe you to their friends? How are they thinking of you, top of mind, when they need something specific? It’s really challenging if you’re catering to all sorts of different things and don’t have that identity.
Brilliant. Anybody who’s listening, are people able to really identify who you are? Is it very clear that we are the best at this, the best place to go for these things? And are you representing that through all of your channels too? Because that’s, online, on social, everywhere. Love that, Jacqueline.
What else would you say? I’m sure there’s a ton, but what would be another one that you would pick?
Why do retailers often make this common mistake with their pricing?
Jacqueline Snyder: Pricing is a big thing. So people either under price themselves or they think that they have to compete. I see this a lot in the online space, especially if they’re an Etsy seller, for example. And they’re like competing against fellow Etsy sellers. And I’m like, what do they know about business?
Right? Cause we don’t know each other’s businesses. We don’t know the education that the store owner has. So instead, look at your own numbers and make sure that your numbers have the right margins. Because your margins are what’s going to get you through the quieter months. Having profitable months and then having that profit is the stuff that’s going to allow for the normal ebbs and flows of business.
Because we have busy seasons and we have slow seasons. And thanks to our friends at Hallmark, they have made sure that we have all of these different types of holidays that come up that are gift giving holidays that kind of reinvigorate the consumer buying behavior. But if you’re not priced correctly, or you’re competing with the wrong people in pricing, you’re not going to have the margins.
I know retailers a lot of times have suggested retail manufacturers price that they have to hit. But sometimes you can kind of just price however you want. If your customers can bear a higher margin or like a higher price, you can charge them the higher price. We always look at it and it’s like costs and then the margins versus , I bring up Chanel bags a lot, but designer bags.
I was recently in Italy and there’s always like the guys on the side of the street that are trying to sell you knockoff designer bags. So I’m looking at it, they’re pretty solid knockoffs. I’m not buying them, but they’re solid. So look at that and then you look at a designer store and you see the same bag in a store.
They’re made out of leather. They’re made out of metal components, not solid gold, right? They’re just made out of metal components. The only difference is where they’re made or the authenticity of it. The actual materials are the same. So why can he sell me a knockoff Chanel bag for 150 bucks on the street or they can sell it to me for $10,000 in a boutique? It’s perceived value and it’s what the market will bear.
And so I want people to think of that because a lot of times we race to the bottom and we think if we charge the least, if we’ve got the lowest prices, this is going to be the thing that they come. It’s not true. Actually, I’ve seen so many students raise their prices and start to sell more than they ever could because their customer sees it as perceived value.
And that’s what they want. They do want to spend more money cause they think it’s going to make it last longer. The quality is going to be better. Whatever the perception is with higher priced items. So I think that’s another place that I see a lot of people try and skirt around, but they don’t realize that if they have the right margins and they actually charge more, they’re actually going to be more successful.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Exactly. I’m really glad that you brought up pricing because we actually haven’t talked about it on the show yet. And so that is super helpful. I think that one tip alone can be a game changer for our retailers.
Jacqueline’s best advice for retailers who are struggling to increase their prices
Crystal Vilkaitis: Do you find a lot of the students you work with really struggle with increasing their price? Is there a mindset thing around that? What do you find?
Jacqueline Snyder: A hundred percent. You got to keep your mind out of your customer’s wallet. So, we make assumptions of our customers thinking that they’re never going to spend on that. And a lot of times I see it’s because of where our students live. I live in Los Angeles and I lived in New York City.
Very expensive places, okay? I just got coffee and a bread and I paid $21. Okay, so it’s exactly perceived value.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Exactly. Yep.
Jacqueline Snyder: What will the market bear? I bring that up a lot of times because our students are everywhere. And I have another student, for example, she is a bakery and she does gluten free savory goods.
And she’s in our mastermind. And when she came to visit in LA, I was like, I’m taking you specifically to this one market called Erewhon, which is literally the membership there is $200 a year for membership to get points back.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Wow. Fascinating. Yeah.
Jacqueline Snyder: Fascinating. And I showed her the sourdough loaf that was gluten free.
That was $25. And it’s this is $25. So you’re $7.99 bread versus this market will bear $25. So there’s a lot of exposure, I think as a fashion designer and part of my training, was that I had to go out and shop the stores. My friends that worked at gap or Nike, they would actually get 10, 000 budgets and they would be sent around the world.
Japan, Europe, New York city to go shop and find items that would inspire them for what they were going to design for the collections. And so I was really trained in shopping the stores to understand what’s happening in the market. What are the price points? Being aware.
What happens, I think, a lot of times as small business owners, we get really isolated and we’re insular. And so maybe we only know our town that we’re in. But maybe we don’t know our town that well. Because have you shopped the stores? Have you shopped the stores of the surrounding areas? Are you aware of what’s happening?
And then also kind of an understanding. If they’re local retailers, they probably really understand their customer base. They think that they won’t do something, but I think it’s important for people to identify truly who their customer is and call that person in and get out of their way. Because I always say people who can’t pay their rent still have a thousand dollar phone in their pocket.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yep.
Jacqueline Snyder: Because they value the phone and they will spend the money and they will pay it off over however long their contract is to have a thousand dollar phone. If your stuff has the value, and the need, and the want, and the desire, then stop thinking, “Oh, they’re never going to spend on that,” and make everything about what you’re selling worth what you’re asking them to pay for.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Hmm. So good, perceived value. This is so incredibly helpful. Thank you for sharing that. I’m sure some of our retailers are listening, being like, “Oh, this feels uncomfortable.” I want you to do it anyways. I want you to shop around, do your research, try it. I see a lot of race to the bottom as well, like you were mentioning, and we want to get people out of that. So we want to make more money here now. Let’s make more money.
What are some of the first steps independent retailers should take to create their own product line?
Crystal Vilkaitis: Okay, Jacqueline. I think that the majority of our listeners have the retail store and they’re selling other people’s lines, but there is this amazing opportunity for the retailer to evolve and create their own line.
And I’m a big Gary Vaynerchuk fan. On his podcast, a few months ago, he was saying, “If I had a retail store, I would make my own line.” I was really thinking about that. And there’s just so many opportunities for the different stores that we work with, but obviously that’s a whole ‘nother kind of business.
And this is exactly what you teach people to do. But if there’s any listeners who are like, maybe that could be a good addition to my store or they’ve been pulled to create their own line and maybe 2024 is a year to do it. What are some of those first steps and foundational best practices that they should take?
Jacqueline Snyder: Great question. So I think I’m going to start with what I started with the whole podcast of what can you be known for? Or we like to also call it, here at The Product Boss, your best seller. And just for everyone to know, and I think we’re gonna talk about a little bit, but we have a challenge coming up called Bestseller Secrets Challenge.
So I think this would be a good place to start because they can come in and identify their bestsellers. And then if they’re thinking, okay, I think I understand what my bestsellers are. Could I make that myself for my customer? Then I think we could take it further than that. So it’s at theproductboss.com/rooted. If you all want to sign up, it’s totally free, but I think what that will help you do is really identify what your best sellers are.
That’s exactly where I would start. I would look at your business as a whole and I would say, “What am I selling a lot of now?” There’s going to be things that you sell a lot of because they’re a brand and you’re known for that brand, and I’m not going to say that you ,should knock off that brand.
So for example, I have a student that has a gift store and the Ty company, like the Beanie Baby type product. She buys those and she sells them, or Jellycat, those stuffed animals, right? So those are known products that as retailers, we’re probably lucky to get in as an account and to sell it.
I’m not going to say you should go knock off something that’s like a super established brand. But if you’re a gift store and you’re like, “Okay, I do really well with,” I’m thinking about the holidays as we’re just gone through them. You created these really cool gift boxes, let’s say. Or no, you saw people putting together gift boxes for Christmas.
Maybe you’re an apothecary store and they’re putting together our own bundles of stuff that you sell. Is there a version of that? Could you white label a candle? Or like some sort of little apothecary bundle that’s more labeled towards your business, your brand. That they come in and they’re like, “Oh, this is special to this store.”
There’s a store here in LA called Hudson Grace. They’re a home goods store. And they have these like Hudson Grace candles that are very specific scents,, that are specific to where they are. So there’s Brentwood, Malibu, Beverly Hills. There’s very specific L.A. spots and the scents match the localities of it.
So for a local retail store, I think that would make a lot of sense. When I used to live in a small town in New Jersey, there was this cute gift store and the stuff that they had there that was more to the neighborhood was our zip codes on pillows.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Oh, okay.
Jacqueline Snyder: So it was felt more local. And maybe if they need tea towels and pillows sold really well. I was in West Orange, New Jersey.
So, West Orange and West Oranges’ zip code; that could be like a smaller retail product that they test and try within the space to see if their local people want to buy local geared products. That’s maybe a place I would start initially.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Great starting point. So the bestsellers and then the local. I love the local idea because people are often so proud to represent where they live, whether they grew up there or if they move there and they just love their community. And there’s so many angles with so many different types of stores that you could take with this.
Love that you mentioned the scent too. My dear friend who’s a local photographer, Christina Graciano, she has a scent for her photography studio. So then when you go to the studio, you smell that and then she sends you home with her candle with her signature scent. And I just feel like that’s a really cool way to set yourself aside, that retailers can absolutely do.
So such good tips. And then it’s theproductboss.com/rooted. For retailers. Yes, tell us a little bit about this challenge because I feel like everyone on this call, whether you’re thinking about doing your own line or not, you should go to this free challenge. So tell us about it.
Hey, real quick. Retail, marketing, technology, business is changing incredibly quick, like faster than we’ve ever seen it before. And this is exactly why I created the conference Evolve, which is a marketing conference made exclusively for independent retailers. This will help you know what’s working today.
Help you stay up to date, help you leverage these tools. So you do not get left behind. I do not want you to be left behind. So join the over 200 retailers that already have their tickets. We’ve got over 12 speakers. We’ve got amazing sponsors. You’ll have time for networking. And support with your other retailers who are attending.
This is the conference of the year that you are not going to want to miss. Go to crystalmediaco. com slash evolve to learn more and get your tickets before prices keep going up. I hope to see you at evolve.
Jacqueline’s 5-Day Bestseller Secrets Challenge for independent retailers
Jacqueline Snyder: Yeah. So it’s called the Bestseller Secrets Challenge. It’s a five day challenge. It’s going to be kicking off in just a couple of weeks. So get signed up, you’ll come into the Facebook community. We have lots of fun things happening. We’re doing giveaways, it’s awesome. But what we do is we walk you through over the course of five days of identifying your bestsellers.
So, it’s kind of the same concept of what can you be known for? What are customers telling you? They’re voting with their wallets and they’re telling you, “This is what I like.” I think the very first two days in the challenge, you were going to feel this big, like aha, light bulb moment where it’s going to save you so much money in the long run.
Because right now, you all know there is stuff sitting on your shelves that is not moving. That you got inspired, you were shopping, you’re like, “Oh, that’d be great. Oh, maybe they’ll like that.” I know our creative side of us just goes divergent and we’re like, Oh, that would be great.
Let’s test it. But a lot of times then all these tests and tries ended up just being cash on the shelves instead of moving. So I’d love for you to come, and then identify what your best sellers are, or what you can be known for. And I think, especially for retailers, it’ll help you start to clear up and clean up what your customers want, and they’re telling you what they want, and then they’ll know to refer you easier.
Then after that, we’re going to really dig into and talk about how do we then let our community now? How do we share it with the world? How do we multiply our revenue streams? Because I think there’s also some lost opportunity sometimes in retail, either you’re really strong with foot traffic, but ecomm is not as strong.
Also, I feel like there’s a struggle a lot of times with social media or marketing and trying to get people to be aware that you exist. When you’re a retail store that has foot traffic, yes, there’s word of mouth. A lot of our students are struggling to either try and make more sales online, which I think is great, because then you can reach people and make sales all the time.
It’s not wrapped around the fact that the doors are open and the doors are closed. And also how do we transfer your customers that are shopping in person to also shop with you online? And then there’s also these multi channel sales, like revenue streams, that you can make.
We’re going to go into all of that over the five days and at the very end, you’re going to have created a path to profit, which basically looks at the revenue you’re at right now and where you want to be. Then we talk about how can we multiply your revenue? And then multiply it on multiple revenue streams and visibility channels?
Crystal Vilkaitis: Brilliant. Okay, I am going to try to go to all five of these days. This is so good. Our listeners are going to love this challenge. So head to the productboss.com/rooted and sign up. And then I’ll see you there.
The coffee retailer who transformed her profit margins
Crystal Vilkaitis: Now, Jacqueline, I love inspiring stories of like, “they were here and now they’re here,” that transformation.
I’m sure you have a lot because you’ve worked with so many tens of thousands of students, but what’s one of those stories that stands out for you of where they were in that transformation through going through your training?
Jacqueline Snyder: Yeah, Eileen of Old Millhouse Coffee. She is a small coffee shop in a small town. I think she’s in Massachusetts. She was just on the podcast, I think, back in November. So she’s a retailer and a coffee shop. She sells coffee, she has a little coffee space, but then she also was buying product from local makers and selling it in her coffee shop as well.
She also puts on street fairs for her community, so she gets a whole bunch of makers and retailers together and different restaurants. And she puts on the street fair and the whole community benefits from it. So she’s done amazing things, but she’s burning out or she feels burnt out. She’s overwhelmed.
She’s always finding herself back behind the coffee bar and serving coffee when she’s like, “I just hired someone for this, right?” So she’s really struggling with hiring. Plus she has this event that she does, and then she has all the product that she’s buying, but then she’s sitting on it and it’s not moving.
And she just, I think feels everywhere and overwhelmed. So she joined us inside of our signature program, which is Multi Stream Machine. She’s also worked with us in our mastermind as well, but really a lot of the change happened for her within Multi Stream Machine. And what she realized is exactly what we talked about here.
She needed to raise her prices. Again, you cannot compare it, even though she’s in a small town. She can’t say, “Oh, Dunkin Donuts is selling coffee for this.” We’re not Dunkin. You are the cute, amazing coffee shop with amazing drinks and really good pastries and people go for that. And so she really worked on cleaning up her margins and figuring out even if she just charged a dollar more for her coffees, if she upsold, if she told them, “Oh, if you buy this, get this.”
And they were just making the offers and constantly upselling and training the people that worked for her to understand. You want fries with that, right? For 25 cents more, you can get a bigger size. So she did that. She also decided that she was going to lean out of some of the retail part because she realized that while it was a nice to have, it wasn’t the thing that was making her money.
So again what can she be known for? She’s looking for him to be known for great coffee, drinks, and food, and then they could take away coffee with them or the coffee mugs and things like that. But not so much about the jewelry and the pottery and all this other stuff that she thought she could sell within the store as well.
She just sent us a message the other day and she’s like, “I think I’m going to cry.” She’s like, “I cry every single time I go to my CPA.” She’s always like, “You should do this and you should do that.” And she’s like, “I never do it right.” And, “I’m not profitable.”
She’s making half a million dollars in her business, but no profit. And she’s not paying herself. She’s like, “Oh my goodness. What have you done?” I’m so proud of you. She said, even though her revenue is flat, her profitability, which is the margins part and the most important part, has gone up.
She’s paying herself. She can afford to hire people. So even though she doesn’t feel like the influx of people coming in are more, or that there’s more people discovering her, she’s gotten better at the business part and she’s increased her margins. And so now she’s more focused on what can she be known for?
Her best sellers, she has better pricing. And now she’s working on expanding those channels, those sales channels, because she’s clearer on who she’s serving. And what she’s selling and that she can be profitable from it. I’m just so proud of her because she’s just completely transformed and the profitability is the money that’s in our pocket.
That’s the thing we want to be concerned with. Not the vanity number of the revenue that we’re like, “Oh, I’m a million dollar business.” No, how much profit can we take home?
Crystal Vilkaitis: Exactly. I love this because I’m not kidding, I started listening to that episode this morning, getting ready. I always listen to podcasts when I put on my makeup and that was the one I started. So as you started talking about, I’m like 20 minutes in. I love how you did that show by the way, too. Because you’ll zoom out and be like, “Did you catch that?”
And you’re recapping things throughout it. So we’ll link to that episode for everybody to listen to. That’s such a perfect example of everything that we talked about on this call. It’s so important to get really clear on what you’re known for and how much are you charging and training your team?
And then we want to make the money. That’s what matters is our profit. So good for her, that’s really exciting. I’m glad that there’s happy tears happening now.
What steps would Jacqueline give to the retailers whose ready to make this their most profitable year yet?
Crystal Vilkaitis: Jacqueline, there’s retailers who are listening to this who want to do the same. They want to make more profit. They want to level up.
And I’m speaking to the one who’s ready. They’re ready to go, because I think a lot of us think, ” it would be nice if,” but it’s like, I want the action taker. I want the person who’s like, “I’m ready for 2024 be my year.” Best year yet, make more money. What couple of steps would you give to that listener?
Jacqueline Snyder: I do think if we don’t set goals, we don’t know where we’re going. And I find a lot of us, especially small businesses and entrepreneurs, we’re just always feel like we’re hustling and running around, putting out a fire. So I think a really big thing is to sit down and think, what do you want your year to look like?
Especially since I think this is airing in the beginning of the year. And it’s not too late. The first quarter we can still think through, because we know that our fourth quarter is usually the most important quarter for the whole year, for retailers. And everything we do up until that point. I want you to think about what worked from this last year and what didn’t work.
What do you want to take with you into the new year and what are we going to just let go of and leave behind? And then let’s set a goal. I work really well with number goals. It just, it is. And sometimes it’s like pushing yourself into that uncomfortable place. But what do you want it to be?
What do you want your revenue to be? What do you want your take home to be? How much would you like to get paid? It’s not necessarily, you may not have your path there yet, but when you say it out loud, that’s the very first step. So I know that when The Product Boss had only made $90,000 in a year when we first started.
I n our second year of business, I went to a mastermind event. I was really inspired. And I was like, I think that The Product Boss can be a million dollar business. I had no idea how, I just said it out loud to the world. So that was 2019. And then in 2020 with everything that happened, somehow we were like, this is not going to be the year. But we did.
And we hit a million dollars by our third year. And I wouldn’t have ever gotten to, I’ve never in my life to ever think I was going to get to a million dollars. I just had to say it. And I know people say like the universe and alignment and all that, but I just had to put it out there and I think it’s the same thing about our salaries.
I had this conversation the other day with our masterminders where I was like, “How much would you like to get paid a month?” Let’s get crazy, right? But it’s like, what’s the number? It’s hard for people to dream bigger than they can see.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yes.
Jacqueline Snyder: So I was like, you could take home a hundred thousand dollars a month. It could be anything. We just have to work our way there. And so some people were like $10,000, $20,000, $50,000. Great, let’s just put a number out there. It could sound absolutely bonkers nuts in the moment to us.
Crystal Vilkaitis: We have to.
Jacqueline Snyder: We have to say it and then our brains will start to look for the ways there.
And then one day you might wake up and you’d like, “Holy moly, the thing I said a few years ago has actually happened today.” So yeah, I think that’s how I would step into the new year is really thinking about what do you want your revenue to be and what do you want your take home to be? Cause that’s the thing that’s going to inspire us.
And then the idea then is what can you be known for? Making your margins correct. Because that’s where that profitability gets into your pocket. And then thinking about how do I reach more customers? So that’s that idea of multiple streams of revenue. So it might be, if I sell here, I’m going to reach more eyeballs.
Or if I do this to get more eyeballs, I’m going to make more sales. And so it’s this idea of how do we get in front of other people’s audiences to keep increasing the awareness of your shop?
Crystal Vilkaitis: So good. Other people’s stages, other people’s audience, there is so much power in that. We try to just build our own constantly, but I’m really glad that you said that and I couldn’t agree with you more. I challenge our listeners to think bigger. I have been looking at 2024 for Crystal Media and what are we going to make?
And I had my number and I’m like, “What if I double that?” All of a sudden, you just think so differently and it gave me different answers. It gave me better ideas, the creativity. And so , I love your advice. It’s so good.
Why Jacqueline believes this upcoming year is a time where anything is possible
Crystal Vilkaitis: Now, looking ahead to 2024, what are you excited for?
Jacqueline Snyder: Ooh. Well, like I said, I had a partnership and we are amicable and it’s been amazing, but this year was a year where it was transitioning out of the partnership. And so ’24 is going to be just me and The Product Boss, and what’s next, and it’s almost as amazing time of anything is possible.
Well, what’s possible? We’ve got a really exciting thing that’s coming in May for our community and ways that I’ve really seen and felt the support that’s needed, that more people are looking for more support. Everyone wants information and strategy, which is a hundred percent part of what I know.
And what I’m a part of is just teaching other people. There’s also this idea of not feeling alone. I’m excited as I transition The Product Boss into what’s next, is I’ve been listening and creating. And then what this kind of container that we’re going to have for our community, as well as just.
Being solo, like I told my husband this because when you have a partnership, it’s like a marriage and a lot of energy goes in and we love each other still. So I just want everyone to know that. But I told my husband, I was like, it’ll be really interesting because now I’m going to shift back into the only relationship I really need to pay attention to is now the one with my husband and my kids.
And for myself. So there’s this kind of interesting shift that’s going to be happening personally and professionally for me. And I’m just excited to see what comes from it all.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, I’m excited for you too. And I love change. Not everybody loves change, but I’m somebody who like really thrives around change. I just think that it can be so refreshing. And so I’m excited to see what happens, and I have a little insider glimpse of what’s happening in May. I think it’s super cool.
Jacqueline’s resilience round
Crystal Vilkaitis: So people have definitely be tuning in to hear more. Jacqueline, are you ready for the resilience round?
Jacqueline Snyder: Ooh, I am.
Best business book
Crystal Vilkaitis: Okay, let’s do it. Best business book.
Jacqueline Snyder: Okay, so I love this one book. It’s called Think Big, Act Small. So as we talked about thinking bigger, so Think Big, Act Small, and it’s how America’s best performing companies keep the startup spirit alive and it’s written by Jason Jennings.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Ooh, okay. I’m going to add that to my reading list. I haven’t heard of it yet, that sounds so good.
Best retail technology
Crystal Vilkaitis: Okay, the best retail technology like an app or software.
Jacqueline Snyder: Okay. Well, I think Shopify just wins. I see so many people try and do things outside of it, but Shopify is really trying to be the one place that kind of meet everyone from startups all the way to $25 million businesses. So I’m still really behind that one. It’s just user friendly, it integrates with all these apps and tools.
You could use it in person, you can use it online. I think it’s a great technology.
How do you keep up with the ever changing landscape of retail?
Crystal Vilkaitis: I agree. How do you keep up with the ever changing landscape of retail?
Jacqueline Snyder: I think exposure. Like I said, I leave my house. I talk to people. I walk around, I go talk to retailers. So I think there’s that now as a business owner. There’s also isolation. There’s a lot of times of isolation and feeling competitive. So I think another big thing is to find a group.
To find a community of people helping each other versus competing against each other. So whether it’s your community, a mastermind some sort of group that you can create with fellow business owners, that you can talk and resource each other. Obviously, there’s all the other ways of podcasts and markets and trade shows and all this stuff. But I think for me, my biggest change happened when I found my people.
What is a foundational best practice?
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, so good. To help retailers be more rooted in success, what is a foundational best practice?
Jacqueline Snyder: It goes back to understanding your customer. And so I think it’s constantly goes to the same thing of, are you talking to people? Are you getting feedback? Are you talking to your best customers and asking what they need and paying attention? It’s really always data.
That I’m looking for to improve upon my business and human interaction and what they say in their feedback, but also what they do is the data you’re looking for to make your next decision.
If Jacqueline had to start her business all over again, what would she do differently?
Crystal Vilkaitis: Awesome. Now, if you had to start your business all over again, what’s one thing you would do differently?
Jacqueline Snyder: Ooh. I would have gotten into community and found a coach faster. It didn’t exist when I started back in 2007. So for 10 years, I ran it by myself. I would have had someone. I was someone else’s consultant, but I had no one consulting me. So I would have found mentors or information. I think everyone is so fortunate now with how easy it is to access podcasts and to find mentors. But that’s what I would have done.
What does the future of independent retail look like?
Crystal Vilkaitis: Awesome. Finally, what do you see the future of independent retail? What does it look like?
Jacqueline Snyder: I think it’s exciting, always going to change and it always has changed. So my grandpa owned, I think it was like seven different grocery stores in London, back in the fifties and sixties. And then he ended up changing. And people might say grocery stores are dead, but then look at Erewhon and it’s a couple that have launched this amazing brand.
So I think as long as we’re always pivoting, staying on top of information and saying like, how do I continue to stay relevant? I’m really excited to see what happens. And I think the other big thing I see is experience. Experience is so important to retail. What is the experience your customer is going to have when they come in?
If you think of how drugstores are, and then a modern drugstore where it feels like, “Ooh, I can discover products. I can shop around.” It’s the experience of the customer. And I think that’s the thing that’s going to keep certain retailers growing and expanding
Crystal Vilkaitis: I so agree. So good. Jacqueline, where can people learn more and connect with you?
Jacqueline Snyder: Amazing, you’re listening to the podcast. So just come on over and follow the show at The Product Boss. Anywhere you listen. Also, on Instagram, we’re at The Product Boss. And then I hope to see you all inside of the Bestseller Secrets Challenge. Like I said, it’s at theproductboss.com/rooted. It is totally free.
It’s five days, it’s community. And I always think if you participate in something and you pull one jewel from it, that could be a major shift in your business. I can’t wait to see you all there.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Yeah, I can’t wait to see them there too. I can’t wait to participate. And I so agree, one thing can be business changing. So show up, participate. Jacqueline, I loved this conversation. I feel like I could have talked to you forever. Thank you so much for being here.
Jacqueline Snyder: Thank you for having me.
Crystal Vilkaitis: Awesome. Remember everyone that I am rooting for your success. Have a great week ahead.
If you are enjoying Rooted in Retail, then you are going to love a new podcast called main street matters by heart on main street. My dear friend, Patrick Kaiser and the founder of heart on main street is the host. And he talks to. Retailers, industry experts helping main street retailers thrive similar to what we do here on rooted.
So I know you are going to love it. And if you haven’t heard of heart on main street, you’re going to want to check them out because they help independent retailers in three main ways through education, mentorship. And grants. It’s an incredible nonprofit and organization that I am honored to sit on the board for and be involved in.
And I really want to see you get involved. It’s a great resource. So you can go to heart on main street. org to learn more and then open up your podcast player, search for main street matters on heart on main street and subscribe and enjoy. I know you’re going to love it.
Thank you so much for being here. It means the world to me. Don’t forget to join the Rise and Shine newsletter, which is social media news you need to know, sent via email every Monday morning, go to crystalmediaco.com/rise to join. And don’t miss the newest episode of Rooted in Retail, which drops every Sunday morning.