Building Competency as a Boss
The Uncommon Closet experience is inclusive on purpose, from the surroundings to interactions with staff. Owner Korri has fashioned a tailoring shop that is open to everyone.
Inclusion permeates every aspect of the Uncommon Closet experience, from the surroundings to interactions with personnel. All customers are welcome in the tailoring store that its owner Korri has created.
The majority of small business owners view growth as a surefire sign of their success. Bigger is better. Higher profits result from having more customers. However, if it is not carried out properly with the required tools and resources, rapid expansion could potentially ruin your small firm.
Amazing lesson! Korri Burton-Universe, the owner of the custom clothing and tailoring company Uncommon Closet, learned this lesson the hard way. Due to the postponement of weddings, business improved in 2021 after a difficult year in 2020.
“Everyone will understand that we must accept every client once the year 2021 arrives. We cannot turn anyone away. God, oh God. We have begun to submerge. It was very challenging. It was really painful for me to part ways with a handful of my core employees. I’ll be honest; I offended a lot of folks. It was a really challenging year “said Korri.
Uncommon Closet lost a number of key personnel due to burnout, but an assistant manager’s letter of resignation offered some wise counsel, and Korri took the time to hear it. As a result, changes were made to their employment process as well as their management of their firm.
Korri stated: “Together, we managed it. I hired a business advisor, and we discussed our goals. We really narrowed down the types of people we needed to hire. In the past six or seven months, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about how to hire qualified employees rather than acting in a hurry. How to more effectively convey my needs, comprehend those of my workers, and control the work flow. I’ve become much more adept at that.”
You don’t have to know the solutions to every issue as a small business owner. When issues arise, Korri has learnt to reach out and allow the staff members draw on their individual expertise to advance the company.
“I’ve made this place feel like a team. I want to be very clear that we do not battle alone. When a difficult, managerial choice has be made, I go to my head tailor and ask, “Hey, what do I need to do?” How should I phrase this? What’s the process here?”
One of the most important dresses a person may wear, a wedding dress, owned by Yelp reviewer Yvette C., needed some changes. A correct fit is crucial for both appearance and comfort on the big day. That pressure can be stressful, but Yvette felt comfortable and at ease at the store because of the excellent service and welcoming environment.
“Customer service is important to me because I run my own business. As a result, I am aware of what is happening and am aware that it shouldn’t be difficult to put on a phony smile and make a customer feel like they received a good experience. But at Uncommon Closet, everything is genuine “Yvette stated.
Additionally, they strive to be a proudly LGBTQIA+ inclusive business that actually welcomes everyone.
“Being fully honest about who we are makes me happy. I would much rather be aggressively forceful and aware of the fact that this is a gay environment and that I am queer. This is a safe place. That matters a lot to me because it shows my consumers that they can be authentic when they visit my store “Korri remarked.
“It also serves as a warning to others that if we can’t get along, then we won’t. The vibe detector check, I quip, is our rainbow storefront. If you’ve read this far, you’re doing quite well.”
Like other small business owners, Korri finds reviews to be both a blessing and a burden, but they accept them with grace.
“I’ve discovered that you can’t please everyone. And occasionally, we really are to blame, and I’ll own it. But you can’t please everyone. Not everyone will always get along with you. And occasionally, things just happen even though we may not have done something correctly.”
However, Yvette asserts that you cannot simply reply to reviews, whether they are positive or negative, with a canned response.
“The typical response when I submit positive reviews is a simple thank you. Instead of simply saying, “Thank you for your wonderful review,” Korri actually put a little more effort into expressing gratitude and appreciation. We hope you will recommend someone to us. They spent the time and said, “Thanks for that review.” It will be quite helpful to us. We are eager to meet you. Therefore, getting a little bit more was welcome.”
These tactical business principles have aided Uncommon Closet’s success, and the following others might be beneficial to your small business as well:
- Quick business growth brings challenges. You might need to reduce workload or hire new employees with specific skills.
- Know where you lack experience and be transparent with employees. They may be able to step in and provide advice.
- Be proud of your identity. Creating an inclusive environment will help build a customer base and provide self-affirming experiences for patrons.
- Make your responses to reviews thoughtful. Reviewers notice when you write canned responses to their reviews.
To hear directly from Korri and Yvette, check out the episode below. You can also subscribe to Behind the Review to hear more from upcoming entrepreneurs and reviewers every Thursday.