The history of Utah Furniture Deals
As a mom of two, Sarah was in need of a project. In November of 2018, she decided to turn her passion and hobby for interior design and decorating into a small business opportunity. She knew the local outlets and where to find deals. While looking for items for her own home, she would peruse for items others might like and began posting them on Social Media (instagram and facebook marketplace).
Several people liked and appreciated what she was doing, and it didn’t take her long to realize this was not a very scalable business model. She also hadn’t anticipated this turning into a legitimate business. So thinking of scale kind of threw her off. As she leaned into the idea of starting a business, she decided that she indeed needed to change. The one-and-done items just weren’t working. Selling them wasn’t a problem. The problem was that there were several people wanting an item, but she only had one to offer. A problem every entrepreneur would ache for. Too much demand, not enough supply.
Her competitive side then really kicked in and began to fuel her desire to offer something greater. She found wholesalers and began building a catalogue of items to offer. Semi’s were making deliveries to her little cul de sac several times a week! Neighbors were complaining. Her house was stocked with all sorts of merchandise. It was nuts.
She built a website, began utilizing Instagram even more, and started hiring a few employees. Her garage became her showroom so customers could come see the product. A few more employees later, she started to offer design services where her staff would visit a customer’s space, consult them on what to do with it, and then provide the furniture and decorate.
In October 2019, she opened a retail space. As a showroom, she’s able to provide a space for her customers to see her product and order through her to have it delivered directly to them.
Making the most of Social Media
Social media is all the buzz right now. And as it grows, there are more and more opportunities for businesses to utilize these platforms. This is both awesome and overwhelming. Where do I start? What works best for my audience? WHO is my audience? How much time will this take?
Here to calm your nerves are some tips from our conversation with Sarah.
Observe what others are doing
Competitors, influencers, people you like, products you use. Check it all. What are they doing? What do you like about what they’re doing? What gets you to stop scrolling to look at their post? Or what gets you to participate in whatever call to action they’re extending?
Now, think about your audience. What are your competitors doing? How’re they succeeding? Seeing as you’ll share the same audience, how do you think what they’re doing is speaking to that audience?
Slow down. You may interact with these things every day, but you may not be tuning into what’s actually being done. Analyze the posts that make you stop. What about it is working? Think of the context in which you’re viewing– time of day, location, etc.
Define your audience
Speaking of audience, who are they? Do you know their basic demographic information? Income. Gender. Age. Location. Occupation. Lifestyle. The more you know, the better. It’s easier to go fishing with a shotgun and a full barrel than it is with a poll and the ocean. Defining your audience may make you feel like you’re leaving potential customers out, but it helps you to focus on those that will have a higher conversion rate, leading to greater success.
Learn your new tech– Facebook may not always be the best spot
Knowing your audience will have a massive impact on this. Who are they? WHERE are they? What type of communication works best for them? How does the same message vary across platforms? And how do accompanying visuals change as well?
For example, did you know that some people only exclusively watch stories? And many even watch them on mute! And did you know that photos without text have a greater click rate on Facebook than photos/images with text? What are you doing to utilize the tech at your fingertips to best reach your audience?
For Sarah, Instagram was the best place for her audience. She even knew what hour of day would be best to post so that she’d be at the top of their feed when they went to log in.
Put your power in one entity– don’t spread yourself thin
Social media can get overwhelming– fast! So take it easy. In the beginning, Sarah’s approach to Instagram was very simple. Simple photos. Simple questions. Nothing elaborate. But she was consistent.
Get people engaged– use features like Polls
People love to be consulted! And we do it all the time in our personal lives. Whether we’re starting to go to the gym more, looking at buying a new pair of shoes, comparing a MacBook to a Dell, we want to know what our family and peers are doing. We want to have our decisions validated and supported. So when you turn to your audience to get their validation and opinion, they love it! Keep it simple, but ask them their opinion. Engagement is better than likes.
You’re most likely not an Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter expert. That’s ok. Just start! Momentum is key. By remaining consistent, you’ll pop to the top of feeds. Then utilize those polls to get feedback and start to refine. The best way to get better is while in motion.
Taking advantage of momentum
There’s no such thing as balance. There are always spinning plates in the air. Some start to wobble, but they’re not always the same amount of stable at any given time. Your focus and attention shift from one to another as needed.
But when things get moving for your business, it’s best to find a way to take advantage of that momentum. Grant Cardone, a famous salesman, wrote a book with a great title– If You’re Not First, You’re Last. That momentum is extremely valuable. If you have an idea, run with it. Run hard. Being first in the market place is unbelievably valuable to your business, even if it means sacrificing perfect. In fact, remember to not let ‘perfect’ get in the way of ‘done.’ Or, like Ron Swanson says, “Don’t half ass 2 things. Whole ass one thing.”
As you’re moving forward, don’t be afraid to try everything once. You may find a new medium that suits your ideal customer best. And if it doesn’t work, don’t worry. That just means your audience isn’t there or it’s just part of the numbers game (getting in front of the right amount of your audience).
Sarah’s three takeaways are simple and bullish.
- Don’t be afraid to do things the way you want to do them when you want to do them. You’re not going to offend anyone. And you have a vision. You’ll be happiest if you stick to your larger vision and just go for it. Don’t sacrifice that to appease anyone.
- Don’t be shy. Just do it. Recognize the risk. Be ok to fail. But just try. You’ll never know what would happen if you didn’t.
- Be prepared to work hard. And don’t waste your hard work.
How to connect
Follow Sarah on Instagram @utahfurnituredeals or visit her website www.utahfurnituredeals.com.
Her retail location is 12336 S 450 E, Draper, UT 84020.