Starting a small business in the retail sector? Read how branded workwear can go a long way towards getting your little business off to the right start.
There’s no doubt that small businesses — particularly in the retail sector — have a ton of start-up costs to contend with when first getting started. In addition to the investment in equipment, a retail space, and a flashy marketing campaign to draw in immediate interest from consumers, retail business owners have to contend with hiring employees and making payroll right from the onset. While buying into a franchise typically requires that employees wear some kind of uniform, one-off “Mom and Pop” retail stores — whether they are a restaurant or boutique — are not obliged to invest in uniforms or any kind of branded workwear.
But for as much as it is easy to put uniforms on the back shelf for new business owners, putting your employees in branded workwear from the outset of a retail venture can greatly impact your chances of success. Read on to find out why:
Workwear and Professionalism
Fifty years ago, consumers simply didn’t have the expectation that retail workers should wear uniforms. While some retail professions dictated the wearing of the uniform, the vast majority of businesses did not bother with branded workwear, since small retail businesses didn’t need to compete with national chains and franchises; local retail was still very much inspired by the “cottage industry,” and worked together to serve the local community.
With the rise of national retail franchises, however, consumers now expect a uniformity to the shopping and retail experience. If you are a small, start-up retail business, what kind of image will your employees project to first-time customers, compared with the managed look and presentation of a franchised workforce?
From the moment your customers enter your store, the picture of an uniformed staff goes a long way toward projecting professionalism and quality. Granted, your employees need to follow up how they look with how well they interact with your customers. But first impressions are key, and branded workwear helps to establish a good one for your business.
In spite of the fact that western culture becomes more and more casual in the workplace with each passing generation, the fact remains that there is something to be said for “dressing for success.” Clinical studies show that when workers wear a uniform or adhere to a dress code at work, they are more focused and productive in their work. This is as true for retail employees as it is for white-collar executives.
Another factor to consider is that, by providing your employees with branded workwear, they don’t have to think (or fail to think) about what they are wearing to work. Since the beginning of entrepreneurship, business owners have grimaced at some of the outfits that their employees come to work in. By setting a uniform, you will have total control over what your employees are wearing.
Small business owners often assume that branding was the domain of businesses. Sure, Nike, IBM, Apple, McDonald’s, and other blue chip companies might have a ubiquitous logo that everyone recognises, but what are the chances that a small restaurant or boutique will ever achieve such a success with its own branding?
The point of brand recognition at the retail level isn’t about building up a brand logo that does all the heavy lifting of marketing on its own — at least not in the shirt-term. Brand recognition — and promoting your logo on workwear — is all about theming your retail business and developing authority and trust within your niche.
Just as business owners often spend a great deal of money on building a website but never spend resources on promoting it, so too is it a waste to develop a great logo and only use it on your storefront signage. A creative logo paired with the right workwear can go a long way in bolstering the image and theme of your retail business.
To be sure, spending money on branded workwear may seem at first like a “second tier” expense for a start-up retail business. But if you’re willing to take that extra step early on in the development of your business, you might find that extra little touches like these can be the difference in success and failure.
Thanks for reading our article! Did you know that Kustomised is a leading online provider of branded workwear and custom clothing for the UK? Be sure to take a look at our full line of customised products today, and let us outfit your new retail business with the perfect uniforms and workwear!