I think I’ve done a New Year’s resolutions post for the business the past few years, and at this point, I really don’t care about looking back to see how we did. I should, but it just seems a waste of time. So let’s talk about what we hope to do this year:
- Add more products, faster. This year, we added more brands to the store and website than we have in years: Wolverine boots, Match Pewter, Berti Cutlery, Luminox watches, pens from Visconti and Higdon, Orbita watchwinders, Agresti furniture, and Saphir shoe care products. I’ll be in New York in 2 weeks to scout out new brands, but it’s safe to say we’ll be adding at least one additional shoe brand and a dress trouser line, more casual wear, some new barware & cigar accessories, and some innovative furniture which is already in the works.
- Video. Lots of ideas here. Long overdue. Not sure what else to say except we’re sorry we don’t have videos up already.
- Formally roll out our custom offerings. You probably didn’t even know we do custom stuff, and much of that, unfortunately, won’t be available to our beloved web customer base. But we’ve been dabbling in custom suits by Southwick, custom shirts by Ike Behar and Individualized Shirts, custom belts from Antas Apparel, and we’ll start offering custom pens from Higdon Writing Instruments. And we’ll broaden our Bespoke Stationery offering across a number of dimensions.
- Tell our story. We’re still a very small business lucky enough to have a loyal clientele. I have had countless friends and customers that know some of the gory details about our business tell me that we should write a book about it; it would make The Da Vinci Code read like a reference book in comparison. We’ll skip over some of the most unflattering aspects of our business, but we plan to use emails and promotions to share our story with our customers.
- Launch some web apps. There are a number of web apps that I have wanted to build for years, and we’ve just never had the time or the money. These are basically mini-applications that don’t necessarily relate directly to shopping, but which we think our customers will find valuable or entertaining. The first web app should go live in the first quarter of this year, if not in January.
- Consistently use social media. We have a Facebook page. We don’t really have a Twitter account we’re using…yet. I’m not suggesting we use social media for the sake of saying we use social media; the "Deal of the Day" posts we’ve done on Facebook have been win-wins for us and our customers. We just need to do it more often, and more consistently. I’m not promising we will, but I hope we will.
That’s a pretty healthy list. If we follow through in all those areas, a year from now, I would look back and consider it a very successful 2011.