We are so excited to introduce Episode 012 of With Grace and Gold: The Podcast – a business education podcast for small business owners and entrepreneurs. With Grace and Gold: The Podcast features 5-minute episodes with clear, actionable steps to guide you toward successful small business ownership. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Spotify, or elsewhere!
If you’ve followed along with With Grace and Gold for awhile, you know our favorite place in the entire world is… Target. We refer to Target as the mothership, because it’s basically our happy place — a place we always want to visit. But, why do we — and so many of us — love Target so much? Like, how has Target become more of a lifestyle than a store?
In our opinion, from a business perspective, Target does so much well. Today, we’re sharing 3 business lessons we’ve learned from Target — and because With Grace and Gold clearly has a completely different business model than Target does, these lessons might surprise you and serve your business, too!
3 Business Lessons Learned from Target
Target is our favorite place to go — it’s a place where we can grab our favorite Starbucks drink, see what’s new, and become immersed in products we instantly feel drawn to. From a business standpoint, we’ve learned so much from Target. Here are 3 business lessons we’ve learned:
Lesson Number 1: Develop systems you believe in and stand by them. Early on in our business, we found ourselves second-guessing ourselves about just about everything. While we had created a design process we really believed in, whenever a client asked us to journey through our process in a different way, we complied. Even though the way we created our design process was intentional and rooted in purpose, we would change the order of our design process to appease our clients. Eventually, we realized that we were the owners of our business — that we were the experts being asked to provide a service in the most seamless way possible.
When we thought about our favorite store, Target, we realized Target has a system for everything — and that its customers work within that system, no — or few — questions asked. For example, Target customers don’t drop their products in the middle of the store and say “I’d like to check out here, please!” Target customers add their products to their cart, make their way to the checkout line, and check out. The process is something their customers work within — and both Target and its customers have a better experience as a result.
Beyond that, Target inspired us to set strict business hours for ourselves. We knew customers of Target couldn’t to browse Target’s aisles at 3 AM — and we wanted to set the same expectation in our own business. We set our business hours, added them to our website and e-mail signature, began operating within those business hours — no matter what.
Lesson Number 2: Create an experience. Somehow, strolling down the aisles of Target feels like an experience. Each section is decorated in its own way, and it really feels like a place you can become immersed in. This taught us that our business can be more than a means to an end — it can create an experience for every client we serve. Journeying through the design process can feel easy, seamless, and even fun.
Our experiences at Target reminded us we could do more through our business than simply provide a service — we could create a place where clients are excited to come to. Whether that meant revisiting our web design or creating a more user-friendly experience — or polishing our design process and client experience, there is something powerful about creating an experience through your business.
And Lesson Number 3: Develop strategic partnerships with fellow businesses. We can still remember when Starbucks became a normal part of every Target. We thought, what could be better than that?! And then, Target partnered with Chip and Jo for the Hearth and Hand Collection — and our lives were complete!
Target has taught us that our businesses can be stronger together. Target taught us that it’s OK to not be everything to everyone — and to partner with businesses in a strategic way. We can all lift one another up.
So, summed up: the three lessons we’ve learned from Target are: Develop systems you believe in — and can stick to. Create an experience. And develop strategic partnerships with fellow business owners.
Even if you’re not quite as obsessed with Target as we are, we hope these lessons encourage you and point you in a fresh, new direction as you continue your journey as a small business owner and entrepreneur.
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