Some marriages and some businesses are just meant to be—as long as you're willing to say, "I do." Or, in Patricia Lipper's case, "I will." According to the co-owner of i do…i do…Bridal Studio, in Morristown, New Jersey, "talking about it is what made it happen." She first spoke aloud her goal of opening a bridal shop in a women's business group. From there things fell into place: a neighbor revealed that he had a perfect retail space available, and another bridal shop went out of business, giving Lipper access to discounted inventory. Then Leia Marley, Lipper's long-time friend and former co-worker, offered to become her partner. And, of course, Lipper reached out to Optimum Business for her telephone and internet connectivity.
The big day, made easier by Optimum
Brides-to-be have a lot on their plates and no time to waste. That's why most of them show up to i do…i do… having already perused Lipper's stock of 700+ dresses on the Web, uploaded courtesy of Optimum's reliable, high-speed internet. "They come in with a clear vision of what they're interested in," says Lipper. "So we start out knowing their tastes and price ranges." This makes appointments go more smoothly and quickly, which is a big help for Lipper, who cites her biggest challenges as "not enough hours in the day, and not enough fitting rooms in the store."
The bridal studio's customers also enjoy complementary WiFi while in-store. Time-crunched brides can easily browse more dresses on their mobile devices during downtime, shop online for other necessities for the big day, upload pictures or Facetime their favorite dresses to absent friends and family.
Timing is everything
Lipper orders all her customers' dresses online, and has to constantly check availability and ship dates. "These are custom dresses," says Lipper. "They're made-to-order and we have to be sure we'll get them in time." An unreliable internet connection would translate into stressed-out brides and bad business.
"I'm online—all day long," says Lipper, "or on the phone. Brides call and email to book appointments; I'm talking to manufacturers. If our internet or phone service went down, we'd miss appointment requests and lose track of orders pretty quickly."
You can't do it alone
Lipper is all about serving customers—efficiently and happily. And Optimum shares these values, as Lipper can attest. "They sent out the nicest guys," she says. "When we had to move some wiring, they were so patient, so friendly and helpful—really pretty awesome."
Her advice to prospective business owners is to find and appreciate the resources all around. This might mean discovering that a neighbor has a perfect piece of real estate, that your best friend also makes an amazing business partner, or that an up-and-coming Business Service provider is just waiting for a chance to prove themselves. "You can't do it alone," Lipper says. "But start talking about it—that's the first step."
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