I’m totally kidding, they aren’t crazy or sexy but you need policies for your mum business. Having a solid set of sales terms/policies for your mum business will protect both you and your customer. They help move the process along more smoothly and (hopefully) more pleasantly. Knowing, without hesitation (no “let me think about that”) that pickup times are from 3pm - 10pm on Wednesday and Thursday will prevent you from finding yourself driving to the next town in the middle of the night to meet a customer. Yes, I have been there.
The mum business is unique. It’s not a one-size-fits-all industry. There are so many variations from tradition to economy to the local character. Your policies should reflect your business, what you will and won’t do for your customer and what you expect from your customer.
What should be included in your policies? Your terms need to be written in clear, user friendly, language. I recommend asking a friend or two that you trust to give honest feedback to read your policies and give suggestions to tweak until they are crystal clear.
Here are 5 essential elements for your Mum/Garter Policies. I have purposefully left them broad and general, so that you can make them more specific to your business.
Orders. Where and how do you take orders? In person? Over the phone? Online? All of the above?
Payment. How much is paid at the time the order is placed? What forms of payment do you accept? If you take partial payments, when is the balance due? What happens if they don’t pay the balance?
Timeline. Our business is time sensitive. How far in advance should mums and garters be ordered? Is there a deadline? Do you charge a rush fee if they pass that deadline?
Pickup. When and how do they get their purchase? Do you ship? Or deliver?
Cancellations. How will you deal with a cancellation request?
I consider coming up with a set of terms for your mum business to be an essential part of doing business. It is just as essential to put it in writing somewhere that your customers will see it. Again, this is protection for you. When a customer wants something that you don’t provide, you can simply refer them to your policies. If you don’t have a presence on the Internet (and in 2017, you should, but we’ll talk about that later) type it up and post it in the place where you do business. If you have a Facebook page where you take orders from customers, create a pinned post with your terms.
For Central Texas Spirit Wear, I have what I call “Mum and Garter FAQs” and it is its own page on my website. I call my policies FAQs and they are written as answers to questions that I anticipate from customers. My policies are linked on every single mum and garter listing in my shop. At the end of my online order form, the customer is asked to check a box, stating that they have read and understand the terms.
You are welcome to take a look at my Mum and Garter FAQs for ideas. Keep in mind that my policies were created for my business and may not work for your business.
Christy is married to her high school sweetheart (Go Alvin Yellowjackets!) and is almost an empty-nester. 2017 is her third season in the mum business and wishes she had taken the plunge years ago!
Central Texas Spiritwear