In a clothes shop where many youths come and go, a young man with brown skin who always smiles was busy hanging clothes, talking with customers and taking merchandise from one place to another.
Ath Samoun, 26, manager and owner of Mr. Man Clothes Shop, sat down and shared some of the secrets of his success.
He explained that satisfying every customer is not easy because everyone has his or her own unique tastes. However, Samoun said that smiling always puts customers at ease.
“Smiling is a special physical gesture to communicate, and makes the customers feel friendly and warmly welcomed,” said Samoun.
“Some of them come in and do not find the clothes or accessories that fit them. Nonetheless, smiling has the power to attract their attention and provides a good feeling in our shop. At least, next time when they want to buy clothes, our shop may be the first they visit.”
However, smiling and being friendly is just the beginning of building a strong business. It is also very important, said Samoun, to study the market and grab opportunities where they present themselves.
“Our country is developing, and as the youth lifestyle is updated, the youth need something that is new, modern, and unique.”
Samoun said that he always works with his staff to figure out the demand of his customers. Sometimes, he listens to customers describe the types of clothes they want and then looks to import them directly from Thailand or Hong Kong.
He added that even though young people love new designs and styles that make them look different from each other, clothes should not be too stylistic because Cambodians want clothes that are unique and beautiful, but also simple.
Gimmicks, such as discounts, are also important to the business.
Customers may find that they need clothes for special events or occasions such as national holidays. During those times, the customers may get special discounts when they buy their clothes from Mr. Man.
Although he sells items for a lower profit during special sales events, Samoun said that he gets lots of turnover.
“To me, I prefer selling large amounts of goods with a small profit from each good, rather than selling less goods and gaining a lot of profit from each good.”
Samoun said that a formal education is not necessary to succeed at business, as he did not get a bachelor degree of clothes design or management.
Instead, he quit his studies after his third year at the National University of Management before starting the business with his brother. He said it was difficult because they did not have a lot of money or experience.
However, the business has proved successful. In the future, Samoun said that he may open another clothes shop for people of all ages.