It’s 2015, and we would like to wish each and every one of you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! At iBurn we’re hoping to have a happy new year too, but it’s going to be an uphill battle. We thought long and hard about going public with the store’s struggles, and we decided that our fiercely loyal fans, friends and followers would want to know the deal, but let’s start with some 2014 highlights…
Our website iBurn.com pretty much broke every record we had for 2014. We shipped over 12,000 jars, bottles, bags and boxes to all 50 states and 20 different countries. Our website continues to grow at a steady pace, and we couldn’t be happier with the progress. The storefront in Houston also performed better in the last 3 months of 2014 than the previous year. Unfortunately, even with a good holiday season, the combined numbers still fell well short of our goal to break even. Our 2014 overall numbers got us to 54% of our goal. Thankfully the website is moving in the right direction to achieve its 2015 goal. Unfortunately the storefront is not, and that’s our biggest concern. If we don’t get roughly twice as many people to visit the brick and mortar store in 2015, then we might have to close the storefront indefinitely.
Don’t worry! We’re NOT going out of business!
The site is kicking butt and taking names, but if things at the storefront don’t improve, everyone might have to order online for a while. At least until the website can give the storefront more support. UNLESS we can get help from all of you. Our biggest problem currently is letting people know we exist. People literally walk through the door every day that had no idea Houston has a store like iBurn. Fortunately almost everyone that visits the store will buy something, but for most people hot sauce is a monthly purchase at best. Some of our customers might only visit the store every 2-3 months, and there are even people that only visit once per year. That means we need a greater volume of people to come through our doors than most small businesses. We’ve done what we can afford to do to get the word out, but building brand recognition in a city as big as Houston is very difficult. Look at how many years (33+) of constant radio and TV commercials it took for Gallery Furniture to become a well-known local brand. We can’t afford traditional advertising right now, so we need all of the help that we can get.
How can you help?
If you’re one of the people that wants our storefront to stay open, then there’s a number of things you can do to help. First and foremost tell everyone about Houston’s ONLY hot sauce shop and spicy store. We’re happy to help in any way we can:
- Need postcards? Give us the address.
- Want us to show up at your event? Give us the details.
- Got a great idea to get the word out? Let us know!
We’re open to any ideas that can move things in the right direction. Obviously sharing our store with your friends/fans/followers on social media would be a great place to start. Bringing your spice-loving family and friends to the storefront would be even better. Anything that can you can do to help us get through the winter (our slowest months last year) would earn our eternal gratitude.
We’re going to make some temporary changes.
In preparation for a potentially slow winter we are going to make a few minor changes to our daily operations. The only change that will impact you is our new hours. Starting January 5, 2015 we will have shorter hours in an effort to cut costs:
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday-Thursday: 11am-6pm
- Friday-Saturday: 10am-6pm
- Sunday: 12pm-4pm
Hopefully Monday will be the only day we have to be closed. Our weekday business will dictate the hours until the spring. We truly hope this is just a bump in the road, and with your help we can make 2015 the year that guarantees Houston will have a PERMANENT place to purchase the preeminent piquant products on the planet!