Monthly Archives: September 2015

Sep 30

10 Ways To Build Brand Loyalty With Your Store Buyers

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

Building brand loyalty with your store buyers should be paramount to your marketing strategy.  It is much easier to keep a customer that you already have than to go out and look for new ones to replace a buyer you already sell.

Brand loyalty is often times the reason buyers choose one collection over another, and the reason your business will be their first choice. The lifetime value of loyal customers is far higher than non-loyal. Creating brand-loyal customers should be the goal for any business.

10 ways to build brand loyalty with your store buyers

  1. Building brand loyalty starts with the first time you meet a new store.  Make sure you are knowledeable about your product.  Tell the story of your brand so that you engage them emotionally.
  2. Send a note thanking them for their order.  A nice card by snail mail is unique and will have you stand out.
  3. Make sure the, store is successful with your product.  If it sells well in their store that will keep them wanting to buy.  This may involve merchandise switches if something isn’t selling well as well as other strategies.
  4. Good follow up is very important to buyers.  Answering emails and returning phone calls quickly will give your buyers a comfort level working with you.
  5. Always do what you say you will do.  Keep your promises.
  6. Give your buyers marketing materials to help them reach out to their customers about your brand.  Look books, ads, etc.
  7. Ship on time.  Buyers have your orders slotted in their open to buy by delivery.  When you are late it effects their sales.
  8. Communicate consistently.  Don’t just reach out when you want to sell them.  Try to call them weekly or bi-weekly depending on the size of the store to see how your product is performing.
  9. Visit their store and learn more about them.  Even if it is just looking them up on Facebook.  The fact that you know about their store will endear you to them and help you direct them to styles on your line that they will be more successful with.
  10. Finally, people like to do business with people they like.  Work towards developing a strong relationship with your buyers.

 

 

Sep 28

Success Begins With A State of Mind

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion , Productivity

Success begins with a state of mind,  so if you want to be successful start thinking of yourself as successful.  The fashion industry is tough to break into and tough to grow and maintain a profitable business in.  But if you don’t believe in yourself and your product it is almost impossible.  I speak with business consultants all the time.  Sometimes they’re incredulous by how blinded owners are by their companies potential.  They complain that designers all think they are “the best thing since sliced bread”.  Well designers should believe it, that’s their job.  It doesn’t mean they aren’t open to ideas on how to improve and make sure their product is the best it can be. You must back up your success mindset with a collection that has all the components for preforming well.   It just means owners believe in what they doing.

Visualization is a very powerful tool to help you create a feeling of success.  Creative visualization is a mental technique that uses the imagination to make dreams and goals come true. Used in the right way, creative visualization can improve your life and attract to you success and prosperity. Thoughts that have become imprinted as beliefs are part of the subconscious programming.  So by programming your mind for success through visualization you very often create the success you desire.

When you start your fashion brand and while running it you must continually sell everyone on your vision.  This includes your sales people, mills, factories, bankers, and staff.  People will go all out for a company they believe has potential.  In order to sell you need to believe that you are successful at what you are creating.  Without a positive mindset, anyone charged with selling goods is doomed from the beginning. This especially important for small business owners to know.

One of the most common trait among highly successful entrepreneurs is true confidence.  Successful business owners are confident, not arrogant. Confident leaders lead through values and vision.

Sep 25

Attention Fashion Entreprenuers: Sales Is Your Most Important Activity

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion , Productivity

Recently a client told me they didn’t have the manpower for sales.  Yikes!  They really thought that.  What they missed is that sales is their most important activity.  It is not an afterthought.  You must find the manpower.

Not knowing how to generate money is shockingly very common among small businesses. It’s not that the product or service is bad, the problem is a lack of sales. No sales means no business.  End of story.  So why do many entrepreneurs ignore the sales process.  In part it is because many do not have sales experience.  They are excited about the process of developing their product.  But sales is scary to them.  They don’t know how to do it so they are optimistic that the product will sell itself.  Maybe they do a few trade shows or they make a look book and mail it to potential buyers or they hire a sales rep and hope for the best.  They don’t actively and consistently work on sales.

By ignoring or avoiding the sales process you doom your company to failure even before you start.  You should be selling your company from the very beginning.  Don’t wait till your product is finished and polished to the nth degree.  Have a plan in place so that when you open your collection you’re ready to sell.  In fact when I launch a new company I presell it to my potential buyers.  I contact them to create interest and tell them what is coming.  This way when I open the collection they are open to the possibility of carrying my product.  Then when the line is ready I continually reach out to them so that they come and see and purchase my merchandise.

I have launched and built several businesses and I know from experience that I must make selling my number one priority.

Sep 23

Don’t Wish It Were Easier, Wish You Were Better

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion , Productivity

“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” was said by Jim Rohn.  Emanuel James “Jim” Rohn was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. His rags to riches story played a large part in his work, which influenced others in the personal development industry.  He passed in 2009 but his work lives on.  His down to earth approach to success is timeless and impactful.  Yesterday I watched a video promoted by Darren Hardy, Publisher of Success Magazine.  The purpose of the video was to promote a Jim Rohn educational program.  There was footage of Jim Rohn saying some of his most famous qoutes.  This one “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” stuck with me.  I find myself repeating it over and over in my head.

What he means is you shouldn’t wish for less problems, but wish for more skills in handling them.  What it means to me is I should always be striving to be the best I can be.  The better you are the more “high class” your problems are.  Donald Trumps problems are on a way different level than mine are.  This is a man that deals in millions of dollars where I deal in thousands.  But, if I am always working towards improving myself and improve my financial situation than I can find myself dealing in hundreds of thousands, or who knows maybe millions.

This quote motivates me to be the best I can be.  To not be thrown by problems but to learn how to solve them.  I have a belief that I have a circle of influence.  Within this circle I am able to do the things I am familiar with.  However, if I do something outside my circle of influence than I expand my circle and become more skilled and more confident.  My abilities increase and I am capable of more.  This quote really resonates with me.  I am going to print it out and tape it to my mirror so I can read it everyday.  I cannot think of anything more motivating.

Sep 21

5 Great Business Books You Should Read

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

Each morning I spend 30 minutes reading books that teach me how to grow both in my business and personally.  I find it brings me inspiration but I also learn tools that help me achieve my goals. I have read so many over the years.  But several have really stood out.  5 great business books you should read that I recommend are the following.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Think and Grow Rich has been called the “Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature.” This is one of the first books ever written on the subject of achieving success.  It is still relevant and is the go to book of many a business person.

 

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.

This is a great book.  It speaks to how activities repeated over time create a compound effect that increases results exponentially overtime.

 

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

 

Stephen R. Covey presents a comprehensive, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. In this book reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity.

 

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Maxwell.

Tipping-Point

 

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.  Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon.  It is a good way for a business owner to understand how his or her brand can go viral.

 

 

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

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Many Entrepreneurs are so busy doing the work of their businesses that they neglect to work on their business.  Most businesses are started by people with technical expertise, he says. The entrepreneurial (“E”) myth is that technical expertise can provide a strong foundation to build a successful business on. In reality, success comes only by learning and effectively implementing certain proven techniques for growing and managing a business.

 

 

 

 

Sep 14

20 Quotes On Business Success

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

I love quotes and I love collecting them. They inspire me.  The following are 20 quotes on business success.

  1.  You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. – Zig Ziglar
  2. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that, when mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, can be translated into riches. –  Napoleon Hill
  3. You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It’s called perseverance. – Lee Iacocca
  4. Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first. – Frederick B Wilcox
  5. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. – Vidal Sassoon
  6. Capital isn’t scarce; vision is. – Sam Walton
  7. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better. – Jim Rohn
  8. Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success. – Thomas J. Watson
  9. People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy. – Tony Robbins
  10. If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time. – Steve Jobs
  11. Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit. – Conrad Hilton
  12. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison
  13. I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder
  14. Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is. – Seth Godin
  15. You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills. – Jim Rohn
  16. Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable. – Coco Chanel
  17. The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. – Nolan Bushnell
  18. Your income is directly related to your philosophy, NOT the economy. – Jim Rohn
  19. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Edison
  20. Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were. – David Rockefeller
Sep 11

Are You Focused On What Is Most Important?

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

Are you focused on what is most important?  Or do you spend your days being pulled in by whatever comes up?   “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities,”  said Stephen Covey, author of  ” The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” When he published this book it was ground braking.  While it sounds obvious that we should make sure to focus on the most important things that will move our business forward it is sometimes very hard to do.  As Peter Drucker, author and management consultant, stated, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

Everyone has a tendency to be caught by the “bright shiny object syndrome,”  or SOS as some people call it.   Small business owners are getting distracted by too many ideas or the latest fad, going off in a million directions and never completing anything. This loss of focus is costing you hundreds of hours a year in lost productivity, lost hours, lost dollars.  Additionally many business owners are so busy attending to what is urgent that they neglect what is important.

The key is to plan into your schedule working on your business and not just in your business.  On any given day, what is in my control? What actions are you taking that add the most to the bottom line and move you in the direction of your goals?  To me what is most important for a business owner is to focus on are revenue creating activities.  As I tell my clients you should always be doing activities that move the needle forward.  So what can you schedule into your calendar that helps you build your business?

Delegating certain tasks is a great way to save time for you  to focus on your most important activities.  Many business owners believe they have to do everything in order for it to be done right.  But if you put systems in place that your employees follow you can easily pass off many responsibilities that take your focus away from what’s most important.

It’s easy to add to your to do list.   It’s hard to stay focused and so the hardest decisions we make are all the things not to work on.

 

 

Sep 08

10 Quotes On Productivity

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

Productivity is the goal of all entrepreneurs.  We must be careful not to confuse activity with productivity.  Here are 10 great quotes on productivity.

  1. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney
  2. It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. – Albert Einstein
  3. Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night. – Michael Jordan
  4. Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. – Paul J. Meyer
  5. Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday. – John Wayne
  6. Cell phones, mobile e-mail, and all the other cool and slick gadgets can cause massive losses in our creative output and overall productivity. – Robin S. Sharma
  7. Each minute is a little thing, and yet, with respect to our personal productivity, to manage the minute is the secret of success. – Joseph B. Wirthlin
  8. Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite. – Paul Gauguin
  9. Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle
  10. Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success. – Thomas J. Watson
Sep 04

Are Trade Shows Worth Doing?

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

Depending on who you speak to trade shows are more important than ever or not relevant at all with many opinions in between.  If you don’t show are you taking a risk that you won’t see many of your accounts or can you easily see them another way?  Fashion trade shows are costly endeavors and showing at one show alone can run over thousands of dollars for the company.  There is the cost of renting the space, but you also need to decorate, travel to it, and have salespeople to man the booth.  With buying patters changing many companies wonder if this is an expense they can live without.

When I first started in the industry you called a buyer, they came to the showroom, and either bought or didn’t.  Marketing was simplistic.  You may have mailed a postcard to your clients or ran advertisements to build brand recognition, but your phone was your most important tool.  Over the years things have changed.  Trade shows such as Coterie were started, emailing and social marketing came into being.  The stores merged and merged and many simply went out of business.  Before there were thousands of buyers to call on, now, not so much. Selling has become a lot harder.

The bottom line is there is no one way to do business.  You cannot rely on only one method.  Business owners must put a lot of effort into seeing buyers.  There aren’t as many buyers and there are many lines vying for their attention.  The buyers aren’t always traveling to shows or coming to your showroom.  That means there is not only one way to reach out to them.  Trade shows will not be the answer to seeing all your potential buyers but it is one of the tools in your arsenal to build your business.  Trade shows along with showroom appointments, regional markets, in store visits, and social marketing will create a synergy that will go a long way toward building top of mind awareness with your target customers.

 

Sep 03

What Is a Marketing Calendar And Why Is It Important?

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

A marketing calendar is a tool showing what marketing events, media campaigns and merchandising efforts are planned and for when.  Many major fashion companies use them to map out their pr and advertising strategies.  In the fashion industry there are times of the year when we promote.  Christmas, back to school, spring season kick off, or the new fall season are just some of them.  Major activities are usually planned around these times.  There are also other actions that are put in at other times of the year so that marketing is done consistently and often.  A good calendar will show the date of an activity plus the dates that specific tasks need to be done to accomplish the activity.

For small or new fashion businesses, marketing can be sporadic. You know you need to market your company, but beyond the initial e-mail and social media blast, you’re too busy to go beyond the quick tweet or maybe the uploading of a few photos on Instagram  here and there. Marketing is work, and you’ve got a collection to ship.

Yet,  no one would disagree that marketing isn’t a vital function for your business. Having a plan in place that outlines your marketing activities on a month-to-month basis assures that a steady stream of promotion enters the marketplace, keeping you in the minds of your established customers and cultivating new ones. The more you communicate about your company, the more opportunity you create for people to hear about you.  With a calendar you are creating a system to follow.  Then your marketing isn’t random and doesn’t get relegated to the bottom of your list.  When your days are busy it is very easy to focus on what’s urgent.  Marketing isn’t urgent but it is crucial.  Thus the importance of a  marketing calendar.