Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Nov 25

Is Black Friday Turning Into Black Thanksgiving?

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

My poor niece has to work on Thanksgiving because her store is open that day.  What happened to having one day where everyone is closed and no one is worrying about sales?  Is Black Friday turning into Black Thanksgiving?  Personally I am tired of it.  I work 7 days a week.  Which honestly I don’t mind because I love my work.  But, there has to be limits.  Can’t we take off one day a year.  Everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in this country.  For some, me included, it is their favorite holiday.  In fact I’m not even going to look at any emails.

Thankfully some stores are keeping the Thanksgiving tradition of closing their stores.

DSW issued a statement: “While many retail stores will be opening for business on Thanksgiving Day, this year we continue the DSW tradition of keeping ours closed. Family time is extremely important to us, and we want our associates to enjoy the holiday with their loved ones. Our stores will remain closed until 7 a.m. on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.”

Dillard’s, In a post on the department store’s Facebook page, the company said “We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving! We will be closed on turkey day, but we open 2 hours early on Black Friday at 8 a.m. … From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.”

“We believe strongly that our customers and associates should have the opportunity to spend the Thanksgiving holiday relaxing with family and friends, and not worrying with the stress of where to find the best shopping deals. We know this is in stark contrast to what many other retailers are doing, but we are taking a stance to protect family time during this important holiday,” said Mike Buskey, executive vice president and president of Gamestop U.S. Stores. “For our customers who want to do a little shopping on Thanksgiving Day, www.gamestop.com and www.thinkgeek.com will be open all day and taking orders.”

So from my family to yours “Happy Thanksgiving” and take the whole day off :0).

 

Nov 23

Having Vibrant Health Contributes To a Successful Business

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

For those of you who read my blog, you know I am a huge reader.  Not just novels, but, biographies, business and finance books, self development,  history, and sometimes science (but not so much science).  Most of the self development books or success books mention how having vibrant health contributes to a successful business.

One of the most common habits of billionaires is billionaires take good care of themselves. Studies have shown that wealthy people exercise more and have healthier diets than those of lesser means, and both of these things affect people in ways that can help build wealth.

Best-selling author Tom Corley points out that 70 percent of the wealthy consume less than 300 junk food calories per day, compared with 3 percent of less-affluent people. They get more exercise, too–Corley puts the percentage of the wealthy who do aerobic exercise at least four days a week at 76 percent, compared with just 23 percent of the poor.

“Your body is everything. You may think being a little overweight isn’t that big of a deal, but on the road to greatness, it affects your overall energy and can be that one thing that holds you back with everything,” says Lewis Howes, Author of  The School of Greatness.

Nagging health issues not attended to can turn into big health issues. Eating poorly and not getting exercise can cause you to gain weight.   Carrying around an extra 20 pounds can deplete your energy levels.

Building your own business takes lots of energy.  Without vibrant health you cannot give it your all.  Good health also boosts your mental sharpness.  A healthy body leads to a healthy brain.  Regular activity has been proven to have a number of mental health benefits, emotional wellness and mental sharpness among them.

Having vibrant health most definitely will contribute to a successful business.  When you have vibrant health you can bring your “A” game to your company.

 

 

 

Nov 09

Concentrating On High Value Activities

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

What do I mean when I say, “concentrating on high value activities”?  Entrepreneurs have some bad habits.  They know that they have to work hard. Yet sometimes they find themselves working hard but not necessarily working smart.  They do the things they enjoy but not necessarily the things that need to be done to move the needle forward.

“Efficiency is doing things right and effectiveness is doing the right things”. – Peter Drucker.  Effectiveness trumps efficiency. The ideal case is when you’re doing the right things right, but if you have to make a compromise, always do the right things, no matter how inefficient you might be at doing them.  Or delegate them to someone who will get it done.  I have a client who hates social media.  But she knows it is important to use social media to market her brand.  In her case the solution is to find an intern to concentrate on this activity.

High value activities are the activities that produce your most important outcomes. These activities produce the results your business is measured on, and they are the difference between success and failure.

Sales is an example of a high value activity. Sales is either on the phone or in front of someone talking to them about what you do and asking them to buy it from you. It isn’t anything else. How many HOURS did you spend yesterday physically talking to a potential new buyer about what you sell? If you are like most small business owners, the answer is none. You should dedicate a minimum number of minutes or activities EVERY day to sales meetings.  When they say sales is a numbers game they aren’t kidding.  The more buyers you reach the more opportunity you have to sell.  To say that sales is a high value activity is pretty obvious.

Simply putting in the time is not enough… You must identify what activities generate the highest returns, and then focus relentlessly on these behaviors to the exclusion of most other distractions… You have to put in a lot of hours, but of equal importance, these hours have to be dedicated to the right type of work.

 

Nov 04

The Pressure of The Winter Holiday Retail Season

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

Aah the pressures of the winter holiday retail season!  So much business is done at this time of year.  Stores eagerly prepare for the season.  They plan their buys carefully, develop their promotions, and strategize ways to bring customers into the stores.  As manufacturers we hope that our product will be the first off the shelves.  We study the calendar to see if we have one more weekend of selling this year or one less.  Of course we read the weather report because quite frankly if it isn’t cold enough coats, gloves, boots, and sweaters don’t sell as well.  Lot’s of effort for a pretty short selling season – Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.  It’s no wonder retailers try to start the season earlier.  I even saw Christmas decorations in some stores in AUGUST!!

I keep thinking we should move Christmas back a few weeks.  Maybe celebrate it in January as the Russian Orthodox do.  But, alas that isn’t happening.

On October 8th, 2015, The National Retail Federation announced  it expects sales in November and December (excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales) to increase a solid 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion — significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent. Holiday sales in 2015 are expected to represent approximately 19 percent of the retail industry’s annual sales of $3.2 trillion. Additionally, NRF is forecasting online sales to increase between 6 and 8 percent to as much as $105 billion.

One can only hope that much of the increase is spent on fashion and not just toys, smart phones, or laptops.  The problem we face is there are much more things to buy for gift giving besides new clothes or accessories.  When I was a wee girl there were no fancy electronics to buy.  Today there is more competition out their for the consumer dollars.  As fashion people we need to bring innovation to what we do to create the same buzz a new version of the Apple phone does. Then maybe our slice of the pie will be bigger.

Oct 09

Trend Services And The Design Process

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

Designers are working hard on their fall collections.  But before they start designing the first step is researching in order to come up with inspiration for their line.   That means visiting museums and galleries, shopping the stores to see what they are currently carrying, reading fashion magazines, and shopping trend services.  Regardless of what a layman thinks, design does not happen in a vacuum.  Designers do not just come to ideas off the top of their heads.  Research is a very important component.  I remember reading a quote by Tom Ford saying he thought he did more research than any designer.   Trend services are particularly helpful.

Fashion trend services are responsible for spotting upcoming trends and products. They attempt to project past today’s trends, into the future, to discover what will be hot next season. Their predictions can guide manufactures and designers to use certain materials or focus on certain styles. To predict these trends, forecasters take many elements into consideration. They research past trends and attempt to determine the factors likely to affect upcoming trends. They should be familiar with shopping and the current economic environment. They are required to be familiar with all aspects of media, including movies, music and television. They are also required to travel throughout the world.  Doesn’t sound like a bad gig.

There are many trend services.  Some concentrate on specific things like color and others are more comprehensive looking at everything from fabrics to shiloulettes.  The following are some of the top agencies:

WGSN, a top trend forecasting service that offers in-depth reports on what people will be wearing in the future. They have been in business since 1997 and have a global team of creative content experts.

Fashion Snoops is a trend forecasting service.  The company’s team of 50 experts and 100 international analysts helps brands and companies identify and act on the trends and cultural movements that impact their business.

Trend Zoom  a fashion forecasting is an integral part of many companies design process.  According to their website their sole aim is to provide that creative rush of inspiration that will position their subscribing community ahead of the curve.

Trend services are another tool in a designers arsenal to create line inspiration.  They are something entrepreneurs should explore and see if it fits within their budget and design process. There are also free services such as Style.com which is produced by Vogue.  So not all trend reporting companies need to break the bank.

 

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 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