Jun 12

How To Get Quality Sales Reps For Your Fashion Business

By Maria Pesin | Business , Sales

One of the biggest issues facing fashion brands today is sales!  Or lack there of.    Most fashion entrepreneurs are creative but do not have the skill set to sell. That is why hiring good quality sales reps is an excellent solution.  The fact that you don’t need to keep them on payroll and only pay them commission on what is shipped from orders they take makes cash flow and overhead easier to manage.  Most new brands that come to me ask about hiring reps and ask me to help them with the process.

However, finding a good sales rep is not so easy.  Managing them and making sure they are successful with your product is even more of a challenge.  Especially if your are a new brand.  Seasoned sales reps know from experience that many young companies have lots of obstacles to overcome on the way to being a successful and well run business.  Business owners confront production, quality control, fit, and financial issues that cause them not to ship the orders the sales reps take.  The more that you know on how to court these reps the more likely it is for you to find the right match for your company.

That’s why in a few days I’m  will be holding a webinar titled “How to get quality sales reps for your fashion business”

 I’d like to invite you to attend. I want to educate you so that when you start the process you have a better chance of success.We will get into the nitty gritty of the process and what you should be doing.  You will also get to ask questions.  It is on June 20 at 7pm.  If you want to increase your sales be there!

When you click this link you can see the details — and it’s free so what do you have to lose?

May 29

Start-up Success Through Screen and Store

By Maria Pesin | Vibe Consulting

It’s 2018, and the landscape of the fashion industry is challenging and uncertain. Department stores are struggling to keep themselves afloat, while the growing success of online sales provides a constant threat to brick-and-mortar stores. Piggy in the middle? Fashion start-ups – finding brand new ways to connect with their consumers.

 

Many experts agree that they key to a long-lasting career in fashion is to constantly be able to innovate and move with the times. This is great news for start-up companies, who have the flexibility to explore new types of talent, partnerships and ways of working within their business. Their operating models can be a source of inspiration for bigger brands, with many finding it difficult to become completely digitally native.

 

For this year, many industry professionals from both start-ups and established brands are expected to be delivering the very best in terms of innovation, all the way from design through to after-sale. Navigating through the changing state of the market it not an easy task, but if done well, will certainly pay off. Collaborations could be a good way to do this, with brands like H&M joining forces with Google to gain insight into data for customised design. Continuing to think outside of the insular fashion box is a sure-fire strategy to breathe new life into all types of fashion business, introducing new digital and technological capabilities into the fashion world.

 

Although the presence of online sales won’t be going away any time soon, being e-friendly doesn’t always mean you’re a shoo-in for immediate success. However, being solely available online won’t ensure this either, meaning start-ups could be left feeling overwhelmed or unsure of the best plan of action. In this case, consumer desires cannot be forgotten – they are now more demanding then ever before, requiring both a meaningful connection with who they buy from, but also a sense of ease to the shopping journey. If a balanced mix between in-store and online can be maintained, start-ups can harness the best of both worlds – harnessing complex technology and upholding customer service.

 

Fashion start-ups may have the best seat in the house for now, but whether your business is freshly made or seasoned with experience, ‘embrace’ is the word to remember – investment and experimentation with new ideas will all help to drive crucial innovation.

 

 

Anton Dell is the CEO and founder of The Anton Dell Fashion Consultancy, matching fashion brands with agents, distributors and reps worldwide. The consultancy is the first of its kind, and after over two decades, is recognised by the fashion industry as the leading authority in the world for researching agents and distributors for brands.

May 23

The Death Of a Fashion Business And How To Avoid It

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

Though I have had many successes launching and building multi million dollar businesses, I have had one failure.  Sometimes you learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. Here is my story.

I opened a shoe store in a very trendy town that had a lot of tourists as well as wealthy homeowners.  It started out out great and business increased each month.  Until November 2000 when the election happened and we didn’t know who our President would be for a week.  I swear that was the exact date that my business fell apart.  Then the market crashed in 2001 and the final straw was 9/11 when the twin towers fell and  tourists stopped coming to New York.

The mistake I made was not keeping a good reserve of cash for any downturns.  I believed I would continue to be successful and didn’t husband my resources.  It was a big mistake and forced me to close my doors.  It broke my heart but ultimately I learned that life is about risks and sometimes those risks do not pan out.  It is what you do with failure that help us be more successful in the future.

So what did I learn?  Well, several things.

  •  One is I started too big.  I was so eager to get started that I rented a space that was more than I needed and ended up not being as centrally located as it needed to be.
  • I also took a space that was way too large and my rent and expenses were unnecessarily high.
  • And as I said before I thought that my business would just keep increasing so when it didn’t because unforeseen things happened I did not have a cushion of money to tide me over through tougher times.

Managing your money is an incredibly important part of being successful.  I have seen even growing businesses not make money because they weren’t careful with how they spent their funds.  Running out of money is one of the key reasons businesses fail so be fiscally conservative and you will increase your likelihood for success.

May 21

22 Tips To Start Building A fashion business You Always Wanted

By Maria Pesin | Vibe Consulting

I know that if you are reading this you have always dreamed of having a fashion business.  Yet, for some reason you went into another field.  Maybe your parents talked you out of it or you just were afraid.  Since it the idea has stayed in the back of your mind as something you really want to do.  Well, here are my tips to get started.

  1. Decide what your company name and entity is.
  2. Open a bank account and start building a relationship with your banker.
  3. Figure out what your product is and what sets you apart from your competition.
  4. Focus on a category.  For example:  Dresses only – not dresses, sportswear, and shoes at the same time.
  5. Also focus on mens or women’s or children; again not all at the same.
  6. Focusing on a specific market is important when you first start otherwise you will need a lot of money to make different lines and market them.
  7. Develop the story behind your brand.
  8. Make a line plan for the different styles.
  9. Find a great pattern maker
  10. Find fabrics and/or materials you can buy wholesale.
  11. Design or hire a designer to develop silhouettes.
  12. Get samples and do fittings on the samples with your pattern maker
  13. Develop a great website
  14. Find a factory that can produce your product
  15. Get prices from the factory
  16. Put together a plan on how you are going to sell your product.
  17. Figure out a marketing plan to build brand recognition.
  18. If you are going wholesale consider getting sales representatives.
  19. You can also open your own showroom and sell direct to stores.
  20. Make sure you have a line sheet.
  21. Make sure you have order forms
  22. Look into trade shows and see if they are right for you.

As you can see there are a lot of moving parts plus more than I can list.  If you need help figuring it all out contact me for a free consultation.

 

May 17

5 Things To Look For When Hiring A Sales Rep

By Maria Pesin | Fashion , Sales

Independent sales reps are business owners just like you.  While they do work for you they are not employees but more like partners that work closely with you to produce sales for your company.  If you think of them that way then you are more likely to have a successful partner ship with them.  It is important to have a good relationship as it will encourage them to pay more attention to your brand.  Let’s face it we tend to work harder for people we like.  So be quick to answer their questions, get them samples on time, ship their orders by the delivery date, and always pay their commissions when due. The following are 5 things you should look for when hiring a sales rep.

  1. Try to find sales reps by asking buyers who they recommend.  You want to make sure the rep has a good reputation in the market and the stores like them.
  2. If they are reps in a market that people travel to then they should have their own showroom that will reflect your collection well.
  3. The sales rep you hire must have lines that would sell to the same stores you would.  Good reps have a focus to their showroom so that they can optimize their time and success.
  4. At the same time you do not want to have a rep who has a product that competes with yours.  It doesn’t help you when a sales rep splits a potential order with more then one brand.
  5. It is important that they do some traveling to their stores.  Not all buyers make it to market each season.  Traveling to see them will increase your orders and also builds relationships with the buyer.  Most good reps find visiting their accounts is vital to their business growth.

Finding good reps is hard.  Not because they aren’t out there, but, because they are very picky about the lines they carry.  So if you find a good one you will want to nurture your relationship to ensure success.

 

May 15

What Keeps You Up At Night (In Your Fashion Business)?

By Maria Pesin | Sales , Vibe Consulting

I recently asked my audience what keeps them up at night in their fashion business.  The overwhelming answer was sales.  They either didn’t have enough or in some cases not any.  They were at a loss on what to do next and felt stuck. There are many ways to grow your sales.  The most important is to not avoid it as so many do.  Knowing that sales is something you need to spend most of your time on and actually doing it will make a huge difference.

The thing about sales is it doesn’t happen overnight.  It is the product of time spent in high impact activities.  What you do today will reap benefits in the future.  Sales may start out slow but by consistent action you will achieve success over time.

If your sales are down find out why.  The best way is to see why the accounts you sell are not growing or are declining in business with you.  Use strategies to fix it.

A key to increasing your sales  is to support your sales goal with tenacity and indomitable willpower. Put your whole heart and soul the process and into achieving your sales goals. Make a complete commitment to improve your sales and by doing so you will impact your businesses success. Of course you need to make sure your  product is good and stands out from the crowds.  That is why talking to your customer will go a long way to increasing your lines salability.

Increasing your sales comes from a combined effort of selling and marketing.  Concentrate on the activities that create sales. Create an ideal schedule, and check how you keep daily. It is said that just one hour a day used more productively adds up to more than six extra weeks of productive time a year.  That is pretty amazing!

 

May 10

5 Ways To Increase Traffic To Your Site

By Maria Pesin | Digital Marketing , Vibe Consulting

One of the big concerns for my clients has been building traffic to their website.  Either they are just starting out or do not know where to begin.  There are many reasons for that.  Usually it is because there isn’t a consistent and compelling strategy.  The following ideas will help grow you traffic.

  1. Work on your SEO – I work with a digital marketing person who isn’t a big believer in putting to much effort into SEO.  However I disagree.  According to market expert, Sujan Patel “The top 6 search engines were responsible for 34.8% of site visits, compared to 25.6% for the top 13 social networks”.  There is no doubt about it that most people do searches to find products and services.  If you don’t rank highly then you won’t be seen.
  2. Advertise –  Of course this one is pretty obvious but you would be amazed at how many people don’t do it. Paid search and social media advertising are all great ways of attracting visitors.
  3. Social Media Marketing – Placing great content on social media platforms will increase your audience and if you have a good following you can then you can promote your product as well on several sites such as: Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
  4. Influencers –  These are people who have followers as little as 1,000 and as many as a million.  When you get influencers to wear your clothes or write about you on their blog (depending on how wide their audience is and how engaged they are) will find you pops of people clicking to your site.
  5. Tell a story –  Telling a compelling story about your brand will hook people in and motivate them to come to your site.  It is an important part of any marketing strategy and where you will create an emotional connection with your brand.  My client “Rhino Flops” has a wonderful story.  The designer and founder is from South Africa and is very involved with the Thula Thula Rhino Fund.  As an ex-fashion buyer from Henri Bendel she wanted to start a sustainable brand of very creative animal inspired flip flops that also raised money so that a portion of her profits went towards the Rhino Fund.  She has launched her brand and is already building her audience.  What is your story?

Remember a combination of different strategies that are focused consistent and often that will form a synergy to that will drive traffic.

May 03

5 Steps To Stay Motivated When Things Aren’t Working Out In Your Fashion Business

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

Let’s face it.  Things go wrong.  Especially when you are in the beginning stages.  But, when things aren’t working out, and you are frustrated with your progress than it is hard to stay motivated.  So what do you do?  These are my 5 suggestions:

  1. Time to step back  – You might need to step away for an afternoon, or a day, maybe even a week and get your mind off your business.  It’s like rebooting a computer.  You need to shut down and refresh yourself in order to get back into the game and not be stuck.
  2. Audit your business – Audit all aspects of your business and study what is working and what is not.  And the obvious conclusion is to do more of what is and less of what isn’t.
  3. Work on you business rather than in your business – This is something I learned from reading “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber.   We get so busy do the things required in our businesses that we don’t take time to plan and develop our business.  You should be spending time consistently on the development of your of systems and processes that will build your business.
  4. Come up with a strategy to processes and to execute the strategy.  Action is an important part of staying motivated.  When we consistently work on moving the needle forward it keeps us feeling motivated and positive. You should do at least 3 activities a day that you feel will drive your business to success.
  5. Get a coach or consultant to help.  A good coach will help with your mind set.  If you are feeling negative about your business it is hard to stay motivated and on task.  By talking with a business coach or consultant they can work with you on analyzing where the business is going wrong and also come up with a plan to turn it around.
May 01

The Rise of Micro Influencers In The Fashion Industry

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

As a fashion business owner, you’ve might have heard about micro influencers and wonder what they are. Your undoubtably know that reaching out to influencers is a good marketing strategy. The influencers includes YouTube stars, bloggers, celebrities or a mix of all of them, but what  Micro-influencers are people who have 500 – 10,000 highly engaged followers around their relevant topics.

The  problem with influencers who have big followings is that they usually cost money and sometimes a lot of money to be in their site.  You can also get lost in sea of their promotions.  Whereas with micro influencers you usually only need to supply them with a piece of your product and when they write about you, you stand out.

In a study of done by Makerly.com on Instagram they found that, “Those with less than 1,000 followers generally received likes on their posts 8% of the time. Users with 10 million+ followers only received likes 1.6% of the time. There is a clear downward correlation between follower sizes and post likes. Between the number of followers an influencer has, and the level of engagement each post gets. In other words, as the number of followers increases, the engagement rate decreases.”

The size of the influencers following is not the only criteria but also the level of engagement of their followers.  If they don’t have good engagement then they probably won’t be effective for you and your product.

Finding the right micro influencers for your product will be an important key to your success with engagement with the right audience. So while it is time consuming and you will be doing some testing before finding the ones that will have impact, it is so worth your while to do research to find the right micro influencers and reach out to them. It may not be the only marketing you will do, but, it is a great addition to your marketing strategy.

 

 

Apr 27

As clear as a London morning in October…

By Maria Pesin | Business , Fashion

Tony Robbins talks about crippling self doubt.
Frank Kern talks about feeling overwhelmed.

Most professional coaches talk about listening to those dastardly vile automatic thoughts.

But in the end they’re all talking about the same concept.

A concept that can be easily distilled into one single word…

…that I’ll share with you in just a moment.

But first, I want to explain why I see so many people failing to achieve their goals in the fashion business.

Sometimes people do too much, and burn out.
Sometimes people do the wrong things, and shoot themselves in the foot.

Often people just don’t do anything, and wonder why it isn’t working.

But in all three cases the culprit is the same!

They fail because they never find the one concept that’s holding them back.

What is it?

Simple.

It’s called clarity.

You see, a lack of clarity means you don’t know what to do.
A lack of clarity can lead you to take action in the wrong direction.

And most often, a lack of clarity will push you into complacency and inaction.

Clarity is the opposite of uncertainty.
Clarity is the antonym of self-doubt.

Clarity is the fuel that drives confidence.

And you know what?

It’s perfectly normal not to have clarity!

After all, when was the last time you took a class in clarity?

Can meditation provide clarity? Maybe.

Can taking classes and studying like crazy? Well, it can’t hurt.

But the truth is, clarity comes from having a clear perspective and having seen the same problems before.

Yep, good old fashioned experience and observance!

So, if it’s so easy – why don’t you have clarity right now?

Because it’s REALLY HARD to achieve when you’re facing your own problems.

That’s why an experienced outside opinion is so essential.

Companies pay millions of dollars to consultants seeking clarity.

Politicians sell their souls to advisors and “experts” in order to run their campaigns.

And successful people find great mentors to help them reach their goals!

Now, you may be asking, where’s this all headed?

Well, as you may have suspected :-), I’d like to offer you some clarity today!

You see, in a few days I’m holding a webinar titled “The 7 Mistakes Almost All Fashion Entrepreneurs Make” and I’d like to invite you to attend.

When you click the following link you can see the details – and it’s free so what do you have to lose?

So, here it is:

Click the link and see you then!

1 2 3 26