In the “olden days” anyone who wanted to be in the fashion business and had two nickels to rub together could start a company. It didn’t take lots of money nor much knowhow. You could learn as you go and have success. Of course it isn’t that way any longer. It is not so easy to start a business without training and a reasonable amount of money. The business climate has changed and because it is so challenging we can no longer afford to make too many mistakes. As business owners we lament the time when the industry was robust and growing. But, rather than miss the past, we should embrace the change and raise our game. When we look outside our industry and see computer companies like Apple, Airliners such as Southwest, and Internet companies resembling Amazon, we can see models that we can emulate and learn from. Companies like these keep nothing to chance. From their business model to their daily best practices everything is planned and thought out.
One of the most important pieces we can take away from well-run companies is their practice of training their employees. Especially salespeople. Even going as far as consistent leadership training. In our business there is little or no training. I don’t mean teaching product knowledge which many do quite well. I mean training an individual in the art of selling. I realize we all think that either you have the gift of salesmanship or you don’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t teach people to be the best they can be. From time management to opening new accounts there should be processes for everything. Even the best people can improve. This is a game changer. It is no longer just about relationships, or even just having good product. If your people aren’t able to make and close a deal there aren’t any sales. As Michael Gerber author of the E-Myth says, “You should not just be working in your business, but on your business”, and education and training is a key element of that. Teaching our sales teams and even our sales leaders can only improve the health of our businesses.[/fusion_text]
Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!
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