I spoke with a new client today. She was feeling very overwhelmed by all she knew she had to do to start and run her business. Part of the stress many emerging designers feel when starting out is not knowing what to do first. There are so many things they know they should be doing but they have no idea where to start.
They are also unsure which things to do and what to say no to. Should they do a fashion show, or do they need a website? They also have limited time and money so they know that they can’t do everything. Before they know it they have created a chaotic work environment and a chaotic business.
In order to avoid this you need to create a plan. What are the strategies you need to have in your business? What should you be concentrating on? Just waking up in the morning and having the day lead you rather than you leading your day is counterproductive. Schedule the 5 most important things you need to accomplish in your day. Use Sundays as the day to plan your week and then you can schedule your work on your calendar. I used to use post its. But, I find that actually scheduling the tasks makes it more likely I will do the task.
Next create processes for the things you do. What does your design process look like? Do you even have a process? How is your production run? Do you have forms you can fill out to keep your processes in order? Some of the best run companies have processes for everything. Look at Disney, I have never seen a better run business.
Learn to delegate. Even if you do not have much money you can delegate. Find schools in your area where you can hire an intern to help out.
Finally, and this may seem like a silly thing, but keep your work space organized. Having paper, samples, fabrics, books, and whatever stuff you accumulate overwhelm your space so that it is a mess will cause chaos in your business, your workday, and your psyche. Having an organized and pleasant workspace will go a long way in creating a well managed business.
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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