7 Things To Consider Before Launching a Fashion Retail Business
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
One of the challenges I hear all the time from fashion retailers, franchise owners and businesspeople is the stagnant growth of their business, after achieving success. This often times boils down to not having the right team and strategy to bring them to scale locally, regionally, or globally.
When you miss sales targets, you don’t get to put your all into scaling as desired. Then you go back to doing everything by yourself and feeling overwhelmed. The whole thing is a mess. You’re not making what you want, and that keeps you from doing what you want in life.The challenges all come down to that missing gap in basic marketing and sales skills. If you learn how to run a better business, this issue of growing teams and then scaling just goes away. Most people are uncomfortable with that notion… but it’s the truth.
One of my clients, Roman, was convinced that he was struggling to find the right talent. He was struggling to scale his retail stores to increase his revenue and grow his business. Roman couldn’t imagine breaking into digital transformation – even though he would have online stores for his businesses, which could add value and revenue like his brick and mortar stores did. Roman started believing that he needed to downsize his businesses to achieve the scale and freedom he truly wanted.
I taught Roman 7 key principles on how to focus on advertising spend around his website launch, choosing the right digital platforms and targeting the right eyeballs for business. Using these principles, everything changed for Roman. Those same retail stores saw scale, contributions from existing team members, and generated income in an effortless way. A lot of people think scale is built on having the ‘right’ people – but having a repeatable process helps a lot.
In addition to identifying the right talents and processes for your fashion business, here are 7 things to consider:
1. Avoid Random Online Platforms
You’ve heard of Shopify, but is it a good fit for you? In some ways yes, its quickly growing as a beneficial platform. The support costs are cheap and the maintenance is low. But what happens when you are trying to conduct business with different currencies? The platform is growing, but with the cost of add-ons being costly, you can explore flexible low-cost options like Wordpress.org. The right platform says YES! to the following:
1. I can automate the currency options for my markets. 2. I can engage with the customers and build a relationship. 3. I can easily have finances handled. 4. I can build a simple shopping experience.
5. I can easily integrate with the right delivery service
2. Create a solid customer profile
*“women who like style” is not enough. Go deeper.
You want to define your audience with some form of composite. Beyond the general idea of who they are, construct a composite of your audience. Here is one I made for my recent client.
This composite influences the marketing efforts you will make when repeating your scalable processes.
3. DO NOT miss out on holidays.
*Mother’s day, Christmas, Black Friday, Father’s day.
I created the fastest selling online store in Trinidad & Tobago. It made $20,000 USD (see image) in one DAY before Mother’s day. These sales events pull customers to your business.
4. Avoid delays.
Set an accountability track to avoid delays. You want to make sure that for every day you spend on your brick and mortar, you spend 1 hour on your digitization processes. It would be great if the right people could take over the tasks for you, but if you find yourself exhausted, you need to schedule efficiently. 3 hours — 3 tasks — 3 weeks.
I use Calendly and a weekly tracker to stay on top of my accountability, with 1 hour per set task each week.
5. Get your social media in order.
*Are you easy to find? Audit your findability. Use the Keyword Tool to see what people are searching for.
1. Setup a “Google My Business” 2. Update all contact numbers and business locations across all platforms. 3. Build credibility for your business (old or new) with news coverage, blog coverage, or Wikipedia.
6. Have a simple website.
I spend a lot of time doing Lab Work™ to have carved out over 100 website designs. Before you even sketch a website concept, it must be easy to use for the customer. To start with low risk and high returns, start simple. Wordpress is the best platform for this to date (IMO).
7. Build a relationship with customers.
Most fashion retailers do this, but they do not: Automate, scale, and constantly improve the relationship. Mailing lists are the key. This is a bonus because it spans beyond the online website, it covers every marketing and sales collateral.
In the words of Brent Weaver, Relationships = Interactions/Time. Don’t spam your buyers, but don’t fall out of the loop either. Give them weekly updates via a mailing list, or WhatsApp to keep them connected. For example, Claudia Pegus (one of my clients) and one of the Caribbean's leading resort wear designers uses Whatsapp to keep her top clients updated with the latest stocks. This personalized touch keeps her business top-of-mind. Tools such as Mailchimp help with this becoming automated.
Implementing small process checklists will have massive benefits to your retail business. In the immediate term, you’ll start making more money and that means more profit and success in your business.
Think about how that would feel to launch a new store selling 1, 2, or even 5 times what your in-mall branch did for a day with less effort, team players, and overhead! I don’t know about you, but that sounds exciting!
Beyond the immediate monetary benefits, I love seeing retail owners become more confident about the businesses they’re running. Getting more profits means you feel more valued and this helps you produce better products. When you produce better products, your clients are happier and they buy more goods than expected. This is a virtuous cycle.
I want to help you become more effective when it comes to scaling, launching a profitable retail business, and earning more with less effort.
I look forward to helping you dominate your fashion retail market. Until next time.
John-Paul Anderson is a software engineer specializing in high conversion websites for retail and hospitality businesses. Born Jamaican, he operates regionally with a deep knowledge of e-commerce, easy to use interfaces, and lean scalable systems.
To contact John-Paul directly, you can schedule a VISION CALL with him right away for $0.00 to CorpEccentric readers ONLY! This is to provide an opportunity to relate your struggles and gain insights into improving your business operations.