I’m noticing a big, huge, monstrous issue with entrepreneurs lately. Well, it’s probably been around forever but it’s seemingly ubiquitous to me right now. And it’s an issue I’ve dealt with in my own business – many times. Too many to count, actually.
The issue is lack of clarity and focus. And it takes many forms. For instance:
- Difficulty understanding who is your ideal client/customer
- Uncertainly about what it is you actually sell, i.e. too many products and too broad of an audience
- When you’re not sure exactly who IS your customer, you don’t know how to market to them
- When you offer too many things, your customer gets confused and doesn’t know what to do – and a confused mind never buys.
So I put together this list, a roadmap of sorts, with the things you need to have for a successful fashion business.
#1) Set your goals
I’m sure you’ve heard this before. But have you done it? It’s time to take pen to paper and get things rolling. What do you really want for your business? What do you want it to be like? Ask yourself:
- How much do you want to sell annually?
- Which products have a good profit margin and will get reorders?
- How do you really want to sell your product? Trunk show? Online? To boutiques?
If you’re not sure what you want, it’s time to do some soul searching. If you know where you want to go, you can then craft a detailed plan to get yourself there. If you don’t have specific goals, you are just working and working, and often not sure if you’re working on the right things. (Here’s a quick video on getting clarity on how your material costs play in to this equation).
#2) Get out your calculator
Let’s get some financial clarity now. Just try this exercise and don’t worry how it comes out – let it flow and see what happens. Don’t censor yourself.
- What I really want for my business this year is _____________________
- In the next 12 months, my goal is to have $_______________ in sales and generate $_____________ in profit.
- In order to reach these financial goals, I will need to sell the following mix of products (and/or services). ______________________ this can be a mix of wholesale and retail, or products and services, depending in your situation.
- What prices will I need to charge to reach my goals?_________________
- The FIRST thing I can do this week to move toward my goals is ___________ and my deadline to do it is ___________________
#3) Get a Plan to Find Customers and Market Your Business
Be honest here. How much time do you spend marketing your business each week? You don’t have to spend a lot of money – or even an enormous amount of time – on marketing. You DO need to be consistent and dedicated to building a relationship with your customer. That’s assuming you’re going after the long-term customer and not the quick sale. And you want to know how to speak to your ideal customer in a way they’ll “get it”.
So how to you get clear on your marketing message? Here’s what I suggest…
- Make a list of your 10 biggest customers _________________________
- Now write down similarities between them. Did most of them come from the same referral? Do they live in the same area? Similar ages?____________________________________________________
- Write down what interests them_______________________________
The next time you write an email blast, write copy for a postcard, etc., you want to write it as though you are speaking to ONE of the above customers. Just pick one and write it to her. If you understand what she’s like, it’s much easier to craft your marketing message. The way you “talk” to one person is much different than how you speak to many. It’s looser, more colloquial, and people respond to it much better.
You also need to know how to market and what steps to take. Willy-nilly marketing can be somewhat effective while consistently marketing from a specific plan can blow your sales right out of the water.
If you’re still not getting clarity about your business, your finances, or your marketing message, maybe it’s time take some serious action. I recommend a VIP Day Intensive. Get away from your day-to-day world, spend a day (or a half day) with me to focus on the big picture for your business. We can do it in-person or via Skype and clients tell me it’s a life-saver for getting a detailed plan together, reducing stress, reducing feelings of overwhelm. You can read the details here: http://janehamill.com/blog/vip-day/
What do YOU think?
Today’s topic is one a lot of us can relate to and I’ll bet you have stories and experiences to share. In the comments to share, I’d love to hear from YOU! Specifically…
- Have you struggled with staying focused on one thing at a time?
- Have you experienced working on too many things at the same time? And if so, were you able to break the cycle and get focused?
- Does the idea of getting out your calculator to set some goals scare you? Have you done it and what happened?
Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!