Making your business profitable and successful takes a bit of skill. You don’t just turn on the computer or open the doors to your store and start making money. That is a naïve way of thinking trust me on this I have been there. The cold reality is that it takes a lot of hard work so merely opening doors or turning on your computer is no way enough!
Making money is far more difficult than anyone thinks, it’s the reason that so many businesses either go out of business or are just hanging on in there surviving. Don’t despair though because the good news is that you can remedy this pretty darn quickly if you take these following steps. I did and it’s made the hugest difference to my biz!
Organisation is key
You’ll need lists each day in order of importance. As you complete each item, check it off you’re to do list (mentally it helps). Obvious I know but lists keeps you focused they mean you’re not forgetting anything and prioritising the wrong things. Essential survival biz tip number 1. Not just this but you should have all your financial records constantly to hand to know how you stand. Are you selling enough, the sooner you drill into the figures the sooner you change up your business? Every week on your to do list it should read ‘go through the financials’ so you can drill into how the business is doing.
Analyse Your Competition
Study and learn from your competitors or those people who have turned around brands like Jenna Lyons and Angela Ahrendts. What are they doing right, how have they elevated them to what they are today? I recall Angela Ahrendts saying when she first came on board at Burberry being totally aghast that no one in the exec team wore a Burberry mac. Why because they weren’t cool and so she realised immediately she had to make them cool and coveted. Water that down to us where in the early days I tried to stock a broad range of products that I thought everyone would love. I didn’t have them in my home (too generic too safe, but I thought it was low risk). Yet the minute I changed all that up and only brought or designed what I loved was the minute my business changed almost overnight. I stopped going to trade shows in this country I wanted to stock stuff other retailers didn’t, so I started travelling further and further afield. I made my product selection my priority and spent a good number of years going to shows around the world until I got bored with not finding what I saw in my head and started designing my own range. Sales have increased, press coverage has increased and opportunities are opening up that are so exciting I cannot wait to tell. Simple as that!
Take calculated risks
You won’t increase revenue without taking risks. For example to increase your customer base you may need to advertise or hire more employees to help you focus purely on the advancement of the business. They are frightening decisions like us moving into wholesale and having to cough up tens of thousands ourselves with no help from our bank. But now we have done it we have opened up our business to new opportunities, to new markets, new audiences and some amazing new collaborations. You have to move past the insecurities to reach new levels of success.Bottom line if you want your business to be super successful you are going to need to take risks that you may not have normally made before. You can’t be a non-risk taker having a business, and you will have sleepless nights anyone reading my blog will know how many I’ve had. You will have setbacks, not every risk pays off but then if risks are calculated it will reduce your loses.
Always always look to improve your business. For example we are about to go through a massive revamp in store. We are moving stuff around, inserting a wall made entirely out of tires (to die for, when you guys see it I swear it will stop you in your tracks) Gem and I were transfixed with it! Will many people buy it (I will) but I doubt tons will, it’s out there but you know what it elevates that store; it creates magic, a buzz it pushes people to think differently about decorating. It takes your breath away, it makes you actually smile and want to dance. Clever hey for a wall made purely from tires! Never get complacent, or bored we’ve pulled days of 20 hours recently and as exhausted as we may be, I’ll stumble across something that literally blows my mind, elevates my mood and makes me happy to be alive, like this wall. I will never tire of interiors they elevate my spirits like nothing else I know, they pick me up when tired and make me sing out loud as cheesy as this may sound.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Nor will your business be! It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time a long time as I am constantly saying but give yourself long term goals and short term goals and you’ll find once you start achieving the short ones the longer ones come together.
Stay with it
Don’t give up no matter how tough it may be. You’ll need focus you’ll need discipline and you’ll need perseverance. It won’t happen overnight but when it does happen it is the most rewarding thing you can do. Did you know that lack of consistency and persistence is one of the major causes of businesses failing? You can’t give up at the first sign of defeat. Stay in the game. The best thing though take action. When you just think about doing something nothing gets done. You can strategize, visualise, read all the business books you want and set goals but if you don’t actually get off the fence and actually go do it it won’t happen.
So here’s to making your business plans happen in 2015 says a very tired but elated me. I never thought I could launch my own 100 odd piece collection in Paris but I’ve done it and I’m so delighted, and if I can do it so can you!