15 Common Mistakes of Fashion and Lifestyle Merchants

The failure rate for startup businesses in the U.S. is approximately 80 percent according to a recent Bloomberg report. As a consultant and former worker for lifestyle and fashion companies — brands, boutiques, fitness studios, restaurants, online marketplaces — I will point to frequent missteps that cause business failure.

In this post, I will list 15 frequent mistakes of small and large businesses, in my experience.

Mistakes of Smaller Businesses

Not having a target client. It’s one of the most frequent mistakes of small merchants. They supply what they like and expect that customers will buy it. There are two ways to spot a target customer. The first is to locate products you would like to sell and work out how to reach buyers. The second is identifying whom you need to market to and then sourcing the product mix.

Not adding unique products to your product lines. Competing with Amazon and massive retailers is a quick way to go out of business. Carrying unique products is an established strategy to sustain a company. Amazon can kill gains and produce shipping costs unsustainable. However, you can control the price with a one-of-a-kind item. Shoppers will pay for shipping whenever they need something which just your business has.

Overstocking inventory. Spending money on marketing and then running out of stock is a risk. However, that’s significantly better than having surplus inventory which you can’t sell. The key is keeping a balance. Always test if goods will sell and then stock them as required.

Not needing new products. Consumers look for new products. Having new products regularly should be a key retention strategy. If you’re in the inexpensive fashion industry, the amount of new arrivals should be important. If your merchandise mix is more expensive, the amount of new arrivals can be reduced.

Making competitive products on demand. Manufacturing on demand can work well if your goods are exceptional and clients are willing to wait. But creating something on demand your opponents have in stock and can ship the same day is a bad way to build your brand name and turn a profit.

Small margins. Earning money is the principal purpose of any company. Thus, the pricing strategy for your products should have space for overhead, packaging, shipping, promotions, and gain.

Lack of marketing. A business has a proven audience (which it has to grow continually) or it has to attract one. Both take money. Tiny budgets or word-of-mouth marketing can work can a side business, but not a real one.

Outsourcing marketing. Be cautious of”SEO specialists,””marketing professionals,” and”brand strategists.” Inexperienced and distressed business owners often hire the wrong vendors — squandering money and shed consumers’ trust.

Working with incorrect influencers. Influencer promoting is among the very best approaches to appear in front of prospective customers. But prior to signing an influencer’s contract, be sure her followers are busy and are your target audience.

Hiring friends and loved ones. The suitable talent is essential to success. Employees and vendors should have knowledge and expertise specific to your organization. If your employees aren’t helping, you should replace them immediately. This can be difficult as it involves friends and loved ones.

Mistakes of Larger Companies

Management has a producers’ mentality. This mistake is chiefly applicable to companies who have been manufacturing for many years and then opt to supply products directory to customers via the web. In a manufacturing company, a business receives orders and makes products. In internet retailing, it is the opposite. A company must spend money on advertising campaigns and then (hopefully) get orders. For manufacturers, that procedure can look like gambling.

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Hiring talent with the incorrect attitude. Employees often spend more time in their office than they do at home. To succeed, a firm’s culture and work environment should be positive. Anger, jealousy, and backstabbing have murdered many companies in the fashion industry. You may train working abilities, but not characters.

Not devoting enough funding for advertising campaigns. Salaries are a component of a marketing budget. Fairly often, executives decide that wages are sufficient and they avoid investing in advertising campaigns.

Poor supervision. While micromanagement isn’t advisable, closely monitoring substantial operations is crucial. I’ve seen a massive fashion business go out of business in 3 months since the company lost a main customer and the owner was unaware.

Too many meetings. I once worked with a lifestyle business where workers marched from meeting to meeting and after that, at the end of the day, had only a few hours to perform their job. Teams will need to communicate. But keeping meetings to a minimum is always best.

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