Beating complacency: Don’t let comfort suck the life out of your business.
So, you launched your fashion line about a couple of years ago- maybe more. But you aren’t as driven as you were when you started. You don’t see the point of pushing your sales strategy or tweaking your business model when it’s doing just fine. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right? So many business owners develop this mindset after they’ve reached a certain level of success. But this mindset kills longevity. This is why beating complacency is key.
Complacency: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies
The strongest entrepreneurs appreciate their success, but they are never satisfied. Their passion drives them to push forward even after they “peak.” They know that success doesn’t negate the fact that culture and consumerism are ever-evolving entities, constantly being disrupted by innovation and technology.
Beating complacency takes a healthy amount of paranoia.
You want a restlessness, a feeling that somebody’s always after you, but you’re going to stay ahead.Warren Buffet
Buffet’s quote leads us to the first tip…
Lead with Restlessness. You can ALWAYS do something a little better.
Whether it’s your operations, marketing approach, or sample-making methods, your business can always use improvement. Not because your business isn’t good enough. Not because your ideas aren’t brilliant enough. Simply because the world around you is always expanding and advancing. Advance with it.
When you’re overly satisfied, someone out there is figuring out how to do what you do leaner, cheaper, and more effectively. Keep your entrepreneurial spirit.
You should bask in your success, but you never want to get stuck there! There’s a slippery slope between triumph and descension.
Be cognizant and observant.
- Notice market shifts.
- Notice disruptions in the industry.
- Study evolutions in consumerism.
- Learn about innovations in the marketplace.
- Survey your existing customers.
Depending on your response, this information will either help your business thrive or shut your business down. If not sooner, then later. Direct competitor research doesn’t end in the planning stages of your business, this research is on-going. Your competitors are looking around for marketplace shifts, and so should you.
It’s important to note: Strong entrepreneurs stay in their own lane. You don’t want a toxic, comparison mindset – worrying about a competitors’ next move before your own next move.
Observation shows you how other companies solve problems so you can solve them EVEN better!
Be Quick to Adapt!
After you observe, you have to adapt. Most entrepreneurs don’t realize they need to pivot until it’s way too late. You DON’T want to be one of those entrepreneurs.
Think of all of the department and retail stores we grew up with that are now going bankrupt. According to this report from CBInsights, former household names like Sears, Claire’s, Nine West, The Limited, Charlotte Russe, etc. all filed bankruptcy for the SAME reason – “failure to establish a strong online presence amidst the decline of physical retail shopping experiences.” People slowly stopped shopping at malls and their business models didn’t change a bit! Meanwhile, online powerhouses like Amazon, ASOS, and Zara were thriving! The nostalgic brands could have possibly thrived with them had they just reacted sooner.
In a world of Toy R Us(es) and Blockbusters, be like ALDO.
Shoe retailer, ALDO, is steadily beating complacency. They started adapting their methods long before the 2017 retail apocalypse. They noticed that physical retail was declining so they diversified their streams of distribution and strengthened their online presence. When customers started flocking to ASOS, ALDO initiated collaborations with them and started selling shoes on their platform. With multiple effective methods, ASOS shifted and met their customers where they were. As a result, their physical stores continue to thrive as they integrate their online/mobile shopping experience with their physical experience.
Today’s consumers demand convenience and relevance. If your business can’t provide that, they will find it elsewhere. That simple.
If you’ve lost your entrepreneurial spirit or just need a mindset booster, our Fashion Biz Foundation Online Couse is perfect for you. If you want to learn more about the future of fashion and your place in it, then book a strategy session with our founder and fashion expert, Christine Daal, here.
Here’s to beating complacency and grabbing 2019 by the horn!
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