I went to a "how to run your own retail or wholesale business" seminar on Saturday, those things are either hit or miss...Since I've been in retail for the past 10+ years, the first half bored me to tears. Inventory levels, markup, keystone, cost of goods sold...how about we start off with the different types of companies - i.e. LLC, Corp, Inc - and how to set those up, paperwork filings, the cost of these filings in New York.
The programs to look into which mentor and promote retail and wholesale businesses in New York, which Bloomberg has been vocal about, (if they're out there I've yet to come across them, they tend to be under the radar because they don't want to be overwhelmed with submissions) to keep NYC as the forefront of fashion - because the city's market dominance as the Mecca of fashion is steadily eroding.
With the economic downturn, funding eligibility requirements are much more strict,
most banks want to see that you've been up and running and made some money first before they invest (learned that at an investing seminar, which was free, phew!!). The days of a sound business plan and idea are nearly over (there's always an exception, me!!). Instead fashion has become monopolized by people/socialites with cash - think Tory Burch and her investment banker rich hubby, Vera Wang and her daddy's money, Tamara Mellon (who started Jimmy Choo) and her daddy's money and she married a Mellon (old fabled American family with banking and oil fortunes).
Long gone are the fabled stories of hard work, from the likes of Calvin Klein and
Ralph Lauren (who made the Forbes billionaire's list recently).
Normally the seminar's are free, but this one I had to pay for and while I'm always hesitant about doing that - the title of the course seemed so specific that I had to go as I am sure I would get something out of it, and I did...
MARKETING, ahhhhhhh! The saving grace came during the 2nd part of the seminar, after a boxed lunch (what am I in kindergarten). I have had some feedback from a close friend that I don't yet have a finished product and so I'm doing all of this everything prematurely. That stuck with me, and I thought - no, in this day and age the world moves very fast, I'll have the finished product soon enough but I need to get started on getting my idea out there by word of mouth....but I needed reassurance. And the speaker did that, she spoke of teaching a class and this one guy always seemed to be sleeping in class - it was late fall and she puled him aside and said am I boring you? He responded, no..its just that my business doesn't launch until April and I have nothing to do until then. She then said that she felt she failed as a teacher right there, because the time to start doing anything is not when you have a launch - but while you're going through the process.
There are so many products, ideas out there - it's very hard to decide to buy into/buy one...we as consumers need to be engaged/feel involved/get emotionally involved with a product, that's how you gain a following. Never letting your audience down is how you maintain a following...seems so logical to me. One of the speakers said that it takes 3 seconds for something to make an impression on a consumer...within 3 seconds of seeing something (wonder if that's true for seeing someone) we decide if we like it or not - that's not a lot of time!!
Thank you marketing speaker - I've already signed on to a few of the websites she suggested and started some queries and feel I'm on the right path....