In my early twenties I launched my first apparel childrenswear company. I designed, manufactured, marketed and handled sales- wore many hats as a start up business. I was featured in number magazines which got me a lot of attention, I managed four sales reps, and before I knew it I was in at least 40 stores across US and Canada.
Although I had support from my family, I was doing it solo. I was also not a money person and I never had the accountant that supported me further than filing my returns. The ball was rolling but pretty soon it ran me over. Things got bigger than me. I could not keep up with the pace and orders could not be filled in time for delivery. I was so stressed I had a breakdown and pretty soon it affected my health.
Sad to say but I ended up closing up shop.I moved to New York City and found myself working as a product development manager for a reputable company in the Empire State Building.
I bit off more than I can chew. What did I learn from that?
I hope that anyone who is starting a business hears me. It will save you thousands of dollars and possibly your health.
1. Do less.
If you are starting a clothing line I’d suggest starting with a maximum of 6-8 products one fabrication. Rock those items. Perfect the system. Keep it simple. Don’t confuse your buyer.
-I created a boys line using 4 different fabrics. I still don’t know how it was even possible to manage all that. A big no-no.
2. Know what your good at and focus on that.
Have a process set in place before you start. Have a plan for a year, For what needs to get done and how to get it done. Who is handling what? What are you doing?
Just recently I did the Myers Briggs Test. I learned I was an ENFP. I’m an extrovert. I get my energy from other people. How could I have spent the last 10 years in solitude? Now I know. This is why I make it a point to go to mastermind groups and meet my customers and most importantly help others like you who need my help.
If I didn’t make these mistakes I would have never learned a thing about myself or the business. And ultimately I would have never been able to share these experiences and help others avoid the more costlier mistakes. I took the bullet for the team. Hehehe
Really take the time to learn about yourself and how you can design a company around your needs.