The holiday season is here, and with it come celebrations, family gatherings and a few days to kick back and relax. Well let’s use the term ‘relax’ loosely, because although rest is good, this might be the best time to put some work in, and get a head start on the new season. Here are some things we plan on doing to get on track in time for the new year.
1. Review last year’s results
Take a look back at the past year and pinpoint the practices that led to the most successful outcomes. Take some time to analyze sales data and identify periods with highest and lowest revenues. What were the reasons for these declines and increases? Once you figure this out, you can set a plan of action to further capitalize on what worked best for your business.
2. Complete unfinished business
Chances are the year flew by quicker than you anticipated and you still have some things to tend to. Audit these tasks, cross off the ones that are no longer relevant to your business, delegate the ones that you really don’t feel like doing but that need to be completed, and set priorities for what’s left. That way you’ll start 2016 with a ‘to do’ list that inspires and drives you.
3. Do some forecasting
You can’t underestimate the benefits of research. Read up on industry blogs and magazines to be up-to-date on the latest trends and happenings, check out the recaps of fashion shows, see what the celebrities are up to. You might uncover a lucrative new sales channel or your next big marketing idea, or decide to tweak your next collection’s aesthetic or brand lineup as a result.
4. Set priorities
Want to participate in New York Fashion Week, exhibit at an international tradeshow, or see your designs worn by a particular celebrity? Whatever it is that you hope to achieve, don’t just write it down, think of a plan of action for how this could be attained and make the first step towards realizing that ambition right away.
5. Take advantage of technology
Retailers are now using different forms of markdown optimization (MDO) to maximize sales margins and boost revenues. This worked wonders for fashion retailer Zara—their clearance sale revenues increased by 6% thanks to an MDO system. If properly employed, this technique along with other tech solutions created to streamline order writing, inventory management and even social media marketing can solve many of the business challenges you faced last year, so they are really worth a try.
6. Improve your business model
Different approaches to fashion business develop and evolve almost non-stop. To improve your company’s responsiveness to market demands, ensure that your operational processes are streamlined and working to your advantage. And if there’s anything you can do to increase efficiency and reduce costs, consider fine-tuning your business model to implement the optimizations.
Remember: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so let’s plan for a successful season and a prosperous new year!