1001 Business Bedtime stories… Laura had a fashion label and a plan focused on her customers
Business planning focused on customers: Here follows another one of the “1001 Business Bedtime Stories”. Every one of the “1001 Business Bedtime Stories” come straight from the New Perspectives Small Business Bootcamp, stories of business and courage and they illustrate an aspect of one of Ten Truths. You might recognise some of them from your own experience. This story is about Truth num 2: “A Business without a plan achieves everything in it”…
Once upon a time… a long long time ago in a country not unlike Australia… Laura had a fashion label…
Laura had a little shop in Sydney and a fashion label and a small dedicated band of followers for her unique brand of office fashion for successful corporate women. Laura’s business was 4 years old and although it was gratifying to see the same customers come back season after season for her latest lines and to know how happy her customers usually were when they left her shop, Laura felt strongly that there was a wonderful opportunity for her to grow the business and bring her unique designs to a larger audience, but she just didn’t know where to start.
“Should I get involved in some social media, or maybe I need to take the plunge and open a shop in the cbd or should I look for a partner in Melbourne or knock on the door of Myer, and how will I finance an expansion, and can I continue to manufacture in Australia, and what if I am not good enough to manage more staff and various localities, and is the market in Perth the same as the market in Sydney, and what if Cue designs simply decides to knock off my designs, and if I grow will I lose the loyalty of my customers” etc etc etc
“There are so many what-ifs and so many different priorities to choose from, how do I know where to start?” was the constant refrain in Laura’s head.
Laura was stuck in a classic decision paralysis loop.
Working in The Fun in Business Intensive with me, Laura came to realise that the only way to cut through her dilemma’s was to face her lack of confidence of business planning head on and get to work with me to develop a thorough Business Plan, in a form that worked for her.
So she did… and it took a lot of courage… but Laura got under way and together with me she started creating a big mind-map in which she put all the dilemma’s and questions and start to work systematically to order them, prioritise them and answer them.
The mind-map evolved to a series of small one page documents for different aspects of the business and a time line with projections for different stages of the business development.
From there Laura simply started to work progressively through the plan, and every time another question or dilemma came up she could go to the plan and the mind-map, and find a place to house the question. This simple process of planning allowed her to be able to focus on the immediate step ahead without being afraid that she will forget something crucial.
Making this step to getting involved in an appropriate level of consistent planning is the one thing that started to shift Laura’s business into a new realm.
Now, 1.5 Years later, Laura has opened a second shop in Sydney. The planning process has helped her understand that her opportunities in the short to medium term are not in the CBD, nor in large scale production Off-shore, but in a series of small unique shops in specific inner city suburbs like Balmain and Mosman, followed by similar expansion in Melbourne and other major cities in Australia.
Laura is looking forward to the next 5 years of consistent controlled growth and building a loyal national following of her label.
And Laura and her business lived happily ever after… The End
Ask yourself… Where will you find the courage to make Profound things happen in your Business?
Planning, Customers and the 7 Big Questions of Small Business
Business owners frequently ask 7 Big Questions about how to Build a Beautiful Business and Life.
The first of these Big Questions is: How do I grow my business?
To answer that question I have identified the 11 most important strategies to create Business Growth.
The sixth of those strategies is Grow your business with Planning. The seventh of those strategies is Grow your business with Customers. This article explains how Planning, Customers and Growth hang together, in some depth.