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Fashion Case Study

Background
The business had been operated, for several years, by a talented designer/maker of tailored clothes for women. The garments were well received and sales volumes were good but profits were disappointing. Breakeven was achieved but the business would not take off as the owner wished.

Issues
The marketing and sales effort was aimed at retailers, direct buyers, web sales and taking stands at fashion shows and events. Manufacturing was done in-house and when sales were high all of the effort went into fulfilling orders and no time was available for business development activities. Conversely when sales were less good, activity was focused on getting sales from anywhere just to keep the cash flowing.

What we did
In the beginning we conducted an analysis of the business and the sales to find which areas showed most promise. We paid close attention to the margin that could be earned and to how accessible buyers in the sectors were. Then, working closely with the owner, chose the best sector to target and the sales activities that would have the most impact were organised. We recommended a new pricing structure and a marketing strategy that significantly increased the profit margins whilst maintaining and later increasing sales volume. External manufacturing capacity was sourced within the UK. This local capacity was essential if fine quality and quick service were to be provided. This outsourcing gave time to plan and introduce the financial controls that were needed to keep the business moving forward.

Results
Despite very difficult trading conditions during the recession the business has survived and is now beginning to grow. Profitability is improving and sales volumes have begun to increase. The number of market sectors that are now targeted is lower but the contribution from those that have been abandoned has been more than offset by those that remain. The company’s reputation is growing as the owner now has more time to spend designing beautiful clothes and still find time to think about how the business can continue to improve. We have an ongoing relationship with the owner and continue to provide business advice, coaching and mentoring on a regular basis.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your business or the issues you face e-mail info@ceostra.com or call us on 01277 896452