The last few weeks we have been prepping for and encouraging time for reflection. It’s June! I’ll spare you the, “Can you believe it?!” because whether you can or can’t – it’s here! The first half of the year is almost done. (Note: We’ll likely get into this reflection mode again come Nov/Dec, just so you know.)
Here at White Book, we’re taking the time this month to see what has worked, what hasn’t and new ideas we plan to implement for the second half of the year. Our clients are doing this as well and in our goal to encourage every one to “step out and be bold” this year, we’re pushing them to dream and think big, and step out of their comfort zone. We’ve been experimenting with this ourselves and must say, it’s interesting, fun, exciting and a little, “Ack!” all at the same time. The saying goes: Change is change.
In addition to being open to new projects, ideas, and collaborations, one thing is clear and that is also recognizing (and respecting) the value of the right “fit.” We’re not just saying this because we work with fashion brands, where fit is of utmost importance, or health and wellness brands where being fit is often the goal. This “fit” thing holds true in the world of business as well.
Any day of the week you can find someone who is willing to sell something and people who are willing to buy it. Agreed? It takes extra care to make sure that the interaction and transaction one makes is a smart one.
Here are some things to look out for when picking a vendor or shopping a firm:
1) Work with a company that “gets” your product. A vendor partner should be an extension partner to your brand. Does that mean they need to walk, talk, think like you? No. As a matter of fact, it’s a good idea to have some variety when it comes to your vendor partners. You have your expertise, they have theirs, everyone comes together and voilà – everyone comes together to make something fab happen! So while they don’t need to be “just like you” you do want them to understand you and your business. And as partners in
crime your fabulous success, you should both take an active interest in getting to know one another, how to work best together, etc.
2) Communication is critical. Work with people you are comfortable communicating with and whom will uphold a certain level of discretion. If you’re not comfortable communicating with your PR firm, business coach, accountant, insurance agent or attorney, it’s really difficult for anyone to get quality work done on your behalf. Additionally, as a customer, you need to be comfortable enough to ask the questions you need answers to. When it comes to the success of your business, everyone is in this together and open lines of communication ensures that everyone is on the same page.
3) Be open. If you want what you’ve always had, keep doing what you’re doing. If you want to experience something new and different, you have to try something new and different! Now let’s face it, there are some things that are in the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” category. For instance, perhaps your accountant is doing a great job crunching numbers, you enjoy working with her/him, everyone is making money and life is good. OK, no need to change. But if you’re looking for a creative spark, innovation, something new, you have to be open to doing something different. This doesn’t mean you need to hire a “new” anything, but back to bullet #2 – you have to communicate and then be open to trying something new.
The same tips above apply to a firm or business working with a customer, too. You want to work with customers who are a good fit for your company. No matter how cool, popular or “in” a pair of jeans may be, no one pair works for “every” body. Customers also have to believe in your brand and that your company is their ideal brand of denim and fit for them, too. Same goes for yourself as a shopper, picking a product, vendor partner, or…a pair of jeans. If you’ve ever had to settle for a pair of jeans, it’s not as good as finding that ideal pair! So your customer has to prefer your pair of pants over the other pairs. There is truly no one size fits all. Maybe one size fits most, but all…no way. Luckily, there’s something out there for everyone.
As you’re on the quest for that perfect fit of a customer, make sure it fits the criteria above and when you identify the customers, brands, vendors that work for your company – be sure to scoop up as many as possible! If multiples works for you, that is. Reach out to us and let us know if we may assist in making a connection for you!