Question :
Hi there, I have a small clothing/counselling business catering for plus size women operating for 2 years. Prior to the covid19 business was ok, however with the lockdown everything has come to a halt and i feel stuck of which way to go? should i work the marketing side of things on social media or do a quick sale to generate the business again. Any advise or information will be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.  

Question submitted 04/05/20 @ 12:14pm
Industry: Fashion
  • Kia Ora – there are many in this situation. First would be look at your cost base, what costs can you reduce down, get rid of, get discounts, delay or put off – be brave on your costs if you can because that gives you more time. Second, think about how you can generate more cash from selling – are there existing customers you can go too and thank for their past custom and offer them some of your items (they may want to buy), and if you feel you want too you could offer a loyalty discount or maybe something different – you don’t always have to discount. 3rd, think about how you can tell your story in social for your target market, how do you find them and connect with them.

    Final thing, like you have done here asking for you – proud of you, do the same with your customers – they will want you to stay in business and it is amazing when you show you and your situation, that you might be surprised that people will come – they might buy clothes and they might also introduce you to others.

    All the best – Andy

    Thank you sooo much Andy for the advise much appreciated.

    Hi there

    This is such an important market, giving plus size women confidence to go about their day. Your market may appear to have disappeared, but the women who need your counselling and your products are still there, and still need you. You just need to find a way to reach out to them, and support them, in a way that supports you and helps your business to survive to fight another day.

    The only game in town right now is to find a way to keep standing, and to be standing at the end of this! You say your business was doing okay until this crisis – that means you have customers out there who have supported you in the past. Reach out to them, find out how they’re doing, what they’re wearing in lockdown (for example) and how to celebrate that rather than judge it! Personally, I’m loving wearing my slippers to work every day!

    Practically, if you’re sitting on stock, having a sale makes good sense, especially if it gives you the cashflow you need to survive. Maybe offer the sale first to people who’ve supported you in the past (depending on your size, you may be able to tailor the offers specifically to your most special customers, offering them a discount on the things that you know will suit their style and body size / shape. Maybe just offer them free shipping if you can’t afford an actual discount.

    Also, because your offer includes counselling (which I assume is about what styles suit your body best?), maybe offer a deal on counselling sessions online (or make them free, with a discount voucher for followup purchases). Just an idea. You’d be amazed what you can achieve online – I work with a bra company that has started offering online fitting consultations, and the demand is huge.

    Very happy to have a chat if you like – you can reach me at debra@roseandthorne.com to arrange a time to talk further if you think it would be useful.

    Good luck – and well done on what you do, and on seeking advice to help you continue doing it.

    Hi there, I am a stylist working with sizes 14+ so I am very familiar with the audience you are trying to target. I think the first thing to do is to ask your audience what they want. I had some stock from my previous clothing line to move on, but I was concerned about staging a sale in this climate, so I asked my Instagram audience what they wanted – and it was a resounding yes to a sale! I used Instagram live and it was incredibly successful, so much so I am planning to make it a monthly event. Don’t be afraid to be honest with your audience about where things are at with your business, take your community on a journey and let them be part of it and you’ll find they’ll be even more engaged on the other side of all this. I would definitely be taking up Debra’s offer to chat, Rose and Thorne are a fantastic brand and I am sure she has a lot of great advice to offer you. Good luck!

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