Entente (very) Cordial

Having written about keeping things focused last time this may seem like an unlikely twist, but having looked at ways in which I could convince my suppliers and clients that they should invest in building a relationship with me, the unlikely happened – I took on a new project into my already overloaded work space. Why you may ask?

Having just launched to the market this January, my most valuable feedback has been from shop floor staff telling me what customers are saying. Obviously, I want to strengthen the bond with my stockists, but with brands knocking at their door this can be difficult, and ultimately their brand loyalties are directly correlated to sales.

On the other side I have my supply chain – my fabric and trims manufacturers, as well as my factory. So how was I going to persuade them, as their newest and possibly smallest client, that they should treat me as seriously as their largest client so that I could avoid any delivery delays or problems in the future?

On the advice of the very savvy Kathryn Bullock, I focused on exploring options with my factory. So when the French Export Council organised a fashion day in London last week for their factories to meet with various British designers, the opportunity arose for me to save Mr H from his linguistic anguish.

It occurred to me that I could communicate with English designers better than he, and being in London means I can follow up on any appointments. Obviously, I was very happy with what they had done for me, I’d seen the factory in the Loire Valley with my own eyes and had been shown garments from other brands going through their machines. So after a days work with Mr H at the Meridien in Piccadilly, we’ve potentially signed up 12 new clients and are trialling continuing to work together.

Mr H and I now communicate weekly, even when it’s nothing to do with my business, and in return for my efforts he has kindly improved my payment terms, and has helped me with product development in exchange for my time. Furthermore, he has done me a great favour in completing a small repeat order which has kept my stockists happy and sales going. What more could I wish for?

All in all, a win win situation!

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