The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

I have a business nobody can copy, my product is well made with good price. Help me sell more.

gallagher99

Contributor
Feb 18, 2015
24
28
22
29
Hey guys. I've been living in Rio - Brazil in a city with 80k people.

Long story short. It is a family business. We produce denium clothes and we sell in our local store retail. It is a HUGE place in the center of the city, actually it is one of the biggest points in town. I mean, it is central, but like 2 blocks away from the "good" local commerce center where people buy stuff from the giants of the retail in this country.

This company was founded in 1979 and was insanely well known in the past, i mean we used to SELL A LOT (more than 100k clothes a month if we cound the localshop) people would come all over the country to buy from us. Sadly the family went bankrupt, lots of problems, happened and we lost pretty much 95% of our public and market-share. We went bankrupted in 2008 maybe, but since that day we never actually closed the shop but our reputation went really down.


Since I got the control of the company in July 2017. I've been fighting a lot to grind the situation but the brazil economy + huge number of competitors + my point of sale (the place my shop is located) is not the best + not having cashflow = things not going well.
There are very few people actually crossing my street and "impulse buying". Like I said, it is somewhat well located, but it is like 2 blocks away from were there are thousands of thousands of people walking, and my competitors have the advantage of better point of sale.


Our good "fame" was that we actually had the industry of the denim (manufacturization) and we could sell a really nice denim clothing for a really really nice price.
So pretty much Local Shop (retail) and the industry (manufacturization) IN THE SAME POINT. Yep, client goes inside the store and you can listen to your clothe actually being manufactured, my salespeople are actually speciallized in denim, so they have a really nice knowledge they can "teach" the client all the process and how his pant is actually made (this endomarketing is still under construction), I learned a lot from Zara, so every monday a new product gets a promotion, and every wednesday + every friday I have new products in the store to sell. So pretty much I ALWAY HAVE prices going down and always have new products to sell, which it is what clients would want (it isn't working well yet).

My shop is one of the nicest in town, we have this 30~40's vibe from the visual merchandsing. The uniform is really cool like a tailor and we use this cool "apron" (not sure if thats the word) because we want to show the image that we are F*cking specialists in what we do (work in progress).

Pretty much no one can copy this process of industry+retail in the same local.
Obviously the client doesn't see machines and the noise isn't high (but you can listen sometimes the machines working), unless they ask to see or if our salespeople shows them, or actually they go to the bathroom they can see the industry/manufacturization.

The product is good, I've been buying REALLY GOOD fabric/wool/cotton (not sure how you guys say it) and it fits well, it is well made, it looks really well. My selling price is the best in town.
We've been doing decent online propaganda with facebook, whatsapp, instagram. Numbers could be better. But well, we've been doing posts everyday pretty much ...

What am I doing wrong? Is it my point of sale (where the store is located?) Is it the brazilian economy?
I've been trying really hard to be better than my competitors, to gain market-share, to CREATE GOOD products. To make my store look great, to provide a nice distinct vibe and an unique experience. But when the results doesn't show... it just feels bad :(




Just a quick update:
This thread is more dedicated for B2C sales.
Yes, most of the wealth from my family was created because of B2B business and I WILL focus on that on the next few months , but my local shop will probably remain in the same place nevertheless, so increasing the sales in the retail shop IS A MOST anyway.
I have lots of plans, like selling e-commerce, marketplaces, partnership with other stores and online stores, selling outside Brazil, etc. But let's just focus on the B2B businnes for now.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Last edited:

Fox

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 19, 2015
2,145
15,624
3,246
Europe
10/10 thread title.

If I was in clothing I would be looking at brands like gym shark and Suspicious Aantwerp. (SuspiciouS Antwerp)

They have created massive sales through linking in with influencers and creating a very marketable story/brand.

Gym Shark is more of an "open authentic" feel while Suspicious Antwerp goes for the hype sales a lot more.
They have a lot of key influencers on Instagram wearing their clothes and they always have limited edition/restocks.

I am just spitballing but maybe investigate if you can:
- have Brazilian influencers on board to support and promote your brand
- use social media to create and tell a story about your brand
- build hype for limited edition runs and special items that sell out fast (DoucheBags suitcases do this amazing also)

Demin I would imagine is a commoditised item for the most part. My thoughts would be to make it more than just about the denim and build a brand people will buy into (literally).

Just my thoughts - I would love to do this with a clothing brand if I owned one.

Clothing is all perception so its all down to your brand and marketing.

Case in point...


(thread here on this ^
... OFF-TOPIC - Payless Prank)
 
Last edited:

Plank

That's not sawdust.. it's Man Glitter
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 20, 2016
30
120
134
38
Tennesse
Who can you help with your business? surely you can think of people, or groups to help and begin helping them right now!!!
Begin thinking of multiple ways your product, or service can help others..
If you help me with my issues, I will always look to you when I need something you can provide, that's just basic life lessons 101 sadly nobody really gets that anymore..
 

NewManRising

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 30, 2017
350
504
251
39
White City, OR
Here is a persuasion trick you can use with pricing. You said you lower prices and your customers like this. There is a behavior with buyers that make them think that if something is priced high = High quality. What you can do is choose the price you want and simply add that it is on sale, clearanced, or 1/2 off, etc. The price won't be discounted at all but by merely listing that it is on sale might trigger them to buy. Might be worth a try.
 

AgainstAllOdds

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 26, 2014
2,087
12,668
2,796
27
Chicago, IL
This company was founded in 1979 and was insanely well known in the past, i mean we used to SELL A LOT (more than 100k clothes a month if we cound the localshop) people would come all over the country to buy from us. Sadly the family went bankrupt, lots of problems, happened and we lost pretty much 95% of our public and market-share. We went bankrupted in 2008 maybe, but since that day we never actually closed the shop but our reputation went really down.
You started in a market where you had a monopoly and then 30 years later became a bankrupted commodity.

Why are you trying to force this into a success? You're competing against an ever increasing number of competitors (manufacturers and marketers); if you don't have a foothold in the market now, you likely won't in the future.

I'd suggest you think long and hard and consider what other opportunities exist. Your family and infrastructure is geared towards being incredibly successful in a monopolistic market - I'd discover what that market is.
 
OP
OP
G

gallagher99

Contributor
Feb 18, 2015
24
28
22
29
You started in a market where you had a monopoly and then 30 years later became a bankrupted commodity.

Why are you trying to force this into a success? You're competing against an ever increasing number of competitors (manufacturers and marketers); if you don't have a foothold in the market now, you likely won't in the future.

I'd suggest you think long and hard and consider what other opportunities exist. Your family and infrastructure is geared towards being incredibly successful in a monopolistic market - I'd discover what that market is.
Thanks for the answer.
I don't really want to repeat that success and make the past alive again. I just would like the store to sell a better and actually have a healthy positive disciplined profit monthly, doesn't have to be big. But at least be in a healthy situation where I can add the other projects to the revenue.

I trully believe my business can achieve better revenue IF I add the e-commerce, b2b sales, partnership, etc.
The problem TODAY is that my retail shop isn't selling well, that
 

NewManRising

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 30, 2017
350
504
251
39
White City, OR
Any chance you can create a review site or an online community for your fans/customers? These days digital tools can be helpful and are actually becoming required for building brands and getting sales. I read an article recently about the customer buying process. People usually go from awareness/interest, to research, buying, then bonding and advocating. But, nowadays with the internet the process of customer buying is different. People become aware/interested in a product by word of mouth or actually seeing the product in a store. They then go online to research it. A study found that online reviews made by other customers was the top decision making factor for people choosing what brand to buy. But, they also learned that in order to get repeat customers and new customers it required involvement with the customer beyond the sale. Things like social media accounts and communities are becoming important for this reason. I read many companies these days have dedicated teams to handle the content and interaction between their customers after the sale. This is basically the bonding and advocating part. Once you bond with the customer they begin advocating for you and become a loyal fan/customer. Get creative with this and see what happens.
 

AgainstAllOdds

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 26, 2014
2,087
12,668
2,796
27
Chicago, IL
I trully believe my business can achieve better revenue IF I add the e-commerce, b2b sales, partnership, etc.
The problem TODAY is that my retail shop isn't selling well, that
I'm not saying that your business can't do better, I'm just asking if it's worth the effort?

Let's say:
  • You put in 100% of effort into this business. Where will you be in 5 years?
  • Versus: You put in 100% effort into a different business? Where will that be in 5 years?
My point: Just because your family background is denim, doesn't mean that you're forced to make this into a success.

If this is your best opportunity, then go for it. But if you're continuously fighting uphill, maybe it'd be easier to switch to a different market.
 

Olimac21

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2015
437
559
260
27
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
Hey guys. I've been living in Rio - Brazil in a city with 80k people.

Long story short. It is a family business. We produce denium clothes and we sell in our local store retail. It is a HUGE place in the center of the city, actually it is one of the biggest points in town. I mean, it is central, but like 2 blocks away from the "good" local commerce center where people buy stuff from the giants of the retail in this country.

This company was founded in 1979 and was insanely well known in the past, i mean we used to SELL A LOT (more than 100k clothes a month if we cound the localshop) people would come all over the country to buy from us. Sadly the family went bankrupt, lots of problems, happened and we lost pretty much 95% of our public and market-share. We went bankrupted in 2008 maybe, but since that day we never actually closed the shop but our reputation went really down.


Since I got the control of the company in July 2017. I've been fighting a lot to grind the situation but the brazil economy + huge number of competitors + my point of sale (the place my shop is located) is not the best + not having cashflow = things not going well.
There are very few people actually crossing my street and "impulse buying". Like I said, it is somewhat well located, but it is like 2 blocks away from were there are thousands of thousands of people walking, and my competitors have the advantage of better point of sale.


Our good "fame" was that we actually had the industry of the denim (manufacturization) and we could sell a really nice denim clothing for a really really nice price.
So pretty much Local Shop (retail) and the industry (manufacturization) IN THE SAME POINT. Yep, client goes inside the store and you can listen to your clothe actually being manufactured, my salespeople are actually speciallized in denim, so they have a really nice knowledge they can "teach" the client all the process and how his pant is actually made (this endomarketing is still under construction), I learned a lot from Zara, so every monday a new product gets a promotion, and every wednesday + every friday I have new products in the store to sell. So pretty much I ALWAY HAVE prices going down and always have new products to sell, which it is what clients would want (it isn't working well yet).

My shop is one of the nicest in town, we have this 30~40's vibe from the visual merchandsing. The uniform is really cool like a tailor and we use this cool "apron" (not sure if thats the word) because we want to show the image that we are f*cking specialists in what we do (work in progress).

Pretty much no one can copy this process of industry+retail in the same local.
Obviously the client doesn't see machines and the noise isn't high (but you can listen sometimes the machines working), unless they ask to see or if our salespeople shows them, or actually they go to the bathroom they can see the industry/manufacturization.

The product is good, I've been buying REALLY GOOD fabric/wool/cotton (not sure how you guys say it) and it fits well, it is well made, it looks really well. My selling price is the best in town.
We've been doing decent online propaganda with facebook, whatsapp, instagram. Numbers could be better. But well, we've been doing posts everyday pretty much ...

What am I doing wrong? Is it my point of sale (where the store is located?) Is it the brazilian economy?
I've been trying really hard to be better than my competitors, to gain market-share, to CREATE GOOD products. To make my store look great, to provide a nice distinct vibe and an unique experience. But when the results doesn't show... it just feels bad :(




Just a quick update:
This thread is more dedicated for B2C sales.
Yes, most of the wealth from my family was created because of B2B business and I WILL focus on that on the next few months , but my local shop will probably remain in the same place nevertheless, so increasing the sales in the retail shop IS A MOST anyway.
I have lots of plans, like selling e-commerce, marketplaces, partnership with other stores and online stores, selling outside Brazil, etc. But let's just focus on the B2B businnes for now.
Start with E-commerce as you said, good instagram profile since Brazilians are crazy about it and that is where the attention is coming from nowadays. In addition just ask your customers the right questions to see what can you improve and what brings them joy about your clothes.
 

Paladin

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Oct 23, 2018
82
304
161
When you post online, you're going to get thousands of opinions and ideas. Hopefully, one of them gives you some value.

I once went to a jeans shop in London with a friend of mine. He knew one of the guys there who was a jeans EXPERT.

This was something I had no idea existed. The guy made me try on a dozen pairs of jeans and basically told me what to wear. I walked out of there with the best looking pair of jeans ever.

The made me look as good as possible.

So I know there is real value in the concierge experience. It seems to me that your biggest value with manufacturing onsite is that you manufacture onsite.

That doesn't have any value if they are buying pre-made jeans. Then the location of the factory doesn't matter except for noise.

HOWEVER

If you could take their measurements, put them into some "test jeans" and then make a pair in the back. That would be something special. You could raise your prices accordingly and people would pay for the experience of watching their jeans being born.

Customization is so hot right now and you actually have that infrastructure.

And that can become your USP. Right now your challenge is that most people see jeans as a commodity.

How much easier to get some social media influencers taking pictures of their jeans being born than of just another jeans shop. You can even name each area as the pre-natal unit, the newborn ward, etc. Let people see their jeans through a glass window like the baby at the hospital. All that presentation will really come across in pictures and video.

Leverage your unique asset to the hilt my friend!
 

HackVenture

Digital Marketer
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Mar 11, 2011
341
481
236
Planet Earth
What's stopping you from starting a eCommerce site and building an online community right away?

Assuming you have already made up your mind to carry on/scale up the family business, the above are no-brainers and should be done ASAP as it takes time to see the results.

Even if you get zero sales from the eCommerce site, the web presence will help to drive walk-ins to your store.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.


New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Sponsored Offers

Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
-- HALLOWEEN SPECIAL STARTS TODAY! Get any of my courses at Udemy's current best price through Friday! Use code: HALLOWEEN Use any of the links...
Top Bottom