Fashion Business Owner Musings: The Complacency Trap

This one is for my more advanced readers. Those of you who, like me, have built a business to a certain level of success and now focus on growth– of self, of product, of audience, and of revenue. If this is you, listen up because I’ve been reminded of something recently that I think you’ll benefit from hearing.

Complacency is a trap that too many of us get caught in.

I think when we’re in the early stages of our businesses, we’re so go-go-go that it’s pretty much impossible to become complacent. There’s too much going on to get too comfortable. New ideas need to be implemented and experimentation is the word of the week. We’re constantly trying to grow so we’re always trying to make things better.

Then we hit a certain level of success and we start striving for balance. We no longer need to be stuck in this exhausting cycle of constant change. The things we were worried about before have been figured out and most aspects of our business are working well. So we get cozy. We snuggle into the day-to-day work in a way that feels less fly-by-the-seat and more processes and systems-focused. And this is a good thing. Please don’t doubt my love for processes and systems. They are the lifeblood of my business.

But . . . and this is a big but . . .

Becoming complacent can snatch success from under you faster than you can possibly realize.

Change in business is necessary.

When you’re running a business, you’re serving people. And to continue to effectively serve people, you need to find ways to do better, do more, change things up, keep things interesting.

Now, I’m not saying that change for the sake of change is the goal. But change for the sake of improvement is.

It’s like any other relationship — who wants to be in a relationship with someone who is not challenging them to do better, pushing them to see things in new ways, introducing them to exciting information and interesting people?

It’s no different when it comes to the relationship you have with your customers.

Do everything in your power to not get complacent in your business. Instead, find ways to delight and impress your customers so that rather than getting bored and losing interest, they are excited to be along for the journey.

I’ve recently made a commitment to get better at this in my own business, and I hope you will too.

Lots of love and encouragement,

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Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!