Mina Melikova, CEO of TradeGala – the B2B online marketplace
Why is it critical to “think big” when creating your retail brand?
Every retail business starts from a small idea – the gap in the market that only you can fill. Maybe it’s a niche product line designed to address the needs of a specific demographic, or a specialist store showcasing the brands you love. But in order for any business to succeed you need to think big and plan for the success you might only imagine in your wildest dreams.
Winning a big contract or having your brand go viral could mean the start of a business empire, but if you haven’t worked out how to scale your logistics, operations or supply chain it may end up being the very reason your business fails. That’s why it’s so vital to think big from the very beginning. It might seem presumptuous to imagine major success, but by putting a plan in place you not only have a safety net if you do get lucky, it also gives you the stepping stones you need to create your own path to achieve your dreams. The power of technology today gives retailers access to a worldwide market with minimal set-up costs, plus you no longer have to be technically trained to have a strong online presence with an audience of millions, whether through your own website, social media or marketplace platforms. These days the sky really is the limit.
How did you plan to turn that dream into a reality?
Every business should have a vision or dream of what it’s setting out to achieve, but without a business plan this vision isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. When we created TradeGala we had a very clear strategy of the steps we would need to take in order to achieve our goals, with both short term and long term targets, strategic focus and business priorities. We keep on top of things by reviewing our goals and achievements every quarter to see where we are, but also to adapt to changes that take place along the way. No matter how well you plan when you start out you can never foresee every aspect of your business as it grows, so it’s vital to be agile and adapt your plan as changes arise.
What are the early stages of business planning like?
While it’s important to dream big in the early stages, it’s also important to be realistic, particularly when it comes to budgeting. You need to decide what you are going to spend and how long your budget will last, bearing in mind you are unlikely to start earning immediately. It can be daunting as there’s so much to bear in mind, but it’s important to break things down into manageable tasks and make sure to put achievable targets in place so you don’t exhaust yourself at the start. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
About the author
Mina Melikova is CEO of TradeGala – the B2B online marketplace and chief executive of occasion wear brand Goddiva.
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