As you begin to visualize what you want to see happen this is the dream stage. It is when you access your mind for what motivates you. What do you want to see happen in the immediate future and the long term outlook? Then you have to start writing code that you hope will produce that result. It is this stage that many people fall off because they either lack the ability to formulate a plan or they let other obstacles cloud their thinking. However this is when a good programmer comes to life. He or she knows that they can achieve a certain result once they begin putting the pieces together. They know that if it is something they don’t quite understand or need a reference for, they go out and find it.
Once your business is up and running you still have the need to write code. Nothing happens if you don’t make it happen. Your computer screen or mobile phone would be blank right now if coding wasn’t done for you to see the result. Right now you are on the web reading this because code was written. The same goes for running your business. If you don’t write and execute the code then your business is blank or could go off the rails. Who wants that right? Take Microsoft for instance. They just released Windows 10. According to Microsoft, Windows 10 will be their last Windows Version but they will keep updating it. Now if you have been a Windows User for years then you know, Windows is always sending you an update. Imagine if they never updated so that they could continuously improve their operating system.
Just because you wrote your initial code to get started with your business or clothing line, you still have to look to continuously improve your code to make your business stronger. When you are your own boss it is up to you to know every aspect of the code. You can’t be a global thinker and not worry about the small pieces of code as everything is important or should be important to you. Today’s business owner that walks into a room and expresses his vision to his team, tells them to make it happen, then walks right back out of the board room is a business owner that is not in touch. When you lose touch of your business is when you are setting yourself up for failure. You want to make sure you know what is going on in your business from the top down to the smallest details. Small details is what code is about. One out of place character in tech program, could send the whole code out of whack. Suddenly your program (business) is in disarray. This happens because a business owner has stopped paying attention and thinks his or her business is on autopilot. There is no such thing!
If you are a person who doesn’t think paying attention to detail is important then you may not be right for starting or running your own business. To a good business person, particularly in fashion, attention to detail is extremely important. Not only do you have to know the fashion stuff, you have to know the analytics, traffic patterns of your website, customer acquisition cost, unit cost, materials cost, mark-up percentage, break-even point, profit margins, what marketing objectives are working, product packaging, how you process orders and generate shipping labels, accounts payable, accounts receivables, how to reach your target market, etc. etc. All of these things make up the code to having a successful business. In order to write these items into your code, you first have to know how each works. If you are running your own business – and the small details seem to stress you out or you feel like they are insignificant then you may want to think again. In life, every result is generated from code - what you put in is what you get out. If you want the best outcome for you business, make sure you are familiar with good coding practices that give you the best chance of achieving success.
In other words, know your business and industry inside out. That is the code foundation that will produce results. However knowing how to code is one thing. It now comes down to creating an environment where you can execute the code properly. Execution is just as important as writing the code. That means you have to be active. You have to put your code to work. The overall process works backwards in this order - result - execution - code - planning. It is almost like when a non-programmer who has an idea goes to a professional programmer or engineer. He or she will relay their vision to the programmer. They will describe how they want everything to look and how their idea is to function for end users. Often he or she has no idea of code. The professional takes this information and begins to formulate what codes needs to be written to produce what the client is looking for.
When you have your own business, you are the code writer and the execution. You have to formulate the code and live by it every day. Monitoring your code, noticing external changes and making adjustments to your code. You should always be seeking continuous improvement. Do not become stagnant or complacent. You have to look at the results and your business analytics to see if your code is still delivering the results that you desire. If it is not, then know for sure that you need to tweak the code. So just like learning how to design your own clothing, work with apparel manufacturers and retailers are all important for a clothing line startup - you also have to learn how to tend to the smaller elements such as how do you let your customer know you appreciate them? How do you increase the value and quality of your products? If the end result that you want to achieve is to make your customers happy then you have to write code and execute the code which in return will make that happen; or at least increase the likelihood that it will happen.
The same can go for your fashion designs. You want to create collections that will sell. You want collections that when worn will make your customers feel good. That process doesn't just happen. It is code that has to go into producing that result. You have to make sure your specs are correct so that the fit is right. You have to create your fashion design so that you can get a visual of how the piece is to look once made. Then you have to execute the design by giving it to your clothing manufacturer. They then take your code and produce your garments. Yes designing clothing is creating code. Some of the ideas that may go into your design code is what colors should I use? What fabrics should I use? What will be the size range? What type of labels do I want to use for this style? How can I put a twist on a current trend to make my garment stand out? All of these things are important as they make up your design code.
As a business owner it is your job to roll up your sleeves and execute your plan from A to Z leaving out no details. I admit, it can be exhausting being concerned with the smallest details on to the larger picture / direction you want the company to go in. All the members of your company should be able to draw upon the analytics and be able to implement them into their departments assuming you have built a team or partners that are helping you. Everyone in your company needs to see the big picture and the small details especially you. It is even greater when you have a second, third or team of eyes looking at the same code as something that you might have missed is caught by someone else. This is why it is important for everyone on your team to be on the same page.
Another example of monitoring your code is like monitoring the up time of your website. Even though the code on your site has your site up and running right now, often things get broken. Your site could go down in an instance. The developers would have to troubleshoot the code to see what the issue causing the disruption. Now imagine if you don’t even check out your own website every day. You may not even know your website isn’t showing properly. While there are services that can alert you of this – you have to go out and find the services. So your coding should be that, “I am going to monitor my website at least twice a day to make sure everything is running smoothly.” That is a line of code that will make sure your website visitors are getting the best / intended experience. One line of code could be, “I am going to monitor the traffic patterns to see if the ad I placed is driving traffic and how is the traffic behaving.” You would write that into your business coding to make sure you are achieving your marketing objectives. If you are not even remotely concerned about that and you are just letting your business ride on auto then you could be wasting money and effort.
Writing a business plan for a clothing line is like the global code. You can govern your business by it but it often doesn't cover your daily activities. However, the code I am referring to in this post is your everyday code. It is a living-breathing code that may have to be adjusted from time to time. It could be something as simple as updating how you process your invoices or customer packaging. In order for a change to take place, you have to first figure out how to make that change take place. This same principle can be applied to your personal life. Say for example if you wanted to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. That would be the outcome or result. To achieve that result you know that you have to make everyday chances to your code / diet and exercise habits. Many people know the code for how to lose weight but they fail miserably on execution. Execution is just as important as the code itself. Are you willing to first identify the code and then work just as hard to make it happen?
You have to continue to evolve if you want your business to continue to grow. You should also have a personal goal to grow as a business person. We are following the same methodology here at StartingAClothingLine.com. This is one reason why we implemented a responsive mobile theme to our webstore after Google alerted webmasters about the Google Mobile Update. This decision was also made easy because our traffic data showed that now over 50% of our web traffic is coming from mobile devices. It only made sense to make our website mobile friendly. Imagine if we were not reading about what Google was doing or that we had no clue about our traffic data? We would be behind the eight ball and wondering why our rankings dropped. This is why it is important to stay close to the code that will keep your business thriving. What does your coding practices say about you? What does your executing of the code reveal? Code can be absolutely beautiful when it produces intended results. What coding elements are you using to produce a successful business? Share your thoughts on this post in the comment section. We would love to hear from you.
Article by Michael H., StartingAClothingLine.com Co-Founder / Co-Author of The Official Step by Step Guide to Starting A Clothing Line.