dress for success

by:Max Apparel     2020-08-19
School uniform suppliers fight for the recession. CHICAGO (
Small fortune enterprises)--
Even after nearly 20 years in charge of a successful clothing company, Michael Cohen happily admitted that he was not a fashion expert.
If any, he is responsible for suppressing the clothing desires of thousands of schoolchildren across the country.
Cohen is the king of school uniforms. His Chicago-
The US-based Cloz company sells school uniforms to some 200 elite private and boarding schools in the United States. S.
Including Nightingale.
Bandford School in New York City and National Cathedral School in Washington, D. C. C.
Cloz was launched in Cohen\'s apartment in 1989 with an initial investment of $500 and today is a profit of $10million-a-
Year catalog and online retailer.
Cohen, 42, has been dressed for nearly 20 years for the children of America\'s richest families.
He even offered the maroon uniform that Obama girls wore in physical education at the University of Chicago Lab School.
Cloz is also equipped with rich tykes for the summer camp;
The company has exclusive contracts for about 100 sleepwalking camps in New England and the Midwest.
Still, Cohen is nervous.
He is worried that his business is very seasonal.
Cloz processes thousands of camp gear orders every day in the spring, and then fills the boxes filled with school uniforms until the end of September.
In the late autumn, orders slowed down to a trickle of trickle. in the early winter, the place felt like a campus in July.
Cohen said he wanted to launch a sideline in the off-season to fill the gap.
What worries Cohen even more is that many of his clients are experiencing the full impact of the economic crisis.
Former big spenders are cutting spending, and early reports suggest that some are cutting luxury goods such as private schools and accommodation in children\'s camps.
Cohen doesn\'t know how the recession will affect his company, but he wants to be prepared for the worst.
Despite the economic downturn, Cohen also needs to make sure that his company can maintain rapid growth once the economy recovers.
At present, in a small office in the south of Chicago, the Cloz warehouse is full of people.
Cohen hopes to simplify production and better manage inventory by investing more space and new technologies.
But his bank was paralyzed by the credit crunch and could not provide the capital that Cloz needed to grow.
To help Cohen sort out his options, Fortune recruited three experts for business transformation.
First of all, Larry Flinn, who is the chairman of Flinn science, based in Batavia.
, One of the top suppliers of scientific equipment in the United StatesS. schools.
Flinn, 53, urged Cohen to stop worrying about the off-season and focus on winning more promising school markets. Thousands of U. S.
School uniforms are required in private schools. The $490-million-a-
The school uniform market is growing at twice the rate.
Annual digital editing
According to Stax, a New York City market research firm, camp gear is a much faster market.
But sales of school uniforms account for only 40% of Cloz\'s revenue.
\"To fill the vacuum, it is risky to add some new adventures in the off-season,\" Flinn warned . \".
\"Don\'t take your eyes off your core business, especially when you have such a big room for development.
\"Instead, Cohen should use the slow months to prepare for the annual event in the spring.
For example, Cloz can solve the time problem in winter
Consumer work with a school logo attached to a backpack, using a conservative estimate of the number that parents may order.
Flinn reminded Cohen that the school market was a challenge because managers were slow to respond and were cautious about change.
Before winning a school, cloz may spend three to four years pursuing it.
\"Wait patiently for the school\'s current supplier error,\" Flinn suggested . \".
\"It\'s your opening but you only have one chance to wow them.
\"Aggressive sales strategies may offend school officials and teachers,\" added Flinn.
But these educators are eager for information that can help students learn.
Flinn\'s company has cultivated the loyalty of science teachers with its excellent Flinn freebies, which include newsletters on trends in science education, security seminars and award videos
The award-winning teachers conduct experiments. (
Flinn even offers a student teacher survival kit with safety posters and equipment coupons. )
Cohen is brighter.
\"We can create a newsletter to discuss how schools can cope with the recession! \" he says.
\"In the past, we sent a large box of extra school uniforms to the National Cathedral School for students who could not afford the tuition.
\"The next expert at Bat: Brian Sommer, founder of Techventive, marketing and technical consulting firm at Batavia, Ill.
\"Obviously, you have a space problem,\" Sommer, 52, said while visiting cloz\'s crowded headquarters . \".
\"You grow like an Ivy League.
Cohen admitted that it was difficult for him to get credit to fund the expansion.
If the money permits, he wants to double his 36,000. square-
Walking facilities in his office, sewing area and warehouse.
\"Banks are looking for any excuse not to lend to small businesses,\" Cohen complained . \".
\"Your bank is holding you tight,\" Sommer said briskly . \".
\"You may get some business services from them, but you can\'t get a loan.
Cohen nodded tired.
\"This is a problem that can be solved,\" continued Sommer.
\"You don\'t have the right banker.
Sommer told Cohen: \"buy the new one right away.
First get advice from other small business owners in and around Chicago. (
Peer networking groups like young presidential organizations are a great place to meet them. )
Once you have a referral, interview the banker to determine who will be most interested in your company.
Bankers who hope your business will visit your company, ask questions about the investigation and make suggestions.
Your bank relationship is very much like marriage, says Sommer.
It is based on trust.
Be sure to send your bank monthly report on the status of your business.
Share your strategic plan.
Solve your banker\'s problem in advance
Before the problem needs his or her attention.
Cloz\'s website is a hot topic for Chris Dalton, our next expert and CEO of Chicago networking consulting firm Acquity Group.
\"How long will you become a virtual enterprise?
\"He asked Cohen, who blinked and stopped to think about it.
\"Some camps and schools have completely canceled the catalogue in order to save printing costs,\" Cohen said . \".
\"But I\'m not sure what\'s good for us.
\"He points out that children tend to read the printed catalogue carefully, pick the items they want to go to school or camp, and mark them on the pages of the bookits.
Cohen says he thinks his company\'s website is not as attractive as a color catalog.
\"There are ways to enhance the online shopping experience by zooming in detail photos, etc. ,\" said Dalton, 41 . \".
But you have other more pressing questions.
\"First of all, Cloz did not appear in the top ten uniforms --
Search for \"school uniform\" supply companies on Google or Yahoo.
It\'s a fatal flaw, says Dalton.
School administrators who are not satisfied with current suppliers may start searching for new suppliers on the Internet. Search-
Engine optimization puts Cloz on top of the results list.
Dalton urged Cohen to immediately purchase all keywords and phrases related to his business, including \"uniforms\" and \"plaid jumpers \".
\"It\'s a cheap, easy problem to solve,\" Dalton said . \"
\"Nor did Cloz\'s website highlight the company\'s exceptional customer service.
Cohen should use the site to address parents who are anxious to get their children to school.
\"You need to assure them that their children will get the perfect gear when the first day bell rings,\" Dalton said . \".
A month later, Cohen acted quickly on some of the expert\'s suggestions.
He met with a banker at Harris Bank in Chicago. Scale business.
He also gave up launching a slow plan. Season business.
Instead, he is preparing for the Spring Festival.
He is preparing an email.
He will send newsletters to schools across the country.
FSB will check in on Cloz and tell you about the company.
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