Family Biz Help- Garments Trading

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by subiz1985, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. subiz1985

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    Jan 27, 2014
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    Hello all,

    I have been working in our family business which is based in Hong Kong for 6 years. We are a garments trading company trading mostly denim clothes and jackets, purchased from Chinese factories and exported to the US, South Africa, and Australia.

    When I had started 6 years ago, conditions were rather favourable for this industry- weak RMB, low labour and cotton costs, strong subsidies by the Chinese Govt, and a strong world economy. Since then, each of these conditions has reversed- the RMB has become stronger, costs of lab and raw materials have risen significantly, subsidies & tax rebates have been abolished, and Western economies have been very weak. In addition, China has become more connected to the outside world in that many stores & brands are buying directly from China instead of trading houses such as ours. In this time, our business in South Africa has virtually stopped (in part due to the extremely volatile currency). Due to a couple of good clients we had decent business from the US and Australia. However due to the recent weakened Australian Dollar, our orders have stopped there. Prices in the US have been so competitive that they are asking for prices that are close to or below production costs in China.

    I have tried to increase and diversify our market share by going on trade shows in Australia, Dubai, and Brazil. However, each show has been rather unsuccessful as most "big" buyers don't go to such shows anymore. The traffic at such shows is very slow, and each year fewer and fewer buyers attend such trade shows.

    I am worried about our business as it is the main and only source of income for our family. I would appreciate any fresh advice or perspective anyone here could give and suggestions on how to innovate & compete going forward.

    Thank you.
  2. Sean_DeSilva

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    Dec 19, 2013
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    it sounds like you focus on business-to-business. What I would do, is create a list of 100 prospects that match your ideal customer. Then write out a six-month marketing calendar in which you touch them twice per month, once by email, fax, or snail mail, In the other touch done by telephone or voicemail. Every contact is not a pitch for your service – instead it is part of the carefully crafted education campaign that teaches them about the garment trading industry, with less than 20% of each letter explaining how you provide unique value.

    If you persist you will get at least two or three out of the hundred people on your list. if you do it well, 8 to 10 or more is possible.

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