Emma and Dane Winter were on a roll.
Their New Zealand fashion brand La Tribe, established in 2015, had quickly become a must-have luxury brand for women.
Then Covid-19 hit and businesses around the world started to suffer.
But when one door closes another door opens and through a blend of bravery, creativity, adaptability and the smart use of technology, they were able to protect their business from the damage caused by the storm. the pandemic.
The Tribe entered the Australian market in 2020, allowing the company to tap into revenue streams while New Zealand was on hold. Today, La Tribe can be found in some of Australia’s most upscale boutiques, and Emma says that’s just the start.
“It’s in my nature to be motivated by change, so standing still is not an option for me and I think you have to keep moving forward,” she says.
As the recovery from the pandemic continues and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face more uncertainty, Emma says she encourages business owners to be “open and receptive to change.”
“Find the fruits at hand first and pick them, diversify into new markets or channels if possible, and build an e-commerce site (like Shopify) if you don’t have one,” she says. .
Follow the example of La Tribe and keep moving your business forward by following these five steps:
Exploit new markets
Companies that can pivot through tough times like bottlenecks and market to new customers or diversify their business model will weather even the most severe storms.
The Tribe had seen early success with their Penny Heel, but when Covid-19 hit there was no longer a desire for heels like before, Emma says.
“We needed to pivot to enter the luxury slippers and socks market, as well as designing more dressy slides and sandals… that can be worn for dinner or at home.”
Planning is the key. To help you organize things and understand how you can access new areas, download the new Markets and Customers map.
Develop mental stamina and support
Setbacks and challenges are all part of running a business, so having the right tools at hand is important.
“A lot of our friends have their own businesses, so we often share experiences, wins and losses together,” says Emma.
“I learned a long time ago that you are not as strong as your team, so we have always tried to surround ourselves with very motivated and creative people.
“In terms of short-term goals, this is something that we have also adapted to our business; it seems crazy trying to create a yearly plan now. Instead, we set quarterly goals and strategies. “
Protect what you have
La Tribe’s approach to its customers is twofold: they are seen not only as buyers of the brand’s range but as valued members of the La Tribe community.
“Protecting what you love is so important. We are constantly striving to build brand loyalty with La Tribe, ”says Emma.
“Through quality and design, we are working towards a real feeling of brotherhood within the brand’s DNA.
“We have also invested in an intellectual property lawyer who works on trademark protection in different markets – primarily China, Australia and New Zealand.”
Businesses that stand the test of time evolve and change often. For small businesses, the key to innovation is listening to customers and finding new ideas and ways of doing business, and continuous innovation is something Emma is passionate about.
“The technology and development of electronic commerce seems to be advancing at such a breakneck pace. Sometimes it is exhausting trying to keep up with whatever is on offer, ”says Emma.
“We are in a phase of testing many different apps for Shopify and are looking to overhaul our website platform over the next six months for a better user experience, including more videos and a new layout.”
Develop an early warning system
Obstacles in the road can be difficult to predict, but a resilient business will have set up alarm bells to deal with problems before they get out of hand.
La Tribe has KPIs in place around key metrics such as gross and net earnings, share value and expenses, which are reviewed quarterly with accountants.
“If we are not on the right track, then we ask the questions why and find solutions from there,” says Emma.
For more information on how to move forward in a new world, visit BNZ for Easy Business Banking at www.bnz.co.nz/business-banking.
The opinions expressed are those of the person or entity concerned. They do not necessarily represent the views of BNZ or its related entities.
This article is for informational purposes only; it is not financial, legal or other professional advice. If you need assistance, please contact BNZ or your professional advisor.
Neither BNZ, nor any person involved in the content of this article, accepts any responsibility for any direct or indirect loss or damage resulting from the use of or reliance on this report.