Every business owner knows that market trends are constantly changing. As the founder and CEO of my company, OMG! Accessories, I know this firsthand. Just as it seems our buyers can't get enough of a product, sales slow down.
Our products are carried by several retailers, like Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and Free People. What's "in" now likely won't be in a few months. It can feel impossible to keep up, and even the smallest mistakes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. But with a new mindset and approach on the matter, I've learned to navigate the constant rise and fall of trends – and even anticipate and leverage it. Here's how I do it:
Setting the course
Staying ahead of the curve is my responsibility. Where we are now and what's selling today won't be the same forever. To manage, I stay flexible and agile as a leader by anticipating change and keeping an eye out so I can spot shifts as early as possible. Leading the company from this vantage point allows us to jump on trends and adapt to them better and faster.Credit: OMG! Accessories
Connecting the teams and business
It's not enough for just the leader of an organization to be flexible and ready for change. The entire business has to be capable of doing the same, from the production floor to customer service. And the larger your company becomes, the harder it can be to do this.
This is why I foster a culture that seeks and thrives on change. We create the next big thing before it happens. Just as we ship our mini backpacks, we're already thinking about fanny packs because we see it on the horizon. We're constantly developing and channeling our creativity. It allows different ways of contributing among our team to help evolve our products.
I also work to hire people who are creative, sell, understand product and embody a similar mindset. My priority is to find people who are excited about their work and about working for us. You have to work with different personalities, with people who have different goals. Then, you have to focus on the overall energy of the company.
There are challenges in maintaining positivity with different personalities in the same place, but it's not impossible – and it's critical. You want it to feel less like work, and more like everyone is contributing something. Don't be afraid of organic turnover with your teams and staff when it happens. It can help keep things fresh.
Knowing when to adjust
Nothing stays the same. Even with the best effort to ride the wave of trends at your company, business can go soft. It can be confusing to know where to make your moves, particularly if you've had a long run with a specific product that's been popular with your customers for years.
When business gets soft, go back to the core: who you are and what you provide to the market. Then, start thinking about what the next big thing is from there. What's hot won't last, but a company unafraid of changing with the times will.
About the author: Anne Harper is the founder and CEO of lifestyle brand OMG! Accessories.