As I take this journey, I think it’s important to document the bad in addition to the good. I alluded to it earlier, but we ran into a major snag in operations last week. As in, I have taken orders from 50ish boutiques and received an email from my brother’s employee informing me that more than half of the items ordered are no longer in stock. Um, cue complete heart attack, meltdown mode. Seriously.
It turns out, since the season passed, the items are no longer in production and in order to manufacture them, we have to order mass amounts. So, in the end of the day, that’s what we’re going to have to do: have massive amounts of inventory and try to unload as much as we can via refills, trunk shows, and fire sales. (If anyone has any other genius ideas, please share. I’m more than open to suggestions.)
But here’s my frustration. Last summer, prior to any sales, sales reps, or boutique orders, I created my business plan outlining how I envisioned the sales, production, and distribution process to work (with a flowchart and everything!). I then translated the entire thing into Korean (with the help of an incredibly smart friend), and gave it to my brother. He looked it over, and told me that was fine.
But then, once we’re in the middle of the season and are creating relationships with awesome boutiques… BAM, we get hit with the lack of inventory news. It just feels like business with Koreans tends to be more reactive than proactive. I would say Americans (especially coming from doing marketing research at a PR agency where every single possible variable was accounted for), tend to be more proactive. And as a control freak who especially likes to have every i dotted and t crossed, this lack of foresight doesn’t sit well with me.
However, no matter how badly I want for things to be done my way, this is one situation I can’t control. So the best I can do is try to control my reactions and improve my ability to think on my feet… And possibly start doing a lot more yoga…