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Slam Dunks and Avoiding Stupidity

2020 is off to a fast start here at Forever Fierce and with new clients come new thoughts. After about 2 dozen calls a little over half way through January 2020, here are my thoughts on simplifying things and making the apparel process easy again:

 

Avoiding Stupidity: Many of the issues that new clients are facing pertain to the lack of structure with an order. The story goes something like this “my old vendor used to give me a vendor website and told me to pick some stuff from the website”…. This is a nightmare for anyone to sort through. 

Variety is fine. Variety is important. Finding something YOU like is important….but you are not the apparel expert. You are a gym owner. You do not want to turn the gym into an apparel business. Warren Buffet says it is “…easier to avoid stupidity than seeking brilliance”. Save your brilliance for your programming and approach to nutrition. Avoid stupidity with apparel. New styles are fine but there is a tremendous amount of education and effort that goes into trying to promote the latest and greatest crop top. How does it fit? How does it feel? How does it handle a tough workout? Will it shrink? I have a seam issue- I need a refund…these are all questions that you should not have to answer. You can have confidence knowing that our curated list of garments will limit your risk. We know what works. We what is popular. They have been tried and tested thousands of times at other gyms so we’re confident that they will hold up.

 

Slam Dunks: When we work with new clients, I encourage everyone to place a slam dunk order and get back to basics. A basic tee or tank order will get you back on track and give you confidence knowing the basics still work and provide 95% of the results you’re looking for. If you’ve worked with me in the past, you know we have a ton of variety when it comes to tees, tanks, long sleeves, and hoodies. There are very few clients who come close to exhausting all the options. Don’t be afraid of launching a slam dunk. No need to shoot from half court every time you run an apparel order. 

Apparel plan for the first half of 2020

For gym owners, Q1 was always an easy layup for apparel orders due to the Open taking up much of Q1. Now that the Open has been permanently moved, what now? In this post, I hope to provide some direction was to what you should be doing for for the next 6 months. I know most owners like to offer apparel “when it feels right”, but we’re going to take the guess work out of this and tell you exactly when to order.

February/March- This will be your last shot for ordering hoodies/zip ups/crewneck until the Fall.  If you dropped the ball on offering something in the beginning of winter, this is your last shot to try and sell a high ticket item like a pullover or zip up. From April-September, it is usually all tees and tanks.  If you’ve already offered a hoodie this year, this is the perfect time to offer a longsleeve or baseball tee option to help bridge the gap between Winter and Spring. 

April/May- This is a slam dunk time to offer apparel. Memorial Day provides an awesome opportunity to create a new design that is specifically geared towards the patriotic holiday. Whether you are doing a specific hero WOD or a RED themed month, we can help here. 

June/July- Summer designs. This is a great opportunity to switch things up and get away from the black, dark grey, and other dark colors that tend to dominate gym apparel. Summer designs are usually brighter garments (bright blues and greens) and different tank options. Will this appeal to everyone in the gym? Nope. That is not the point. The point is to stimulate some variety and break up the monotony of dark colors. This is a very strategic apparel idea and it will set you up for a bigger and better Fall.

That is 6 months worth of apparel. As always, stay tuned for our new design ideas. We’re working on new design ideas every month and we have a ton of new designs for 2020 in the works already. 

If you prefer some individual planning and something a little more specific to your gym, shoot us an email,  and we can carve out time for a quick phone call to go over your needs. 

 

The Importance of Spreading Out Apparel Orders

Try and picture this…you first start working with us. This is the first time you have worked with a vendor who is responsive and capable of creating a bunch of different designs in a very short time frame. You are so excited (and you’re so behind on offering apparel) that you want to launch all 3 new designs at one time to “catch up”.

Just like training, if you miss and skip your workouts Monday-Friday, you can’t log 7 workouts on Saturday to “catch up”. Like any training plan, your apparel strategy should be consistent, thoughtful, and intentional. 

You launch the order and while you wind up selling 45 total items across 3 designs, you don’t hit the necessary minimum on anything and you wind up having to order a bunch of inventory to hit the minimums. Your plan of “catching up” backfires and instead of launching a successful apparel sale, you wind up dumping $1,000+ into inventory that will very slowly move and you just repeat the cycle next December.

There is a better way. 

Take that excitement you had about working with a competent vendor, channel it into working on 3 new designs, and now let’s look at a calendar and spread them out. 3 new designs should get you at least 6 months worth of retail ideas. Since most of our clients work with us 4-6 times a year, you already have half the year finished and all you need to do is simply stick to the schedule.

If you offer all 3 designs at once, most members will pick just one. Yes, yes I know every gym has 1-3 die hard people that will buy all 3 at one time but the plan is to appease the masses and not just 1-3 die hards. Most people only have so much discretionary income to spend on gym apparel. However, if you spread out the apparel orders, there is a much greater chance that your members wind up buying all 3 designs because a new month means a new budget and a refreshed budget means more discretionary income. 

For those who are still saying “but my members keep asking me for all these different items!”…We totally understand. Variety is important, but thoughtful variety works best. If a member asks for a hoodie in June, great! Tell them the hoodie order is only a few short months away in October. If a member asks for a crop top in December, awesome! April is just around the corner. Publishing a member calendar with the apparel orders for the year can really cut down on the requests for hoodies in June or crop tops in December. 

Offering and planning for apparel orders doesn’t have to be complicated. With a little thought and foresight, you can offer apparel without sinking a ton of money into it while still providing members with the variety they demand. 

If you need help spacing things out and coming up with a real plan, check out this resource https://foreverfierce.com/blogs/news/get-on-an-apparel-plan