February '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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1 8 P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 EMBROIDERY EMBROIDERY EMBROIDERY EMBROIDERY Stitch Solutions J e n n i f e r C o x What is Your Measurement of Success? 2 019 is here, and it is not going anywhere—at this point, 2018 is just a memory. But in those memories are some key pieces of information that we can use to help us craft the year that we want. Since we are at the beginning of the year, right now is an excel- lent time to do some "big picture thinking" about your business. I was listening to an interview with Sherri Coale, the women's basketball coach at the University of Oklahoma. She points out that if your entire purpose and focus are winning the season, only one coach can reach that goal. All the other coaches have to live with not being able to be that one winning coach. She recognized that winning the title is not the best or even a reasonable measure of suc- cess for her, as it does not reflect what kind of a job she did with her athletes and the school throughout the entire season and year. This realization led Coale to ask herself, "What is the measurement of success that I want to use?" I found this to be a rather profound question and one that can absolutely be applied to owning your embroidery and apparel decoration business. MEASURES MAY VARY There are many ways that you can measure your success each year: • Your annual sales, gross or net • The number of embroidery heads and equipment in your business • The number of employees you have • The number of orders you produced • The number of customers you served In Coale's interview, she explains that by using "winning the title" as the measurement, she did not even measure what really mattered to her in the first place. She shifted her thinking and what she began measuring was, "Am I a better coach today than I was yesterday?" It turns out that this is one of the few things she and only she has complete control over. And it keeps her focused on why she is a coach in the first place: To help young athletes become the best version of themselves. Looking at the list above, it may become ap- parent that these are not the measurements of success that mean the most to you. They may not reflect the things that truly mat- ter for you at all. In my decades of work- ing with business owners in this industry, some concepts come up in conversation af- ter conversation. Maybe these concepts are the foundation for a different way to think about how you measure your success. These concepts include: • Being your own boss • Working around your family's sched- ule and life • Being there for your family • Not having to work with or be around people that you do not like • Being able to create something with your own hands • Being able to serve your community Using Coale's thinking as a guide, pon- der the question, "WHY do you do what you do?" Once you are clear on the why, determine how you want to measure your success in accomplishing your why. Some people get into this business to re- place their income from a traditional job or working for someone else. Some people want to be at home with children or a fam- ily member. Some people need a creative outlet. Some people are about the creation and production process. Some people are all about the relationships with their cus- tomers. Only you know your why. I am not saying that the numbers on the balance sheet do not matter, they certainly 1 8 P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9

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