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Question added to topic Grow Your BusinessJuly 3, 2008

I sell clothing for tall women. Should I diversify and add custom-made jeans for all women?

I own a small retail store in Georgiat that caters to the clothing needs of tall women. With slow sales in the present economy, I am looking at diversifying my focus and offering custom-made jeans for women of all sizes.

I hear women of all shapes and sizes complaining that they can't find jeans that fit, so I believe this can work. I don't have unlimited funds, so I would have to start out small and advertise to get the word out about my change in focus.

I am considering finding a U.S. manufacturer and offering a limited number of colors and styles of jeans to start with. I would like to continue my business, but under its current focus, I may be forced to shut my doors. Does this sound like something I should pursue?

First, I would forget the notion that "if you build it, they will come." Start by asking your current customers if they would buy customized jeans and at what price point. Then you are taking a lot of the risk of "not knowing" out of your development.

This is especially true for women�s fashion, where the biggest risk is guessing what women really want.

Too many bad business decisions can be turned into good business decisions simply by asking questions--especially of your target
market. I like to think of it this way: There are no secrets in business--just information you don�t know yet.

All the best.

Brad Sugars

Brad Sugars is the founder and chairman of ActionCOACH. As an entrepreneur, author and business coach, he has owned and operated more than two dozen companies including his main company, ActionCOACH, which has more than 1,000 offices in 34 countries.

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