Fashion designer and retailer Cindy Hubu revealed a strategy to combat cheap knockout and maintain good margins.
It is said that Australia has more than 2.1 million small businesses, but most companies will fail within three years. The Internet seems to be filled with the business here today and tomorrow is gone.
However, in such difficult trade conditions, companies find and have their own niche. By doing so, they are gaining a decent life while helping specific types of customers meet specific needs.
My business and ladies swimsuit and pajamas brand Curvysea Australia founder Cindy Huong Bui talks about the challenges of running online business, cheap competitors and imitators, and how she keeps in touch with her core audience.
How did you build Curvysea?
I worked in the fashion industry for about five years, after the establishment of Curvysea as a swimsuit brand. I was inspired by the best friend of the age of 18, and she complained to me and found a nice swimsuit to fit her plus.
It gave me a design swimsuit idea, so I created my Curvysea trademark and online boutique in 2006.
My swimsuit is designed to highlight the right area of the larger women’s body and help them to disguise the specific parts that do not want others to see.
Has always been the key thing to make your business not only able to survive, but also to grow?
I always remember three key things:
Research trends: I continue to study the fashion trend of women on the Internet, or to participate in Mercedes – Benz Fashion Week fashion show. Then I create a style to fit the whole body like a woman.
Listen to customers: I provide quality service to customers, so they are willing to share their experiences with others, or give me how their ideas make the product better.
Pricing: I do not support the “heavy discount” strategy, although overseas sales of cheap women swimwear level is very large (swimsuit cheap, lower than my wholesale costs). For me, the quality of the product must first come to the customer to understand it.
Do you make your own clothes or imported?
I designed the swimsuit, which is the Curvysea brand, myself and I will coat the sketch to overseas manufacturing in Vietnam and then import the product (pictured left) into Australia.
Where is your product sold?
My products are sold online through my website. Our clients are from Australia and New Zealand and the United States.
How many people are you present?
It ultimately depends on the season, because I am in the busy month to rely on the support of leisure people. But we have two full-time.
This is an online business, so I outsource most of my online work to experienced people.
What is the biggest obstacle to your business growth?
There are two main challenges that are constantly trying to business.
Competition with cheap, low quality and imitation from overseas – mainly China – is a constant fight. However, as I mentioned earlier, I have portrayed my advantage, which helps to distinguish between my products and these low-cost alternatives.
Another challenge is familiar to most companies: just keep up with Google’s search engine technology and changes.
Any suggestions that you will give other owners to be there?
I will only say patience, because the success will not be overnight, you are doing things full of enthusiasm, and regular communication with customers.
And never stop learning and try new technology, because there are always some things you can pick up and will improve what you are doing and how to do it.
Finally, I want to say that you have to be prepared to deal with any situation that suddenly occurs in your personal life. The business is tough, but life is the same, and sometimes things will happen, the real test of your commitment and ability.
You really need to be prepared and build a strong support network so that in times of difficulty you can keep your business going!