How to Launch a Business Instantly
4. A chain of dedicated men’s stores? Warren Buffett’s lighthearted idea of partnering with Bill Gates to open a Trands suits store (which would presumably expand into a chain of stores) is nuts. This wouldn't only require huge investments in commercial real estate and inventory, but also take months before the first sale could be made.
“A good plan violently executed now,” said Gen. George S. Patton Jr. “is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
Three elements go into the custom tailored men’s suit business:
I envision the business model as a three-legged stool:
- Leg #1: Traveling salesmen/fitters
Over the years, I've seen full-page newspaper ads announcing great deals on custom tailored menswear from Hong Kong or mainland China. A traveling suit salesman would hit town and set up shop in a hotel suite. I could make an appointment to show up for a fitting and choose suit styles and material. The measurements would be e-mailed to China and the suits shipped directly to me. Meanwhile, after a couple days, the salesman/fitter moves on to the next town.
Back when I was a working stiff, these offers for suits, sports jackets and shirts appealed to me. I have a dreadful body with a spare tire around its middle, fat neck, and short arms and legs, each of different lengths. The prices were good, and I assumed the guy would be a good fitter.
What’s more, I'd only have to show up once. Assuming my weight was the same, whenever I needed a new suit I'd e-mail an order, have it delivered, and presumably the salesman would get a commission.
It's a neat business model. Unlike men’s clothing stores, which have capital tied up in racks of unsold garments, each item is bespoke.