¿Que hace exitosa a una consultoria de negocio?

En el mundo de los negocios, el número de estrategias que uno puede utilizar exitosamente es tan abundante como las ideas que puede tener un emprendedor antes de empezar su compañía. La consultoría de negocio no es una excepción a esta regla, ya que las diferentes maneras en las cuales este negocio puede dar resultados son varias. Sin embargo, hay unas cuantas reglas generales que se deben seguir para asegurar que el propósito de la compañía se esté cumpliendo. Las preguntas que queremos preguntarnos durante el proceso de establecer una estrategia para usar son: ¿Cuál es la misión de la compañía? ¿Qué hace a esta compañía diferente a las otras que ofrecen el mismo servicio y prometen los mismos resultados?

El propósito principal de la consultoría de negocio es asesorar a sus clientes con la experiencia que se ofrece en cierta área en particular. El director ejecutivo de Deloitte Cosulting (“Consultoría Deloitte”) Jim Moffatt anunció: “Nosotros estamos para ayudar a nuestros clientes a resolver problemas bastante complejos. Si fueran simples, ellos mismos los resolvieran”. Esta filosofía reposa en el nivel más fundamental de la consultoría.  En los últimos tiempos, más y más negocios han decidido invertir en consultoría para expandir su mercado, lo cual les ha dado buenos resultados. Esta tendencia ha, a la misma vez, creado un incremento en el número de compañías que ofrecen consultoría de negocio, lo cual crea un mercado más competitivo en el cual es más difícil distinguirse, pero también crea el tener que destacarse en una necesidad. Aunque la palabra “destacarse” lleva una connotación que alude a ser disruptivo, este no es necesariamente el caso, ya que el simple hecho de dar resultados a los clientes es una manera de destacarse, ya que no todos los servicios de consultoría que se encuentran cumplen con esa promesa a pesar de ofrecer los mismos servicios.

Para poder dar a los clientes los resultados que ellos buscan, una consultoría de negocios debe estar comprometida a sus metas. La satisfacción del cliente, el mejoramiento continuo y el desarrollo del negocio han de ser las metas principales de cualquier consultoría de negocio. Satisfacer al cliente es la razón por la cual la consultoría existe, y es por eso que esta debe ser la prioridad ante cualquier otro objetivo. El mejoramiento continuo es una necesidad en el mercado actual, el cual cambian segundo a segundo, y el no mejorar a medida que el tiempo pasa es empeorar. Por último, el desarrollo del negocio es el resultado de la mera existencia de cualquier compañía o negocio: Crear una clientela; es por eso que esta debe ser siempre una de las metas por las cuales trabajar.

La consultoría de negocios es un mercado que se ha estado expandiendo rápidamente, lo cual hace que la competencia sea más feroz. Cabe reiterar que destacarse es necesario, y el poder demostrar al cliente lo que hace que su consultoría de negocio es mejor que cualquier otra es algo que no se debe omitir. Es por eso que un modelo de negocio claro y conciso es importante. Por ejemplo, un negocio tiende a ofrecer precios descontados al empezar ya que quiere atraer a más clientes. Sin embargo, en el mercado de la consultoría de negocio, el precio del servicio que se ofrece es parte de lo que el cliente busca. Entre más cueste el servicio, mas resultados se esperan. Por temas como este, es necesario planear y definir claramente un plan financiero para la compañía. Para una consultoría de negocio poder ser exitosa, no se puede subestimar la importancia de la declaración de los objetivos fundamentales de la compañía. Esta declaración debe poder transmitirse de una manera simple y concisa, a pesar de la evolución a medida que el negocio crece.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

What Makes a Successful Consulting Business?

In the world of business, the number of strategies which one can deem as successful are just as abundant as the ideas an entrepreneur may have in his head before starting up a business. Consulting businesses are no exception to this, as the ways in which success can be achieved are many. However, there are some general guidelines that one should follow in order to accomplish the purpose of a consulting business. The questions we want to answer in order to establish a strategy that works are: What do you do? How is that different than others doing the same thing?

The main purpose of a consulting business is to help advise their clients with the expertise they offer in a particular field. As CEO of Deloitte Consulting, Jim Moffatt said: “We live to help our clients solve really complex problems. If it was easy, they’d do it themselves”. This philosophy is what lies at the fundamental level of consulting. Businesses have been investing more and more in consulting in order to expand their market. This has also shown an increase in the number of consulting businesses, making it harder to stand out, but also establishing the “be different” saying as a requirement rather than an option. Although being different may seem to call for disruptiveness, this is not the case. Being a successful business, by itself, will make you stand out, since not everyone out there is giving out results even if they might offer the same exact services.

In order to give the results their clients are looking for, consulting businesses have to be committed to their goals. Customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, and business development should be the aims of any consulting business. Satisfying customers is the mission of consulting, it is the reason why it exists. Improving over time should always be an aim, since with the continuously changing market, not improving translates to getting relatively worse. Developing business is a product of the job of any company: to create a customer; therefore it should always be aimed for.

As a fast growing market, consulting businesses are threatened by the competition. Standing out is a must, and clearly showing the customer what makes your business better than any other is a necessity. Hence, a clear business model is always important. As an example one might take that beginning in a new market means lower prices will help attract customers, however, in the consulting market, your perceived value is part of what you sell your customer: The more they have to pay, the more they expect. For a consulting business, a clearly defined financial plan goes in hand with a clearly defined mission, which is why this matter shouldn’t be taken lightly. In order to be a successful consulting business, do not underestimate the importance of a clear mission statement. You should be able to communicate your mission statement in a simple manner, regardless of any evolution it might go through as your business grows.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

#business, #consulting, #image-consulting

A Fashion Spotlight – Calvin Klein

The world of fashion is full of names, people who have excelled at revolutionizing and making the whole idea of “fashion” relevant. One of the biggest names in this fashion world is Calvin Klein, a name known internationally by almost anyone. Calvin Klein Inc. started as a coat shop, then later on expanded its market to accessories, swimwear, fragrances, eye wear and the home décor market. The story of how Calvin Klein started his own brand and became one of the most successful American fashion designers is a truly inspiring one, from which any rising entrepreneur may learn from.

Klein was born on November 9, 1942, in Bronx, New York, from a family of Jewish Hungarian immigrants. As a kid, his passion for sewing and designing clothes was already noticeable, as he spent his time sewing and sketching designs for hours – hours that other kids spent playing outside. Later on, he decided to pursue his passion through his education, first at the High School of Art and Design, where he brushed up his designing skills, then to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York to study apparel design. After his university education, he moved on to work for Dan Millstein for two years, as a sketch artist, before becoming an independent designer. He also spent a number of years designing clothing for other New York stores.

Klein founded his brand Calvin Klein in 1968, with the financial help from a childhood friend. It started off as a coat shop, based in New York City’s York Hotel. The chic department store grew an interest for Klein’s designs, purchasing around $50,000 of merchandise and displaying samples in their windows. After the debut of the store, Klein decided to expand his products by adding a line of designer athletic sportswear. Klein started getting recognition for his “sleek, elegant and easy to wear design”, and got featured by Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue on a regular basis. By the early 1970s he introduced his trademark jeans, which he then elevated to designer status by branding his name on the back pocket.

Besides the elegance and simplicity in his designs, disruptive approaches also helped Calvin Klein expand his franchise. With the controversial phrase “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins” used for his advertisements, a jean frenzy erupted among consumers, who started purchasing over 40,000 pairs of jeans a week. Klein also revolutionized the underwear market, as he blurred the distinction between functional and made-to-show-off underwear, which divided the designs of underwear between men and women. He decided to take it a step further, making underwear for men more “provocative”, while also designing masculine bikinis for women. As a result, Calvin Klein has always been under the radar of critics in response to the campaigns of the company, but this disruptive approach to the market has ensured the success of the brand, which keeps expanding its market and asserting its prestige among the many fashion icons of today.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

¿Que hace que un empresario exitoso?

Los emprendedores logran el éxito a través del establecimiento de sus propias marcas personales, las cuales los distingue entre otros en cualquier situación, donde la competencia abunda y el sobresalir es una necesidad. Estas marcas personales varían en sus características, y las diferentes formas en las cuales uno puede establecer su propia marca solo pueden decidirse por uno mismo. Exitosas marcas personales pueden ser logradas a través de un gran número de estrategias, de las cuales discutiremos tan solo unas cuantas que han demostrado funcionar para otros emprendedores, y de las cuales cualquier individuo que aspira a ser exitoso puede aprender.

Señalado por Robert Tuchman en su artículo “Knockout Personal Branding Strategies from Mayweather and Pacquiao” (“Extrayendo estrategias de marcas personales de Mayweather y Pacquiao”), la “Pelea del siglo” que tomo lugar hace poco, es un gran punto de partida para nuestra discusión en cuanto a la diversidad que puede encontrarse en el mundo de las marcas personales, ya que los protagonistas de esta pelea utilizan tácticas completamente distintas en la manera en que establecen sus marcas personales. En el caso de Mayweather, la dedicación, la notoriedad y la selectividad son las tácticas utilizadas por el boxeador para establecer su imagen como “El mejor boxeador de la era”. Mayweather es conocido como uno de los boxeadores que más duro práctica, ya que siempre se prepara con el mayor de sus esfuerzos para cada pelea. Su selectividad, a pesar de ser controversial ya que pareciera que escoge a los oponentes más fáciles, le ha ayudado a conseguir un record perfecto, al no haber perdido ninguna pelea en la escena profesional. Cabe mencionar por ultimo su notoriedad, ya que Mayweather se ha asegurado a través de su carrera el mantener su imagen relevante en el mercado, sin importar los largos periodos de tiempo en los cuales no tiene ninguna pelea, gracias a sus apariciones en la televisión, en entrevistas y en las redes sociales.

Por otra parte, Pacquiao ha empleado la autenticidad, el retar a los mejores y la globalización de su imagen. Este boxeador es conocido por su humildad y carisma, ya que siempre se le ve sonriendo, y sus seguidores lo apoyan en su carrera de boxeo, pero también en sus otras actividades, como la de grabar canciones originales en su país nativo. Pacquiao también ha sido conocido por ser el luchador que lleva las de perder en sus peleas. Al siempre retar a los mejores luchadores, Pacquiao atrae a más seguidores, y establece su marca personal en una escala más grande, una que puede retar hasta los más grandes y establecidos del mercado. Para concluir nuestra discusión sobre el éxito de Manny Pacquiao, es importante destacar su manera de competir en el mercado. El boxeador ha optado por globalizar su marca personal, lo cual lo ha convertido en una imagen internacional, con seguidores alrededor del planeta, y con más oportunidades de expandir su marca.

La evaluación de estos dos exitosos luchadores es una gran manera de empezar a forjar una estrategia para estableces nuestras marcas personales. ¿Me gustaría dominar un mercado pequeño, o preferiría ir por una escala de mayor tamaño? ¿Quiero establecer una imagen propia y única, o quiero seguir lo que se espera de mis productos y/o servicios en el mercado? ¿Quiero emplear una estrategia de alto riesgo con una alta recompensa, o quiero emplear una estrategia de bajo riesgo con menos recompensa? Estas son el tipo de preguntas que los emprendedores deben responder por si mismos durante el proceso de planeación sobre como estableces sus propias marcas personales, ya que las características de otras marcas exitosas varían de polo a polo. Sin embargo, la última palabra la tiene USTED, y que quiere usted ofrecerle al mercado.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs achieve success through the establishment of their own personal brands, which distinguish them among others in any scene where competition is vast, and standing out is a must. These personal brands vary in their characteristics, and the ways in which one may establish his/her own can only be determined by oneself. Successful personal brands can be achieved through a various number of strategies, and we shall discuss only a minuscule number of strategies that have worked for others, and from which any individual aiming to become an entrepreneur may learn from.

As Robert Tuchman pointed out in his article “Knockout Personal Branding Strategies from Mayweather and Pacquiao”, The “Fight of the century” that took place not too long ago, is a perfect starting point in our discussion of how personal branding can be diverse. The two protagonists of the fight have complete opposite ways in their approach of how they establish their personal brand. For Mayweather, hard work, selectiveness, and notoriety have proven to be the best ways for him to become known as “The best boxer alive”. Mayweather has established his image to be that of the hardest working boxer in the market, one that doesn’t slack off in preparation for any fight. His selectiveness is controversial, as some look at his way of choosing his opponents as a way for him to choose weaker opponents, however, he has also been able to keep a perfect record, with no losses, throughout his career thanks to this. At last, Mayweather has also kept himself relevant even when long periods of time pass without having a fight. He has achieved this by appearing on TV, doing interviews, and owning social media, that way he keeps his personal brand relevant throughout his career even when he’s not doing what he’s famous for.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, has taken the route of authenticity, taking on the best, and going global. Pacquiao has established himself as a humble, likeable character, since he’s always seen smiling, and his fans love him even outside of his boxing career, since he has ventured into other activities such as singing. He has also been known for being the “underdog” in many of his fights, always challenging the best of the best, establishing himself as someone who can challenge even the best fighters out there, which also increases his audience as he’s able to become notorious on a bigger scale. And to wrap up Pacquiao’s success, it is also worthy to note his global reach. This has given his personal brand a higher chance to grow, as he has gathered fans all across the globe.

The evaluation of these two extremely successful personal brands is a good start in determining and establishing a strategy to follow. Do I want to control a small market or do I want to take on the bigger scene? Do I want to be unique or do I want to follow the expectations of the market? Do I want a high-risk high-reward approach or do I want a low-risk low-reward approach? These are the questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves when planning on how to establish their personal brand, as the characteristics of successful brands can vary from opposite poles of a spectrum, however, it all comes down to what YOU want to offer to the market.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Why is Personal Branding Important?

As time moves forward, the way we approach situations evolves. Much like a generalized evolutionary theory, the world around us expects us to change our ways in order to survive, to be successful, and the economy and its market are not invulnerable to this. As a result, many different approaches on how to establish a successful business emerged as a response to the challenges faced in a difficult economy. One of the approaches that emerged as a response to these needs was personal branding, and we shall discuss its effectiveness and why it is relevant. 

Personal branding is about establishing one’s brand among others. It is about differentiating one’s personal brand and standing out among others, in order to rise in a competitive market. Its effectiveness relies on its task: sending out a message on who you are and what you offer. In the present day economy, every market is full of businesses aiming to deliver the same products and/or services, and personal branding is there to help entrepreneurs be visible and have a presence in the customer’s eyes. As William Arruda, founder of the “Reach Branding Club” said: “Personal branding is clearly communicating the unique promise of value that you offer”. 

This neat strategy does not only help one deliver one’s brand to the customer, but also to the entrepreneur himself/herself. By going through the process of personal branding, optimizing one’s strengths is achieved, while also one’s self-understanding of one’s own value and power is increased. This in turn offers resilience, as entrepreneurs are able to withstand the challenges of the market by believing in their brand’s uniqueness and value. Personal branding works as the roots of a tree: it provides the essential structure upon which all the core values and the mission of a business unite, to then rise with an established identity, and branch out as needed and/or desired. 

Personal branding has become a powerhouse for emerging businesses, and one of the main reasons why this phenomenon has taken place is because of the growth in the use of social media. This increased use has proven to benefit personal brands as it revolutionizes the way customers search for products and/or services. Statistics have shown that around 85% of businesses have benefitted from their use of social media in their efforts to expose their brands. The trends that have been found in the way the internet is being used have shown a behavior that is believed to continue, if not increase, in the upcoming times. This creates an unlimited number of opportunities for personal brands to attract customers, as it is now easier to approach them. However, this also shows that the market is also more competitive than ever before, which ends up benefitting personal brands to a greater extent, since personal brands that can establish a more impactful image to the customer will stand out and be able to achieve success. There has never been a better time to establish one’s personal brand as unique and relevant, and personal branding is the best way for YOU, the entrepreneur, to start up your business. 

Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Do Your Manners Measure Up?

Just the other day, I sat down at a table near my gate at an average airport in an average American city. Having arrived on the early side, I had a spare hour to kill before boarding began. It was well before lunchtime and the airport was quiet, well, until after I sat down.  Shortly after my salad arrived, a man came and sat at the table next to mine.  His food arrived especially fast, and I soon learned the speed at which a grown man could inhale soup, a salad, and an enormous steak.  It was nothing like I had seen nor heard, from slurping to smacking every bite, to asking the waitress for mustard with his mouth wide open, to taking a very loud phone call at the table.  Needless to say, I was shocked.

Had he no manners? Had no one ever encouraged him to eat slowly and with less verbal gusto? Had no one told him experts estimate that 80% – 90% of all communication comes from body language, or nonverbal cues.

Fortunately, most of us don’t have to sit down to supper with a 22-piece place setting, like a character in Designing Women fretted about (see this classic link via YouTube, from about 6:30 – 7:45). The character, Charlene, had helped her mother polish her wedding silverware as a child, though never remembered having a special occasion to actually use the scary silver contained in its special velvet box.  This story and what it points to isn’t all that uncommon.

4 course

Teaching kids proper manners is essential, and for many families, the most effective place to do that is at the dining table. When you sit down, it’s important to introduce yourself and others, and shake hands with confidence and a smile. If you’re the host, you should be savvy and take a hospitable tone with your guests; if you’re a guest, you should strive to be elegant and gracious.  Proper table manners can give you strong influence among your friends, family, and peer group – regardless of age.

If you’re unsure of where to start, reach out to an image/etiquette consultant today. Image consultants, in addition to helping you find the best colors and fabrics, can also help you walk with confidence and seal the best business deals.  But no matter what you wear, the deal won’t get sealed if you can’t hold a knife correctly at the dining table.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Are You A Gracious Holiday Guest?

With the holidays near at hand, invites to a party in the home of a friend or colleague presents an occasion to celebrate the season with a group. Is your holiday etiquette ready to shine this season?  Are you a gracious holiday guest? Our tips below may help if you need a refresh:

  1. RSVP! Be sure to RSVP to your host in the manner they’ve requested (in writing, via phone call, etc.) Once you accept an invitation, hold the commitment and make sure to be on time.  If a schedule conflict looks unavoidable, let your host know as early as possible to allow for proper planning and adjustments.
  2. Dress for the occasion – Check with your host or hostess for the dress code if it hasn’t been specified in the invitation. Formal, casual, or theme parties may require extra shopping and preparation on your part.
  3. Be prepared for both warm and cool indoor temperatures – If your jacket is the show piece of your outfit, be sure you can take it off and still look appropriate in the layer that’s underneath the jacket. Prepare for a chilly room or the outdoors by bringing a festive shawl or a nice-looking cardigan.
  4. Don’t be a Pepe Le Pew! When preparing for an intimate gathering, go light on perfume, or even better, avoid the perfume altogether. Many people are allergic to scents or turned off by heavy colognes and perfumes.
  5. Be prepared for parties in a house that has a “no-shoes” rule. Make sure you feel confident with your pedicure, and that you’re comfortable in your outfit without shoes. Always be sure to wear clean socks or hose with no holes in them.
  6. If you have food allergies, don’t make it a problem for the already overworked host or hostess. Eat before the party, or offer to bring a dish to share. If you have pet allergies, bring your allergy medicine with you. Look for a chair that’s wooden or leather and avoid sitting on the upholstered chair.
  7. Keep your mobile phone use to a minimum, and ask people nearby before you take a group photo. If you need to check in with the babysitter, step outside to make the call.
  8. Watch the host or hostess for signs of fatigue. If either of them starts yawning, gets up to clean, or stops pouring wine, take the hint and wrap up the evening by giving your thanks and offering one last time to help with cleaning up.
  9. Send a note within 24 hours to thank your host or hostess for the special event.

Now go out, have fun, and be merry this Holiday Season!

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Existing Structure + Innovation / Challenge = Demand

What makes us want to do better?  For companies, it’s often the need for efficiency, bigger profits, or if nothing else, a need to make things easy and effortless.  Creators in the worlds of fashion design have tremendous examples to find inspiration in.  We’ll keep the spirit from the following examples in mind as we move into 2015.

Christian Dior stirred a good deal of controversy across Europe and the Americas in the late 1940’s with the introduction of the Bar Suit in Paris.  The pleated skirt and curved edges of the paired morning coat created what eventually became known as The New Look revolution, keeping women across the world baited in anticipation for similar looks becoming available from their local retailer.  The spirit of the New Look revolution continues to inspire the creative team at Dior on an ongoing basis.

Dior -Bar Suit

ASICS, the beloved shoe for runners, has remained dedicated to causes centered on  teamwork, exercise, and the environment since the company’s founder formed the company in the challenging culture of postwar Japan.  This dedication has likely aided the company in building lifelong relationships with runners and sports enthusiasts, while simultaneously helping philanthropic organizations.

And CITIZEN, the watchmaker, has been consistently acclaimed for its devotion to function and style matched with innovation.  This became especially apparent in the mid-1990’s after CITIZEN developed the Eco-Drive technology – an invention that enabled electrical power to be converted from light sources, eliminating the need for most watches to ever have their batteries replaced.  The brand’s recent ad campaign, called Better Starts Now (complete with a historical video) captures this mentality beautifully.

These are but a few examples of innovative brands we admire, and will look to as we look to the future of image consulting and the needs of the dreamers, creators, wives and husbands, children, and professionals our collective industry serves. Watch for more in January, with a regular look at innovation in our own industry and beyond.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Gifting, Re-gifting, and Giving in Your 2015

Plenty of people, it seems, stress about holiday gifts.  From the inscription on the card to delivery methods, to the actual gift or service (or gift card, as the case seems to increasingly include), we worry whether what we’re gifting is appropriate and will be received with delight.

What we don’t speak about as often is the challenge of what to do with that gift you didn’t ask for, or that doesn’t fit, or that just doesn’t work.   As a receiver, do you politely return or exchange your gift, and as a gift giver, how can you reduce the likelihood of giving a bad gift in the future?

Happy New Year!

We suggest a few tips as a gifting best practice, here:

  • Re-gifting is recycling. It’s actually a fairly innovative practice, but should be used sparingly and with as much thoughtfulness as you would expend in purchasing a brand new gift.
  • Re-gifted items should always include their original box from the store or site, and original manufacturer wrapping if at all possible.
  • Don’t re-gift something that you know the receiver would never desire. It is better not to gift at all than to place your host/friend in an awkward situation.
  • Do not re-gift items like fresh food, or personal items that involve size and color (like hats, gloves, scarfs or clothing). If something is vintage or truly retro, note it in the message inside your card.
  • Whether it’s a re-gift or an original purchase, if you think your gift’s receiver may not understand the intent behind the gift, write a nice sentence or two about your idea for its use in the corresponding card. Or, if you’re going to exchange gifts in-person and the timing is appropriate, nudge the person and explain your intention. This can help to eliminate questions and ease your anxious “Gifter” mind.

It may seem like long away, but the 2015 Holidays will be here before we know it.  To avoid gifter’s anxiety, start to designate a section of a drawer or closet as your “Gift Storage” to save a few unisex or last minute gifts that could be appreciated by most anyone.  Use this place to store items you’ve received that are unused and worthy of a possible re-gift.  Include a few roles of wrapping paper (solid colors without a holiday theme are best) as well as a few gift bags with handles, a few blank cards, and a pair of scissors and tape.  This will help you be prepared for any unexpected situations – and come out ahead.

Here’s to your season of giving in 2015!

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

For more information please visit www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com