Five Tips To Take The Growing Pains Out Of Going International

When businesses reach a certain level of success, they need to start looking at ways to grow even further. New markets to explore. Out of all the options, going international can be one of the most lucrative. But it can also be a dangerous new world for businesses who aren’t prepared for what it takes. In this article, we’re going to be looking at how you can be better prepared.

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Make a big deal out of it

One of the first things that any business going global needs to know is that you need to start a marketing plan all over again. This means a whole new launch and considerations for audiences who don’t know about you. Domestic success and testimonials collected over the years can work significantly in your favor. It’s the start of a new business, or a new era at least. So be prepared to hunt for clients and make yourself known all over again.

Understanding the market

Of course, part of finding the customer base you need is understanding the market you’re going into. There are big differences for different countries and knowing them can help you get more hands on with your approach. Sometimes you can find publically available data. Through networking with local businesses, you can also get the information you need to work off. The trends, advertising, pricing and consumer behavior. You need a comprehensive overview of whatever new markets you’re heading into.

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Localization

There are also those all important differences in language that you need to understand when going multilingual. Even if you’re expanding business from the States to the UK, it’s not just changing up spelling for some words. You need localization services to help you understand the culture of the language as well. There are some phrases and terms that simply don’t translate well to another country’s audience.

Getting cost effective

You also need to consider the costs that go into expanding overseas. You need to think about your delivery services and how you find discounts to make those long sends less expensive on the company. It also means setting up a delivery system inside the office. If you’re moving high volumes of product, you need warehouses and workflow to be as smooth as possible. Make sure you source your supplies from bigger providers. This way, you can get things like wholesale mailing tubes and packaging services at less cost.

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Distribution

Of course, you’re not going to do it all yourself. Unless you’re opening an overseas location for your business, you will need some help. That’s where the distribution systems come into play. You should be in talks about this process well before going ahead with your plans for expansion. Whether you’re using a distributor or collaborating directly with retailers. It’s a good idea to do your research on whomever helps your distribution. This involves visiting them in person as well as talking to other customers of theirs.

Hitting the global market can be a great opportunity for your business. You just need to get yourself prepared. Knowing the market. Getting in touch with distributors. Have an efficient, organized delivery system.

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PC Or Mac: Which Is Better For Your Business?

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There was a time when practically all businesses would choose PCs over Macs. Nowadays, the Mac is becoming a much more popular option for businesses all over the world. It’s no longer uncommon to visit an office and be greeted by a sea of Apple devices. Which is the better option for your business? We’re going to explore this today.

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Let’s start with the big issue at hand: cost. PC’s are much more cost-effective than buying a selection of Mac’s. There’s a lot of different makes and models at your disposal, and you’ll find good specs for low prices. You might not get as much power as you’d hope if you’re going for a low-price option, but then you may not need that. Many employees will surely only be using their devices for basic word processing, so you don’t need to spend over the odds.

While we’re on the subject of employees, they are another crucial set of people to think about. They will probably be used to Windows-based operating systems at home. They might understand iPhones and iPads, but Macs are a different beast entirely. By implementing Windows-based PCs, you shouldn’t have to go through as much training with them.

And then, of course, you’ve got all the software packages that they’re familiar with. The Office suite is arguably the most important one. Sure, you can get it on Mac too, but that doesn’t go for every piece of software. You might just find that all-important bespoke company software won’t run on Apple’s brand of computers.

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Yes, Mac’s are going to be more expensive in the long run for your business. But, you know what they say: “you get what you pay for”. Macs offer a smooth interface with a professional look. They scream class, and clients that walk into your office building are sure to be impressed by your implementation. Some business’s existing IT support services will cover Macs as well as PC’s. Don’t worry if this isn’t the case, as dedicated Mac support companies like core technical solutions can assist instead.

It’s not just the look you’re paying for, though. Mac’s generally are better than Windows PC’s when it comes to security. You still need to keep your Mac protected, but viruses and other nasty threats are less likely to slip through the cracks. Mac’s have always been known for being a great choice for the creative types, too. For anyone that deals with music, video, art and other forms of creativity, the Mac is often the better choice.

As mentioned earlier, Mac’s aren’t just great for creativity purposes, though. Nowadays, they have improved to incorporate pretty much everything Windows PC’s can run. There are still pieces of software that aren’t available, but there are usually alternatives for them in some form.

Verdict

So, what’s the verdict? It’s a tie! I know that sounds boring, but it’s true! The winner comes down to what type of business you’re running. If you’re running a generic office-based business, there’s no reason to look past a Windows PC. However, if you’re a creative business that is involved in video production or graphical design, Mac is the way to go

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How To Excel At Getting Customers On Your Side

How To Excel At Getting Customers On Your Side

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Marketing is about more than getting recognised. It’s even about more than getting people to buy from you. It’s about getting customers, yes. But it’s about getting people on your side. Building loyalty and a connection that goes further than just a purchase. So, how do you do that? We’ll look at a few of the ways.

Find what’s unique about you

There’s a lot of competition in just about any industry when you take your business online. You might be the only one providing your services in your area. But online? There are people far flung willing to go toe-to-toe with you. That’s why you need to identify your niche. Find your unique selling point and make it the key to your online identity. A focus on certain aspects of the service can win the confidence of some undecided customers.

Get the professional look

You also need to make sure that what you have online, it’s giving the right signals. You need to have a site that stands out, not just for use of tactics like SEO. It needs to look professional. It needs to be clean and accessible. This might mean taking it onto mobile platforms as well. A site that can’t be accessed in different formats without hideously deforming isn’t a website fit for your business.

Keeping it all organised

Running an online business is wrestling a lot of issues at once. Social media, the website, customer service. You need to keep it all organised and keep all those plates spinning. To this effect, outsourcing can be the solution. From content produces to Magento enterprise developers. Having the contacts to help you engage in a strategy can be an effective way to allow you to keep up with the others.

Going all out with customer service

As for customer service, you can’t skimp on it. Not if you want the word of mouth about you to be positive. You need to be able to engage, or be engaged by, customers no matter what format they’re using. This means keeping a concise ‘contact us’ page on the website as well as you app. It means having people on hand to answer right away, not two days later. It means taking complaints seriously, even if they seem irrelevant to you.

Feedback is a vital resource

Providing you’re getting enough attention in the first place, word of mouth is going to happen. So how do you make sure it’s positive? By taking steps to react to it first. Don’t just accept customer feedback. Solicit it. Send thank you emails and ask for participation in surveys. Welcome testimonials and be communicative with your clients. There are companies who never get to the point where they can actually get feedback. If you do, embrace it.

If you want to be a truly successful business, you want to be a ‘business of the people’. You need to have them in mind and they need to know it. Find what you deliver and shout to the roof about it. Get customers involved in the process.

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Essential Skills for Any Pub Owner

Running any business requires good business sense and knowledge of the industry. However, there are always specific skills you need for different types of business. If you’re considering running a pub, it’s essential to know that’s it’s a tough business to survive in. It’s vital to have a number of important skills if you want to make it in the industry. As well as knowing about your products and customers, you need to be good with numbers and have excellent leadership skills. Before you decide whether to go into the pub or bar industry, make sure you have these essential skills.

Interpersonal and Customer Service Skills

You might not be planning to be behind the bar all the time. But it’s essential that you can communicate with people. You will need to talk to people all the time, in person, over the phone and via email. As the owner of a pub or bar, you have to deal with staff, customers, and suppliers. It’s hard to get by in business if your interpersonal skills aren’t up to scratch. You might lack confidence, or you could be a little too confident. Even if you don’t expect to serve customers all the time, you should lead by example. Show your staff what you expect from them.

Bar Skills

When you’re behind the bar, you need practical skills as well. Being able to pour the perfect pint should be the least of your abilities. You should be knowledgeable about your drinks menu, and able to make any cocktails or mixed drinks. As well as just pouring out drinks, you should be familiar with any technical aspects too. For example, you should know how to change the canister of drink gas when it runs out. You should know how to use the cash register too, of course, and any other point of sale equipment.

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Management and Leadership

You can’t run a pub entirely on your own, so you’re going to need staff to help. Being a good leader is an essential skill if you want to have a well-trained staff. Anyone who wants their employees to do their best work needs to treat them well. They should enjoy working for you, or at least not dislike it. Some people make a distinction between a boss and a leader. A boss is in charge but doesn’t take the time to ensure their staff is coming along with them. A leader can encourage and support their staff to help them do their best.

Numbers and Finance

Of course, you need to be able to manage the finances to run any sort of business. It’s notoriously difficult to survive in the pub industry, with many of them closing each week. You need to be able to price things correctly and keep your costs down. Hiring an accountant will help you ensure that you keep your finances in order. However, you will still need to know about managing money on a day to day basis.

You need some important skills if you want to run a pub or bar. It’s essential to consider whether you’re prepared to do it before jumping in.

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How To Get Clients When You Start A Business

When you become an entrepreneur, you need to sort out a plan of how you are going to get clients for your new business. You may have a very good idea but if no one is going to use it, then you won’t get your business off the ground. Here is how to get clients when you start a business.

Start up a website

One of the best ways to get clients when you start a business is to start up a website. With everything being online nowadays, it’s so important to build up your presence on there. A website is ideal for showcasing what exactly you do and how potential clients can get in touch. It’s perfect for putting any testimonials on so that people know you are a credible business. You can also put your contact details on there so they can get in touch. As we talked about previously, you need to make sure your website looks professional. If you haven’t got the skills to do this, you should hire someone to create it for you. You won’t regret the cost when you see how good the website will look to prospective clients. Remember to start up social media pages as well, so you can work at building up an audience for your service or product.

Launch a product or service with an event

If you want to get people to buy your product or service, you need to start showing it off. A great way of doing this is by holding an event launching your new product or service. Get in touch with event companies who will be able to make your ideas for an event come to life. They will be able to help you find the perfect location to hold the event. Once you have a time and a date, it’s time to invite potential new clients. Advertise the event locally and online. You are bound to pick up new business.

Contact them directly

Another way you can get clients when you start a business is to communicate with the prospective clients directly. Research for companies in your sector who could potentially be interested in your product or service. You can then think of a good email to send to them. It’s wise not to be too pushy as you will instantly put them off. You can always send the email then give them a day or two and then give them a courtesy call. Remember to be professional so they know you are a serious entrepreneur. If you have an address for potential clients, you could always send them some samples. Offer them a free consultation or meeting where you can discuss your services. It will make you sound more credible as a business.

Attend trade shows

You can also gain clients when you start a business by attending a trade show. Find shows that are happening in your sector and see if you would be able to have a stand there showcasing your business. If you can’t, you should still go and network. It will give you a good idea of your competitors, and you will meet potentially meet new clients.

Once you get your first customer, remember that it’s so important to get excellent feedback. So work hard to make the service or product fantastic.

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To Be Successful Your Website Needs To Stand Out

So you’re the proud owner of your very own business. You’re enthusiastic, motivated and willing to work your socks off for success; the only problem is you aren’t quite sure where to start. There’s a lot that goes into making any business a success and it’s important to understand that. No matter what you do, success won’t come overnight; it will take a lot of hard work, time, and effort.

The question that a lot of new business owners struggle with is ‘where should I start?’. This is tricky because there are so many areas that need to be focused on to build a prosperous business. That being said, the best place to start is with your business’ website. The first thing that over 80 percent of people look for when trying to find out about a company is a website. So if you want to be successful, yours needs to be smart, stylish, and professional, and most importantly, easy to find.

Want to know the easiest ways to make your website stand out? Here’s what you need to do:

Use a professional designer

Unless you’re a highly skilled website designer, don’t attempt to create your own site. Honestly, it’s not worth it. You might save yourself a few pennies but if you don’t know what you’re doing your website won’t be up to scratch. When it comes to website design, it’s all about getting each feature spot on. As well as ensuring that the site is professional-looking, easy to use, and does what it’s supposed to. If you want a website that stands out, using a professional web design service is a must. If you can’t afford an individual company, services like Godaddy can be used.

Add a blog

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Did you know that one of the best ways to make your website stand out is by adding a blog? This is because having new content uploaded to it on a regular basis, makes it more than just a business website. If you share interesting and informative content on social media, you’ll give your website an instant traffic boost. Plus, by adding a blog your site’s search engine rank will also increase. This is because search engines rank sites on the amount of fresh content on them, as well as clicks.

Learn how to increase your search engine ranking

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On that note, there are also lots of other ways you can increase your website’s search engine ranking. One of the best of which is via SEO – aka search engine optimisation. While you can attempt to do your own SEO, unless you know what you’re doing, your chances of success are low. Your best bet is to use an SEO agency to create SEO-friendly content for your website and blog. This should help to give your website the boost it needs to stand out and get noticed.

Turn your website into an app

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Everyone knows that one of the easiest ways to get noticed is to be different. A great way to make your site different to that of your competitors is to turn it into a downloadable app for smartphones and tablets. This makes it easier to use and access, and means that it will work well on all devices. Often, websites don’t work well on smartphones and tablets. So having a specific app created is a great idea.

There you have it, the best ways to make your website stand out, helping you to grow your business.

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Priceless Skills to Have as an Entrepreneur

So you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a futurist and a visionary. To be successful in your quest you need to invest time to learn and hone the skills needed to enable you to excel in your start up business. Time is precious and one of the most valuable aspects of your journey. Use and abuse it and you’ll find yourself lagging behind in what is a very competitive market.

A question you must ask yourself before committing to anything is ‘do I have what it takes’? A simple question but one that holds great weight. Confidence in yourself is where your success will begin. Any doubt at this stage and you’ll be self-destructive going forward.

Hunger and courage

Too many people forget about the skills we hold within us, the more emotionally driven skills. These are just as important if not more so then say educational skills. If you’re the kind of person who lives to accomplish things and get things done, this is a great start. It’s so important you have the drive to achieve the goals you have set out for yourself. Have something to aim for and take pride when you can say ‘I achieved this and was part of something important.’

Being young and having so much you wish to achieve can often have knock on effects regarding self-confidence. This will get easier the more experience you gain. If you have the guts to brave making big decisions that’s enough to give you a chance in the running.

A Motivator

Some would say having the ability to motivate a group of people is a skill you are born with; you either have it or you don’t. I disagree with this statement. The more experience you have within a work and business environment the faster you understand what gets people moving. The most vital step you should take is to invest time into trying to understand other people’s ticks, knowing when there is a lull amongst colleges and using your role of authority to pick up a team’s spirits.

Attention to Detail

For people to take you seriously you must create a professional business persona. Meaning that in every form of communication be it face to face or email you are professional and approachable. Email communication is incredibly important, this requires you to be strict with regards to grammar and tone of voice. Knowing correct business English goes along when running your own business and communicating with clients. Spend some time looking for English courses in London and around the UK to better your communications and grammar.

Human Resources

HR is essential for any business; it is however very common for business owners to feel as if they are heading into unknown territory when considering HR. It certainly is a necessity for any fully functioning business, if your operations aren’t being looked after you’ll soon find yourself swimming in trouble. It’s always worth looking in hr training programs or a CIPD qualification to better your understanding of everything HR including; employment law, training, tax, employment eligibility. No matter how small your business employee well-being depends on HR.

Socialising

You may have heard people say that ‘you are who you hang around with’. Socialising and getting yourself known are both important factors towards your growth as a respected business man or woman. Of course the more people you meet the higher chance you’ll have of growing your client base at greater speed. It’s fundamental that you have people in your life who understandings the ups and downs of starting out as a small business.

See more top tips for all budding entrepreneurs here.

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Your Journey as an Entrepreneur Starts Now

The business where is changing rapidly these days, and you need to find your place. Some people are comfortable being gainfully employed, while others would rather work for themselves. If you are an ambitious, modern lady you might decide you want to be a woman who’s in business with herself. If that’s the case, then you need to ensure you tackle your journey as an entrepreneur head-on.

Preparing to go into business on your own can be a daunting task. But, it can also be hugely rewarding as well. You just need to think about everything involved in starting up your own brand. These are some useful tips you will probably want to consider to help you with this.

Vision

The first thing all women who want to succeed in business should have is vision. You’ve got to have a clear vision of what you want your business to be. Make sure you spend time understanding how the business world works, and how your brand will fit. There are a lot of things you’ll need to change and alter. But, it might be a good idea to come up with was business plan so you can get your vision down on paper. This helps you to perfect it and focus on it much better.

Employees

It’s also going to be important to hire staff to help your business thrive. You’re a boss now, and this is a transition you will need to get used to. So, it’s important to try to hire the perfect employees to take your small business forward. But, you also want to be a fair and ethical boss as much as you can. So you should swot up and get a handle on employment law before you hire anyone. That way you can be sure that you are offering them opportunities and contracts that are fair and attractive.

Branding

You’re also going to need to think about your branding. When it comes to starting a business, you should think about how the business comes across. How you present your company to the world all comes down to how you brand. It’s important to think about how your branding can drive sales, and how you might need to change things for the foreign market. Understand how and why branding matters and you will have a recipe for success.

Always Look the Part

Clothes are very important when it comes to the world of business. You have to consider the image you present as a business owner. Clothes are hugely important for defining your image and the way people perceive you. So, staying chic in business suits is very important for maintaining a professional image at all times. Consider the uniform you wear as a business owner, and think about whether it needs to be changed or updated.

Ladies, you all know how important it is to start your entrepreneur journey positively. You need to know what is involved in the process of running your own company. As long as you are sensible about it you should be in a good position to thrive and grow. You need to take these factors into account when you start your journey as an entrepreneur.

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7 Tips to Find Love Like an Entrepreneur

Dating advice literature has a bad reputation, and reasonably so — we live in a world where The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right is a best-seller. The Rules authors pride themselves on offering “a concrete set of do’s and don’ts,” as opposed to “other books and philosophies that preach ‘do whatever you want’ and ‘anything goes.’”

Typing those words just made me quiver with rage. The idea that smart, career-minded women should devote themselves to a series of rules that manipulate (clearly insecure) potential mates into maintaining interest makes me sad, and honestly, has turned me off the whole genre. But Neely Steinberg’s Skin in the Game: Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur to Find Love, now available on e-book, is one of the few women-oriented books covering dating and relationships that doesn’t offend me. Steinberg’s premise is essentially this: Treat your love life as you would a start-up. You, as an entrepreneur, are responsible for investing in your dream love life. You imagine it. You create it. You own it. Steinberg doesn’t offer rules, or do’s and don’ts — rather, she provides strategies for being more mindful of who you are and want you want, as well as lots of emphasis on self-love, a concept typically absent from the genre.

What’s helpful about this book is that it routinely encourages self-reflection. This is huge. Steinberg demands you to sit with your thoughts, no matter how uncomfortable, and reflect on your unhealthy (and healthy) patterns and habits. So whatever your ultimate love agenda may be, even if you don’t have one, the book’s exercises are highly valuable.

“Being entrepreneurial in your dating life is all about experimenting, flexibility, being open to new ideas, resilience, creating your own opportunities, and self-knowledge, among other things,” Steinberg tells Bustle. “It takes time, effort, commitment, and investment.”

If your agenda is to take control of your love life like an entrepreneur, here are the book’s top takeaways.

1. SHUT IT DOWN

You want to be pro-active about your love life, right? OK, first step: shut down the part of you that says, “I can’t do this,” or, “I’m going to die alone, why bother?” This type of thinking will sabotage any venture, whether it’s a start-up or a potential romance. “That voice has the power to become a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Steinberg writes. “Which is why you need to silence it starting today.”

2. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

To achieve anything, you MUST have the desire. Figure out exactly what you’re looking for in your love life — this demands serious self-reflection. Take notes. Talk to your friends. Ask questions. You owe it to yourself to own your desires and to act on them. No settling allowed.

3. RECRUIT ADVISORS

Steinberg recommends rounding up a “board of advisors,” which can include friends (and professionals, like a therapist or dating coach), to guide you on your dating venture. “Why should someone seeking, arguably, the most important thing in the world — love — be alone on this journey?” If you’re uncomfortable asking people to be a part of your personal dating-advice posse, as I certainly would be, make sure to recruit even just one friend who can support you and who tolerates listening to your trials and tribulations. Remember: it’s almost impossible to be objective about our own selves. This is why it’s crucial to have a human sounding board that isn’t you.

4. ACT YOUR WAY INTO THINKING

Start acting. Physically going on dates (and meeting assholes aplenty) is what’s going to help you develop a clearer sense of what you want — and what you definitely don’t want. You’re going to fail a lot, but that’s OK — failing builds knowledge. Steinberg quotes entrepreneur Sam Hogg’s article in the October 2013 of Entrepreneur: “Too many people spend far too long thinking and planning when they should be doing. I say, just start…If you spend too long analyzing how difficult it’s going to be to launch your business, you will likely learn that, yep, it’s too hard to even start.”

5. (BUT DON’T STOP THINKING)

Self-Awareness is key, here, and that requires regular reflection. Make sure you’re able to answer the following two questions with serious thought: Who am I? What do I know? Having clear answers to these seemingly obvious questions will help you stop wasting time and energy on men or women who don’t matter. “You’ll have less tolerance for men who aren’t consistently treating you in ways that match up with values that are important to you,” Steinberg writes. Pay attention to your love life! And date like the smart woman that you are.

6. LOVE YOURSELF. A LOT.

Steinberg encourages readers to create an elevator pitch for their “personal brands.” She asks you to take a moment to articulate all of your awesome qualities. So: Know your strengths. Love your strengths. Do not wait for someone else to decide you are worthy of love. First and foremost, YOU must believe in your “brand.” The entrepreneur terminology might make you cringe, but the underlying principle is spot on: recognize your worth, and demand that others recognize it, too.

7. FAIL SMARTER

Entrepreneurs take big risks, as do daters. Failure happens. The question, then, is: How do I fail smarter? Identify the risks you’re comfortable taking, and then identify possible losses. To embrace failure, you have to understand it. “If you can learn to turn the concept of failure on its head, to de-educate yourself from what you’ve been taught about failure, you can learn how to pivot and adapt in the face of wrong turns and setbacks” Steinberg writes. “If you learn how to intelligently de-risk your risks so that you can take smarter, healther, more informed, more productive risks, you will put yourself in an excellent position to achieve your vision in away that doesn’t make you feel drained, demoralized, and damaged.”

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Staying Chic in Business Suits

The decade of the 80’s witnessed the surge of suit-clad women clamoring for recognition and success in the corporate ladder. But with fashion’s finicky state of mind, women’s business suits have since evolved and flourished over the next decades. From the boxy and heavily padded suit jackets of the 80’s to the 90’s tailored silhouette, fashion has rolled with the times and women willingly adapted to it.

Today, women’s bespoke suits, shirts, or jackets can be made in every shape and form, with a slim fitting silhouette as the popular choice among women.

When it comes to women’s style, a navy colored suit or blazer can instantly transform your chic style. Women probably have more fun out of all the fashion choices available to them, but bespoke tailoring for women resulted with the success of men’s bespoke.

Given with a consumer freedom and all the versatile clothing options, women now rely on more bang for their buck to maximize their style.

Today’s fashion has also allowed women (and men) with more flexible wardrobe pieces. The navy suit jacket isn’t just exclusively paired with the trouser anymore. With a tailored cut and worn as a blazer, the navy suit jacket is a chic companion to a lovely dress, turtleneck sweater or jeans.

And when buying a suit, women can have it custom made in a solid color or patterned design to either trousers or skirts to accompany the jacket.

Tailor made suits may be designed for business-worthy pursuits, but you can certainly dress it up or down for a stylish look beyond the confines of your four-walled office space. Now who says you can’t be chic wearing a suit even after hours?

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