Alexandre’s Greatest Tips: Birman On His Top 5 Business Tenets

Alexandre Birman
Alexandre Birman with wife Johanna Stein Birman.
Victor Affaro.

Brazilian shoe designer Alexandre Birman, who appears on the cover of this week’s Footwear News, knows a thing or two about running a business. His Arezzo & Co includes five shoe brands — Schutz, Fiever, Arezzo, Anacapri and Alexandre Birman — together numbering 500 stores and selling more than 11 million pairs of shoes annually. Here, he shares his top five business tips.

1. Watch The Clock

“I don’t waste time. I only spend time on things that will move us forward. I don’t like to analyze the past. I try not to dwell on conflicts, life is too short.” Birman’s impatience comes through with his go-to question “Are we almost done?”

2. Learn To Juggle

“Multi-task. For example, when I’m having a conversion, I’m also checking my email and giving my daughter a kiss. I am rarely doing just one thing at a time.”

3. Perfect The Future

“I try to be very programmed within my schedule. I’m always late, but within a frame. I’m very predictive and try to organize my schedule 2 months in advance. I know exactly what I am doing and where I am going through October.”

4. Stand For Something

“It’s better to be known for one thing then trying to do everything and being known for nothing. Find a specific type of product and really invest in that. You have to start small.”

5. Be Cautious

“In our company, we don’t want to be known as risk takers. We like to test slowly. Interest rates in Brazil are extremely high. One of our fundamentals is we don’t believe in companies that are leveraged. We manage everything in terms of the right investments and making sure we can afford it.”

Alexandre Birman Store Inside an Alexandre Birman store. Courtesy Image.

Read the full cover story on Birman here.

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