Alan Horowitz

Test first and then tweak and then test again, and then roll out slowly, and then tweak and then go full blast.


Alan David Custom is in its 5th generation. They are located in Midtown Manhattan right near Grand Central Station. Alan David sells high end custom garments to men & women. All their products are made in the USA. The one attribute that sets Alan David Custom apart is their ability to fit any client. Their fitters have a minimum of 25 years measuring ensuring a close to perfect fit the very first time. Their customer service is also top rate as they offer free lifetime alterations for the life of the garment as well as their follow up 30 days calls just to ensure their clients are happy with their garments.

Their owner Alan David Horowitz is totally dedicated to his clients, almost to a fault. He never allows anybody to walk out unhappy. His policy is to get it right even if he has to recut, not alter if the garments are truly not good. Luckily just about all of them are!

Where did the idea for Alan David Custom come from?

When casualization hit the U.S. in the late 90’s stores stopped carrying good selections of suits because the demand was just not there. It opened up an opportunity for custom, as there are still many people that wear suits, especially in hard to find sizes. Athletes, heavy, skinny, tall, and short no longer could find their sizes and if there were suits, the assortment was very limited. Thus, Alan David Custom was born.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

It all starts and ends with trying to please the customer. Whether it is thorough the selling process, measurement process and most importantly the service process. We spend our days making sure the client is comfortable every step of the way.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Test first and then tweak and then test again, and then roll out slowly, and then tweak and then go full blast.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Suits are back, especially in New York – young men are dressing up like they have not in years.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

The ability to be resilient. Not everything is going to work, be prepared to fail, if you do not fail, you will never succeed. I can zig when I need to zig and zag when I need to zag – on a dime!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Hire smart people to surround you and keep them happy. It will pay for itself many times over in the future.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Take risks, risks are good – if you believe in the risk, go for it. Leave it all out there.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be hands on, the notion of working on your business and not in your business is false. The buck stops with you. As you grow, there are still ways to be hands on without doing every detail but always know what is going on.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Spend heavy money on marketing. You can have the best product, the best value, the best turnaround time, but if nobody knows what is the point? Most people set marketing costs as 10% of sales – double it, especially in the beginning.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I sell men’s custom suits to the public. I take their measurements and send it to the factory. In 2011, I bought a factory to try and become a more vertical company and have more control over my production – bad move. I am not a tailor and within three years the factory closed. I finally realized that I should stick to what I know best and execute as well as I can.

What is one idea for business that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Google AdWords – if you’re not doing it, you are behind.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I gave a $100 bill to one of my salesmen for a big sale – don’t you know he delivered three more that day!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Constant Contact for emails and staying in touch with our clients.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Sam Walton’s “Made in the America” for sure! If you want to know what a true entrepreneur is and needs to do, read that book. Also, “Think and Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill as well as “The One Minute Manager” – all classics and must reads!

What is your favorite quote?

It’s not how you fall, it’s how you get up from that fall.

Key learnings:

  • Don’t be afraid to fail
  • Hire the right people and let them do their jobs
  • Have a mentor


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